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‘The missing piece’ – Ropes & Gray recruits Clifford Chance white-collar heavyweight Seddon in London

Ropes & Gray has  hired Clifford Chance white-collar crime partner Judith Seddon as co-head of its London international risk practice in a move designed to bolster its English-qualified litigation firepower.

Seddon (pictured) will co-lead the seven-strong team alongside Amanda Raad, a US-trained partner who moved over from the US some four years ago to establish its London white-collar crime practice.

Seddon joined Clifford Chance in 2008 as a senior associate, became a director of business crime and regulatory enforcement in 2011 and was made up to partner in 2014. She trained at Russell, Jones & Walker (now Slater and Gordon) and became a partner there in 2002.

Raad noted that Seddon was ‘the missing piece’ in the practice’s long-standing strategy to consolidate a US and UK-trained team in London to locally service the international enforcement and compliance needs of the firm’s global client base. She added that Seddon was ‘the perfect partner’ for the job, given the relationships she has forged in her role on some of the SFO’s largest and most-complicated investigations.

‘After working alongside Judith for years, I have witnessed first-hand her superior substantive expertise and ability to exceed client expectations. As companies doing business in the UK come under increased scrutiny from UK enforcement authorities on issues related to corruption and fraud, Judith’s unparalleled experience will be immensely beneficial in navigating clients through potential enforcement landmines,’ she said.

Ropes’ London team includes one US-qualified and one UK-qualified counsel, as well as five associates, of which three are English-trained.

Ropes & Gray last August lost an international five-partner investigations and government enforcement team to Kirkland & Ellis, one of whom was Marcus Thompson, a partner and assistant general counsel.

Seddon – who advises institutions, corporates and individuals – went on a three-month secondment in 2014 with the financial crime team at Barclays to advise on issues including the use of third-party agents and compliance with internal policies.

She is ranked as a leading individual by The Legal 500 UK, which describes her as ‘the go-to woman for all financial services investigations with a criminal dimension’.