Law360 Again Names Steptoe ‘White-Collar Group of the Year’

January 25, 2013

For the second consecutive year, Steptoe has been named a White-Collar Group of the Year by Law360.  In a profile published on January 22, the editors highlight some of the group’s successes over the past year, including the representation of US Department of Justice trial attorney Edward Sullivan, who was targeted in an internal investigation of the prosecution of Ted Stevens, the late US senator from Alaska.  Mr. Sullivan, who worked on the Stevens case, was cleared of any wrongdoing after a three-year investigation.  The profile also highlights the team’s representation of high-profile clients and high-stakes white-collar criminal defense.

Steptoe partner Reid Weingarten, who has been featured in The New York Times as one of the top white-collar criminal defense lawyers in the country, represented Anthony Chiasson, the co-founder of hedge fund Level Global Investors LP, in a six-week long insider trading trial held recently in New York federal court.

Partner Brian Heberlig, head of Steptoe’s White-Collar Criminal Defense practice group, tells Law360 that though Mr. Chiasson was ultimately found guilty, the case was hard-fought.  He goes on to say that Mr. Weingarten attracts a host of significant clients to the firm.

“He has developed his own incredible reputation, and people who find themselves in potential harm’s way call him,” Mr. Heberlig says.

In another 2012 case, Steptoe helped Ofer Paz, the CEO of an Israeli company that acted as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries, fend off charges that he had bribed government officials to secure contracts.  Prosecutors had charged 22 individuals in the case, making it the largest-ever Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case against individuals.

The Law360 profile also spotlights the collaboration between Steptoe’s white-collar team and other practice groups within the firm.  The firm has a large FCPA practice, and securities lawyers are available to provide assistance in the parallel criminal US Securities and Exchange Commission cases that have become common, Mr. Heberlig says.

Law360 received more than 550 submissions for its practice group of the year series.  Steptoe was one of five firms selected by the editors in the white-collar category based on the significance of the litigation wins; the size and complexity of the litigation wins; and the number of significant, large or complex lawsuits the firm had wins in.  Only accomplishments from November 1, 2011 to November 1, 2012 were considered.

The full profile is available at Law360.