Thirty Top Corporate Criminal Defense Law Firms Cut Sixty Percent of Corporate Deferred and Non Prosecution Agreements

Thirty top corporate criminal defense law firms have represented corporations in fully sixty percent of corporate deferred and non prosecutions agreements, according to a study released by Corporate Crime Reporter today.

The top thirty law firms accounted for 163 (60 percent) of the 270 cases surveyed.

The top five law firms in the survey accounted for 54 of the deals — fully 20 percent.

The five corporate criminal defense law firms with the most deferred and non prosecution deals were — Sullivan & Cromwell (16), WilmerHale (13), Debevoise & Plimpton (10), Covington & Burling (8) and Ropes & Gray (7).

Seven firms represented corporations in six deals each. Those firms are — Davis Polk,  Hogan Lovells, King & Spalding, Patton Boggs, Paul Weiss, Skadden Arps, and Wachtell Lipton.

Two firms — Baker & McKenzie and Munger Tolles — had five deals each.

Eight firms had four deals each. Those law firms are — Baker Botts, Cadwalader,  Foley & Lardner, Gibson Dunn, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Pillsbury Winthrop, and Willkie Farr.

Eight firms had three deals each. Those firms are — Arnold & Porter, Mayer Brown, Morgan Lewis, Norton Rose Fulbright, Paul Hastings, Reed Smith, Sidley Austin and White & Case.

Eleven firms had two deals each — Bryan Cave, Cahill Gordon, Clifford Chance, Dewey LeBoeuf, Foley Hoag, Latham & Watkins, McDermott Will & Emery, McGuireWoods, Morrison & Foerster, Morvillo and Williams & Connolly.

And sixty-two law firms represented corporations in one deferred or non prosecution agreement each.

In some of the 270 cases, the cases were handled exclusively by inside corporate counsel. In some cases, more than one law firm represented the defendants in the case. And in others, the name of the lawyer or law firm could not be determined from the settling documents.

Corporate Crime Reporter surveyed the deferred and non prosecution database pulled together by University of Virginia Law Professor Brandon Garrett.

Professor Garret has a new book coming out later this year titled — Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations (Harvard University Press, October 2014)

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see New York firms working on many of those cases given the longstanding importance of the Southern District in bringing white collar cases – and because the Southern District has used these agreements for so long,” Garrett told Corporate Crime Reporter .

“Also, there has been a real rise in big law firms hiring prominent white-collar lawyers and former prosecutors  These corporate prosecutions have become really intensive efforts.  Big teams of lawyers and accountants and others may be involved in the internal investigations.  Companies know that they must do more than cooperate – they must clean house and overhaul their compliance. They must hire lawyers familiar and experienced not just with prosecutions, but with the regulators. To show they are serious, companies may want to hire the biggest and the best. And that can mean spending tens of millions of dollars long before any prosecution is initiated.”

[For the complete results of the study, see 28 Corporate Crime Reporter 21 (14), May 26, 2014, print edition only.]

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