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Paul Hastings has added four more lawyers from US rival White & Case to its London white collar group, following the firm’s hire of two investigations partners earlier this year.
Joining Paul Hastings are counsel Rebecca Copcutt, who becomes a partner, and, according to a report in The Lawyer, associates Tom Hickey, Fred Kelly and Adina Ezekiel. The move will see Copcutt reunite with former White & Case investigations partner duo Jonathan Pickworth and Joanna Dimmock, who jumped to Paul Hastings in January.
Copcutt spent six years at White & Case, having previously worked at Mishcon de Reya and Allen & Overy before joining the New York-based firm in 2015. Her practice focuses on cross-border cases involving alleged market misconduct, criminal cartel behaviour, money laundering, bribery and corruption.
“Paul Hastings’ strong upward trajectory and growth story made the firm very attractive to me,” said Copcutt.
“I am excited about the opportunity to reunite with Jonathan and Joanna, as well as to collaborate with my new colleagues in the global investigations and white collar defence practice.”
During her time at White & Case, Copcutt advised a number of clients on criminal and regulatory enforcement action with a cross-Atlantic dimension, including cases led by the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Seth Zachary, chairman of Paul Hastings, said the hires reflect the firm’s desire to keep up with the “increasingly complex investigations and compliance environment” by adding top legal talent to mitigate risks that arise for companies in the pursuit of growth.
“With her expertise in cross-border criminal enforcement actions and investigations, Rebecca is a valuable addition to our market-leading investigations and white collar defence practice,” he added.
It is anticipated that as the Covid-19 pandemic winds down, there will be an uptick in demand for white collar lawyers amid an expected rise in fraud investigations and related litigation.
Last November, the SEC’s enforcement division reported that it had triaged around 16,000 tips, complaints and referrals since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, up by 71% over the same time period last year.
Outside of its white collar outfit, Paul Hastings recently made a hire in its London litigation practice, adding partner Alex Leitch from Covington & Burling in February. The firm also saw the departure of London disputes partner Simon Airey to Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery earlier this month.