GIR 100 2020

BakerHostetler

Professional notice

The firm prides itself on being a national leader in handling corporate monitorships.

The firm

Since opening its New York office in 2001, the firm has been appointed in a series of corporate monitorships, with three of the firm's partners being picked for the coveted positions.

New York partner and former Brooklyn federal prosecutor George Stamboulidis has been selected as an independent monitor on six separate occasions. These include an 18-month monitorship of Merrill Lynch, which was awarded to Stamboulidis in 2003 after the company avoided criminal charges over its role in the Enron debacle. He is a Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence nominee.

In 2017, Stamboulidis was appointed to lead a five-year monitorship of the International Union of Operating Engineers to prevent corruption and organised crime from occurring at the labour union. Partner Lauren Resnick has served as his lead counsel in the matter.

Stamboulidis also led a monitorship for Mellon Bank (now Bank of New York Mellon), where he oversaw Mellon's compliance with the conditions of an August 2006 settlement agreement with the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The settlement resolved allegations of criminal conduct by Mellon employees regarding the destruction of over 77,000 tax returns and payments. Resnick and partner John Carney also handled the Mellon Bank monitorship.

Carney is a former prosecutor who spent five years at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2018, he was appointed as a special examiner by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to conduct a special investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegations that celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi defrauded India's state-run Punjab National Bank out of US$2 billion.

In Washington, DC, Jonathan Barr is among the names to know. He previously served for more than 15 years in government, both at the SEC and as a prosecutor.

Other partners at the firm with significant US government experience include Jonathan New, who spent seven years at the Manhattan federal prosecutor's office where he was a member of a strike force investigating mortgage fraud and financial schemes following the 2008 financial crisis.

Carole Rendon, a former US attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, is based in the Cleveland office and has a strong reputation for handling cybersecurity problems. GIR has reported that Rendon represented a former energy sales employee at Rolls-Royce in connection with a scheme to bribe officials in Central Asia and China.

The firm also recently defended Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York. In 2018, Collins was accused by the US attorney's office in Manhattan of participating in an alleged insider trading scheme. He pleaded guilty in 2019 and was sentenced to 26 months in prison in January. Collins's sentence, which was originally scheduled for March, has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm made four recent white-collar hires: partners Robb Adkins in San Francisco, Shawn Cleveland in Texas, Ann O'Brien in Washington, DC, and Jeff Martino in New York.

Recent events

BakerHostetler is currently advising a private university on several investigations related to allegations of misconduct on campus. The firm has brought on four of its partners and three associates to handle more than 20 investigations for the university over the last year.

The firm is representing several claimants in a high-profile civil forfeiture action by the US Department of Justice concerning alleged corruption and embezzlement by former Nigerian President Sani Abacha, his family and associates. The DOJ seized over $480 million in corrupt proceeds in 2014.

BakerHostetler has also been advising former and current executives of global renewable energy company SunEdison in a series of lawsuits related to the company's filing for bankruptcy protection. It emerged as a reorganised entity in December 2017.

Network

The firm has offices in the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast of the US. Among its network around the globe, BakerHostetler has strong connections with US firm Tucker Ellis, offshore law firm Bedell Cristin and French firm Wenner.

Clients

BakerHostetler has represented a former army lieutenant colonel involved in an alleged fraud at a major defence contractor. The firm has also advised Irving Picard, a trustee for the liquidation of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities.

Track record

The firm was retained by former city trader and JPMorgan Chase managing director Bruno Iksil, also known as the "London Whale", who was under investigation for losses at JPMorgan through credit default swaps in 2012. BakerHostetler helped clear him of criminal, civil and regulatory charges.

The firm also undertook an internal financial forensic investigation to ensure there were no improper payments made during the reconstruction of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center. The original Saint Nicholas Church was destroyed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Because it is located at the WTC site, the church is one of the most complex and expensive church construction projects of its kind. The investigation found that no improper payments were made.

BakerHostetler’s white collar, investigations and securities enforcement and litigation team is among the nation’s leaders in all aspects of corporate criminal defence and enforcement-related litigation. Our team includes some of the country’s most experienced and seasoned lawyers who are dedicated to protecting businesses and individuals by preventing violations before they occur. We see beyond the horizon to help clients minimise the legal, economic and reputational risks that corporate investigations and enforcement actions pose by working to quickly identify, contain and correct potential misconduct.

Our more than two dozen team members, many of whom have served as former federal and state prosecutors and SEC enforcement attorneys, have served as legal advisers to Fortune 50 companies and major hedge funds, as well as former advocates for the government. This deep bench of talent allows us to better advise our clients on corporate criminal laws and legal regulatory standards.

Get unlimited access to all Global Investigations Review content