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Securities litigation firm Labaton Sucharow announced on 23 May it has hired former DOJ and SEC officials to bolster its whistleblower practice.
The hires in the firm’s new Washington DC and Chicago offices are experienced former US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice attorneys.
Steve Durham served for more than two decades as an assistant US attorney in Washington, DC, rising to chief of the fraud and public corruption section. He joins the firm from oil services company Weatherford International Inc, where he spent around five years as a senior in-house compliance counsel. Durham worked on many high-profile cases at the DOJ, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation into Siemens, which resulted in a combined US and German settlement of US$1.6 billion. He also prosecuted humanitarian workers in Liberia, who were convicted in 2011 of defrauding USAID of US$1.9 million.
Tim Warren was until January SEC acting regional director overseeing all enforcement personnel in the agency’s Chicago office. As an associate director in the SEC’s enforcement division, he led a team of more than 40 attorneys and professionals.
Speaking to GIR Just Anti-Corruption, Warren said he was excited to join his former SEC colleague Jordan Thomas, who left the agency to form and chair the SEC whistleblower practice at Labaton Sucharow in 2011 after serving as an assistant director in the division of enforcement. “I’ve been gratified to see his success,” Warren said.
Meanwhile, Bob Wilson was branch chief and deputy assistant director in the SEC’s enforcement division until 2014. There he prosecuted and supervised several FCPA cases. In 2009 he oversaw the SEC’s settlement with engineering and oil firms KBR and Halliburton over bribery in Nigeria. The companies agreed to pay US$177 million in disgorgement to settle the SEC’s charges.
Wilson joined the SEC in 1990, serving for 24 years before forming his own legal and consulting firm, Pelican Partners, in 2014. Durham and Wilson will be based in Washington, DC, while Warren will establish a Chicago office. Thomas is based in New York.
Labaton Sucharow’s whistleblower submissions have led to over US$1 billion in recoveries for the SEC, including a US$267 million action against JP Morgan Chase over the bank’s failure to notify clients of its preference for investing their funds in the bank’s own products. The firm also represented a client whose submission contributed to a US$415 million action against Merrill Lynch for its misuse of customer funds to generate profits, the largest SEC enforcement action in 2016.