By Casey Sullivan
Feb 20 New York(Reuters) - Law firm Pepper Hamilton, which
two weeks ago elevated former FBI director Louis Freeh to
chairman, has hired Larry Byrne, a former federal prosecutor and
head of Linklaters' U.S. litigation department in New York,
along with a group of three other Linklaters lawyers, the firm
said on Thursday.
The hires underscore Pepper Hamilton's aggressive move into
the lucrative investigations practice area.
Byrne, 53, served as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan and
Washington from 1988 to 1994, and as head of Linklaters'
litgation department from 2006 to 2011. He moves over as a
partner in the white collar and investigations practice area.
Byrne said he will bring with him as a client drug maker
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.
Bryne also becomes managing director of the Freeh Group, a
wholly owned subsidiary and consulting arm led by Freeh that
specializes in crisis management issues.
Bryne said he moved to Pepper Hamilton because he and Freeh
had worked together as federal prosecutors in the early 1990s in
prosecutions related to on the Pizza Connection trial, which
centered around a Mafia-run heroin and cocaine ring.
"It was something I couldn't really pass up," he said.
Byrne is joined by Linklaters colleague Ruth Harlow, who
represented Deutsche Bank in a number of securities fraud cases
related to the 2001 demise of energy-trading firm Enron. Harlow
also will be a partner in the corporate investigations and white
collar practice area.
Linklaters white collar lawyers Martin Bloor and Linda
Regis-Hallinan join as of counsel.
Freeh, who led an investigation into the Penn State sexual
abuse scandal before joining Pepper Hamilton last year, has
elevated the firm's profile and made it more attractive to
perspective hires from competitor law firms, according to three
New York legal recruiters.
The Linklaters hires mark the second group of lawyers Pepper
Hamilton has brought on this week. On Tuesday, the firm
announced it had hired white collar lawyers Gina Maisto Smith
and Leslie Marie Gomez, who represent universities and non
profits in internal investigations related to sexual misconduct,
from the law firm Ballard Spahr.
Over the last five years, white collar practice chair Thomas
Gallagher has brought on board a string of prosecutors from the
U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia, including Michael
Schwartz, Gregory Paw, Bob Hickok and Richard Zack.
The prosecutors have worked largely with Pepper Hamilton's
pharmaceutical clients, such as GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly in
lawsuits relating to fraudulent drug marketing campaigns.
Now, Pepper Hamilton hopes to build its white collar
practice in a variety of other practice areas, under the
direction of Freeh, said Scott Green, the firm's chief executive
Freeh told Reuters in early February he plans to build the
firm's investigations practice in Washington, New York and Los
Angeles. He was not immediately available to comment for this
Spokespeople for Ballard Spahr and Linklaters both said they
wished their former lawyers well.
(An earlier version of this story mispelled Gina Maisto
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