Davis Polk & Wardwell

The New York-based firm, which has about 25 white-collar lawyers in its Washington office, is still building its DC brand, according to some of the partners. 

Most of the DC partners worked in the government before joining Davis Polk, where FCPA cases have been their staple in recent years. The DC practice focuses on helping companies avoid government investigations by, for example, conducting due diligence before mergers and acquisitions.

Davis Polk also represents companies once they come under government scrutiny, including several clients in Asia. Linda Thomsen, who was the first woman to serve as the SEC’s enforcement director, represented Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, which settled FCPA books and records allegations for US$19 million in September 2015.

Davis Polk also advised The Royal Bank of Scotland during investigations by the DOJ and the Federal Reserve into alleged manipulations of the foreign exchange markets. The bank settled with the US agencies in May 2015.

Partner Raul Yanes, a fluent Spanish speaker, often acts for clients in Latin America. Yanes previously served in the White House as President George W Bush’s staff secretary, a powerful gate-keeping position. He specialises in matters involving multiple non-US jurisdictions.

The New York firm also boasts Democratic connections. Partner Neil MacBride served in senior positions for then-Senator Joseph Biden before the Delaware Democrat was elected to serve as Barack Obama’s vice president. Obama then appointed MacBride to be the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia before MacBride joined Davis Polk in 2014.

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