Global Investigations Review (GIR) has included Partners Jamie Gorelick and Sharon Cohen Levin and Counsel Alison Geary on its Women in Investigations 2018 list of lawyers who are “achieving great things in a competitive and notoriously tough area of law.”
The special edition profiles 100 private practice lawyers, barristers, prosecutors and in-house counsel from 15 nations. Its goal is to shed more light on the increasingly significant role women are playing in corporate and other investigations.
Each woman on the list was asked to share reflections of their investigations work. Ms. Gorelick, who chairs WilmerHale’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practices, noted that both she and her clients benefit from her service on corporate and nonprofit boards. The former helps her advise clients on when and how to launch and run investigations. The latter provides her with the broader public policy backdrop that could color how a corporate investigation is publicly perceived. Ms. Gorelick, who is based in Washington DC, is a former US Deputy Attorney General who oversaw, among other agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Ms. Levin said that winning compensation for the family of the once rightful owner of Egon Schiele’s painting “Portrait of Wally,” which was looted by the Nazis, was the high point of her career. Not only was it satisfying to right a decades-old wrong, but the case resulted in European governments changing their laws to open long-sealed archives, increasing the likelihood of property recovery for Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Ms. Levin, who is based in New York, is a leading authority on anti-money laundering and asset forfeiture and was the long-time supervisor of prosecutions in those areas for the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Geary, who is based in London, suggested that because investigations are often defined in the first 48 hours, it is essential for lawyers conducting investigations to not rush into action but to stop and see the big strategic picture. Her practice focuses on white collar crime involving fraud, bribery, corruption, cartels and money laundering.
Each lawyer on GIR’s list also provided little known information about themselves and the most interesting places the job has taken them. Ms. Gorelick said she soared above the Rocky Mountains in an Air Force Academy training glider. Ms. Levin said work once took her to the Cambodian jungles in connection with a stolen 10th Century sculpture. Ms. Geary may have won the contest for weirdest previous job—in a former life she worked at a Mongolian building site where she, among other duties, shooed away goats.