Olivia Radin on the Move from Freshfields to King & Spalding

Olivia Radin last month joined King & Spalding as a partner in the firm’s Special Matters and Government Investigations team New York office.

Olivia Radin
King & Spalding
New York, New York

Radin previously spent fourteen years at Freshfields, where she was the managing partner in the New York office.

“Olivia is a world-class lawyer, builder and leader who expands and deepens our global investigations and disputes capabilities,” said Mark Jensen, leader of the King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations team. “She brings great entrepreneurial energy to our team and will be invaluable to companies in any sector facing enforcement and third-party scrutiny.”

Radin earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School and undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and she clerked on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prior to law school, she worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley.

You have practiced for 14 years at a UK based firm. 

Give us a sense of the differences in working in a UK based firm compared to a US based firm.

“It is important to me to be able to advise clients on global matters and their global risks,” Radin told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “My clients operate globally. When I’m advising them, we look at issues holistically.”

“What I’m really excited about being here at King & Spalding is the global reach of the firm. The team is fantastic. Working with Sally Yates, Mark Jensen, Mike Shepard and others is just really a great opportunity and delight. The firm has just incredibly deep litigation and investigation capabilities. It makes me excited about what I can do for my clients.”

What part of the year do you spend traveling?

“It varies depending on the year and the matters I’m working on. Prior to the pandemic I don’t recall conducting an interview as part of a compliance review remotely. But now I do that routinely. It’s still important to see people face to face. I still do travel a fair amount.”

You graduated from Columbia Law School in 2004. Tell us what you have been doing since?

“After law school I clerked on the Second Circuit for Judge Robert D. Sack. I then joined the law firm of Covington & Burling in 2005. In 2009, I moved from Covington to the New York office of Freshfields with a group from Covington. I was at Freshfields until last week when I moved to King & Spalding.”

“I should mention that after I graduated Harvard University in undergraduate economics, I came to New York to work as a banker at Morgan Stanley. When I started my career, my plan was to have a career in finance. So before my legal career I had a career in finance. It helped me understand corporate culture.” 

Thinking back those many years, do you have a sense as to what it was that moved you from finance to law?

“I loved my time in finance. It taught me so much. For a law firm partner, I do appreciate a good chart and spreadsheets. That has not left me. But I do have a really personal interest in doing what I do now. I respond to it. Whenever we had discussions at the bank about compliance risks, I just found it super interesting. After trying finance for a number of years, I decided to take the leap, change paths and go to law school. And I love practicing as a lawyer.” 

What will your practice be at King & Spalding?

“I am a special matters and government investigations lawyer. And that’s what I’ve been throughout my career. I focus on advising clients on internal investigations, regulatory investigations, Congressional investigations. I deal with any allegation of misconduct or issues that require review.”

“I also advise clients on global compliance needs. That includes advising clients on their compliance programs and also helping them assess and identify compliance risks in the context of corporate transactions.”

“Finally, I also help clients with big global strategic risk management. That might be global crisis management, that might be advising on global strategies with respect to a compliance matter.” 

We are also seeing an increased number of cases being driven by whistleblowers. When a case comes in the door for you, and you begin studying it, without being told that there is a whistleblower – can you sense whether there is a whistleblower or not?

“I like that you use ‘studying it’ because that aptly describes the beginning of an investigation. You come on it with an open mind to assess what the issue is, how it fits into the company’s corporate culture, what the next steps are. It’s a crucial part of any investigation.”

“As for your question, information from external sources is an important source of information for companies to look at. I can’t comment on specific cases, but from my experience, we deal with allegations that come from all sorts of sources. It’s a matter of understanding what the scope of an issue is, if there is an issue, and how to address it and remediate it.”

You are a member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. What is your involvement with that group and what it has meant to you.

“It’s a wonderful organization. It is a global organization of women white collar defense attorneys. When I joined it five years ago, it was much smaller. It has grown at an incredible rate thanks to people like Karen Popp. It’s a wonderful resource both for knowledge and sharing insights and also for fellowship for other women who are practicing in this field. I’ve made friends through this organization.” 

“There have been multiple in person meetings both nationwide and globally.” 

You must have seen changes over the years when it comes to women in the big white collar law firms.

“I’ve always had wonderful opportunities as a woman to develop my practice and have leadership opportunities and connect to other women in the field. Just being able to connect with other women at firms that do what I do has been really great.”

[For the complete q/a format Interview with Olivia Radin, see 37 Corporate Crime Reporter 5(14), January 27, 2023, print edition only.]

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