16 December 2020

Perkins Coie hires 12-partner investigations and litigation team from Richards Kibbe & Orbe

Seattle-based firm boosts New York and Washington DC arms as Richards Kibbe responds with rebranding and reorganisation

Perkins Coie has hired a highly rated 12-partner white collar and financial services litigation team from Richards Kibbe & Orbe.

The 17-lawyer strong group is led by Lee Richards, one of his former firm’s founding partners, and David Masse – both are former Assistant US Attorneys from the Southern District of New York.

The departing lawyers represent approximately one quarter of the New York-based firm, which is rebranding as Kibbe & Orbe on 1 January alongside a pledge that its remaining corporate and regulatory attorneys will ‘continue to find innovative solutions for clients structuring and transacting in high-value investments and illiquid assets’.

A total of 12 partners are joining Seattle-based Perkins Coie’s New York office, which opened nine years ago, with a further two joining in Washington DC. 

The group advises institutional and individual clients caught up in government investigations and enforcement actions and involved in securities and business litigation. Financial fraud, antitrust, securities and commodities law violations, insider trading, bribery, money laundering and FCPA violations all fall within its remit.

Markus Funk, chair of Perkins Coie’s white collar and investigations practice, said: “As the financial services sector and fintech continues to rapidly evolve – driven in part by new technologies and platforms – we are now positioned to serve an even broader range of highly sophisticated clients in New York, Washington DC and nationally.”

Managing partner Keith Miller added: “The breadth of the group’s experience will strengthen the bench of the talented litigators in the New York office and reflects our confidence in an expected rebound of white collar and regulatory enforcement investigations and related litigation in the New York and national markets.”

Meanwhile, Richards Kibbe & Orbe said it would be reorganising into four core practice areas: credit trading and investing, equity investing, regulation, compliance and governance and restructuring and bankruptcy. It also pointed out that three of its four founding partners remain at the firm: Jon Kibbe, Bill Orbe and Michael Mann.

Managing partner Jennifer Grady added: “Our clients – which include some of the largest investment banks and investment funds – will continue to receive the same dedicated service they have come to expect from us.”

The partners joining Perkins Coie in New York, alongside Richards and Massey, are Shari Brandt, Paul Devlin, Rowan Gaither, Arthur Greenspan, Margaret Meyers, Matthew Riccardi, James Walker, and Daniel Zinman, while David Daniels and Jamie Schafer are joining in Washington DC.

In February, Perkins Coie hired partners from Vinson & Elkins and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to open an office in Austin, Texas.

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