The international law firm ranked No. 1 on the GIR 30 list for 2017. The survey rated firms based on their cross-border investigations work for both high-profile internal and government-led investigations. WilmerHale was also named a finalist for the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year award.
"It's an honor to be at or near the top of this list of leading investigations and compliance practices for a third consecutive year," said Howard Shapiro, partner and chair of WilmerHale's Litigation/Controversy Department. "WilmerHale attorneys are fluent in the investigations process and have played a role in nearly all major investigations that have deeply impacted the business world over the past few decades. We're proud of our legacy and proven strengths in this area, which have earned respect from clients and peers across the industry."
The rankings were announced at the Third Annual GIR Awards Ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington DC on Thursday, October 26, 2017.
In 2015 and 2016, WilmerHale ranked second on the GIR 30 list. The survey assesses firms based on their ongoing investigations work, hours billed, jurisdictions worked in and partners' experience. Over the two-year span covered by the survey, the firm billed more than 190,000 hours in cross-border internal investigations; those hours were spread across about 100 partners, as well as counsel and associates.
The firm conducts investigations and defends clients across a wide variety of criminal, civil and regulatory regimes and disciplines throughout the world. In the past year alone, we have represented clients and conducted internal inquiries concerning, among many other areas, accounting, cartels, corporate compliance, corrupt payments and the FCPA, cyber breaches, employment practices, financial disclosures, money laundering, and securities trading. Our work has ranged from representing clients in federal and state executive branch and congressional investigations to handling high-profile media-intensive matters to conducting discreet nonpublic inquiries at the request of boards and board committees.
WilmerHale's investigations firepower in the Washington DC office grew markedly in the fall of 2016 with the arrival of Alejandro Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary (second in command) of the US Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas also brings an unmatched level of understanding of the West Coast from his time spent as US Attorney for the Central District of California.
That investigations capacity only grew stronger in DC in 2017 when David Cohen, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, rejoined the firm. Cohen is intimately familiar with both the issues faced by financial institutions and the full range of national security matters applicable to the sector from around the world.
Also in the past year, former US Attorney for Colorado John Walsh joined the firm with his decades of federal government and private practice experience. He's currently leading WilmerHale's investigations, criminal litigation and complex civil litigation practice in the Denver office. The firm also landed Brian Boynton, former counselor to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Michael Connor, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior.