GIR 100 2020

AlixPartners

Professional notice

AlixPartners recently made headlines for its acquisition of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s consulting business. 

The firm

AlixPartners conducts large-scale corporate investigations and monitorships across the globe with a team of accountants, fraud examiners, anti-money laundering specialists, and a host of former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service and Serious Fraud Office officials. The firm was founded in the US in 1981 and has since expanded to Europe, Asia and Latin America, with some 300 staff in its investigations, disputes and risk practice worldwide.

That number received a significant boost earlier in 2020 when the firm announced in August 2020 that it had acquired former FBI director Louis Freeh’s risk management firm, Freeh Group International Solutions. The move added 24 people to AlixPartners, including Freeh himself, who is now a vice chairman at AlixPartners and serves on the firm’s management committee. As part of the acquisition, Freeh agreed to step down as the senior managing partner at Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan to avoid conflicts of interest. 

The firm also hired former managing director at Ankura Consulting, Jim Barratt, as a director in its Washington, DC, practice in June. Barratt specialises in anti-corruption and accounting cases including enforcement proceedings brought by the DOJ and SEC.

The global leaders of the investigations, disputes and risk practice are managing directors Louis Dudney in Chicago and Steven Ambort in London, according to the firm’s website. Both have over 25 years’ experience.

The UK leadership team consists of managing directors Kathryn Britten, Andrew Grantham, Diane Hughes and Gavin Williamson based in London.

Britten has decades years of forensic investigations experience under her belt and has worked on matters covering the pharmaceutical, construction and natural resources sectors. Grantham, too, has decades of experience in financial and accounting investigations Hughes often acts as an expert witness in commercial disputes following forensic investigations.

Williamson specialises in multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption matters.

In 2020, the London team was strengthened by the addition of financial crime investigator Tom Scampion, who joined from Deloitte.

The Asia practice is led by Colum Bancroft out of Hong Kong, from where he works on FCPA, money laundering and US sanctions cases. Bancroft is supported by Edward Boyle, also in Hong Kong, and Stephen Yu in Shanghai, who leads AlixPartners’ e-discovery efforts in the region.

In Germany, managing director Günter Degitz and director Veit Bütterlin are the names to know. Both work on fraud, misrepresentation and other financial crime cases. Bütterlin previously handled investigations in-house at German carmaker Daimler.

AlixPartners professionals with government experience including Susan Markel and Brad Mroski who both held senior roles at the SEC. They are based in DC and Dallas, respectively. In the UK, Kelly Goodbody formerly was an investigator at the Serious Fraud Office and seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Ambort, Degitz, Bancroft, Grantham and Williamson are all listed in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2020 alongside Paul Brabant, David Waterfield and Gordon Stevenson in London, and Marc Landy in New York.

Recent events

AlixPartners is known to act for nationalised Ukrainian lender PrivatBank in helping it recover up US$5 billion in assets allegedly stolen by its former shareholders. The firm is providing forensic accounting services in support of litigation in various jurisdictions, focusing on tracing the funds through shell companies around the world.

AlixPartners has worked alongside law firms Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in the US and Niederer Kraft Frey in Switzerland, providing forensic services in an investigation into potential anti-money laundering and US sanctions violations by Swiss bank Julius Baer.

The firm has also recently helped German construction and engineering company Bilfinger update its policies and procedures in the context of a monitorship imposed on the company as part of an FCPA settlement with the US Department of Justice. 

Meanwhile, new director Louis Freeh is currently acting as monitor to retailer Walmart following its 2019 FCPA settlement.

Network    

AlixPartners has 24 offices spanning four continents.

Clients

AlixPartners counts the International Banking Corporation of Bahrain, the Central European Bank, Swiss bank Julius Baer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals among its clients.

Track record

GIR has previously reported that the firm was retained to analyse the potential disgorgement to be paid to US authorities as part of an FCPA settlement for a European telecommunications company.

AlixPartners helped a US manufacturing company to investigate allegations that certain companies it partnered with were overcharging for services. AlixPartners conducted on-site interviews of the individuals who allegedly defrauded clients. The investigation was the basis for a settlement between the manufacturing client and the companies at issue.

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