24 Feb 2020

Former DLA Piper partner and Rolls Royce lawyer set up international investigations boutique

Crawford & Acharya's founders say their diverse backgrounds will offer a different experience for clients

Lawyers set up compliance boutique

Angela Crawford (left) and Lila Acharya (right) promise a different experience for clients

Former DLA Piper partner Angela Crawford and ex-Rolls Royce senior compliance counsel Lila Acharya have launched Crawford & Acharya, a boutique law firm focusing on corporate compliance and investigations.

The duo have more than 35 years of combined legal experience working across private practice and in-house advising clients in a number of industries including life sciences, retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, defence and technology. 

Crawford will be based in Miami while Acharya, who is a British citizen and also qualified in UK law, will divide her time between Boston and London.

Acharya said: “We have significant experience in the corporate compliance advisory space and in conducting cross-border investigations. Our experience in-house and at global elite firms has given us a unique insight into some of the frustrations that our clients have felt with the traditional law firm approach. This has allowed us to re-think the model and offer something innovative as an alternative. We have a real enthusiasm for what we do and are looking forward to delivering our work in true partnership with our clients.”

The partners say their diverse backgrounds and career history—coupled with the firm’s flexible fee structure—can help them offer clients a different legal experience.

Miami-based partner Crawford said: “We are confident that the combination of our considerable corporate compliance and investigations experience, client-centric approach to fee arrangements, and perspectives as women-of-colour attorneys practicing in a global legal and business environment, will enable us to offer distinctive service to our clients.” 

Crawford previously spent 12 years as a partner at DLA Piper, where she was chair of litigation. Before that she was a prosecutor in the general crimes unit of the US Attorney’s Office and a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis. She began her career as a judicial clerk in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Before co-founding the firm, Acharya was a senior compliance operations counsel at Rolls Royce in the UK following stints at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Pfizer. She started her legal career as a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray, and also spent four years as an assistant district attorney before moving to London for a second spell with Ropes & Gray.

Recent weeks, have seen two similar moves in Paris and Singapore in the related field of disputes.

In Paris, two fromer Jones Day disputes specialists have set up Cartier Meyniel while in Singapore the former managing partner of Clifford Chance’s Singapore ally, Cavenagh Law, has estalished Audent Chambers.