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Arent Fox Hires Former U.S. Attorney for EDNY

Oct. 2, 2017, 8:22 PM

By Stephen Joyce, Bloomberg BNA

After more than 20 years as a prosecutor, Robert Capers is getting ready to practice law in the private sector for the first time.

“This is all brand new to me,” said Capers.

“I had to educate myself on the practice of law in private practice and how it works,” he added.

Capers spent six and a half months on a job search after news that he wouldn’t stay on in the new administration. It ended on Oct. 2 when he joined Arent Fox LLP’s New York office.

He will join the firm as co-chair of its 33-lawyer government enforcement and white collar practice, and also join the firm’s business compliance and integrity monitorship unit — a practice that conducts compliance assessments and monitors companies to ensure they’re complying with enforcement agreements.

Capers, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, began his legal career in the New York County District Attorney’s Office before moving to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York in 2000.

Three years later he moved to the Eastern District of New York, ultimately rising to U.S. Attorney in December 2015. He left in March 2017 following the election of President Donald Trump.

Unlike some lawyers exiting public service, Capers entered government service directly after law school so didn’t have work prior experience with, or a link to, a BigLaw firm when leaving the Eastern District.

One thing that helped Arent Fox recruit Capers: his relationship with white-collar lawyer and Arent Fox partner Scott Peeler, who Capers has known since the mid 1990s.

Peeler will be the other co-chair of the firm’s government enforcement and white collar practice.

Capers’s government casework included helping to secure a 21-count felony conviction of former New York State Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. on bribery and extortion charges. He also supervised as U.S. Attorney a $72 million settlement agreed to by JPMorgan Chase & Co. with the bank’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary over claims it won bank deals in part by providing jobs to relatives and friends of Chinese government officials.

As U.S. Attorney he also worked on a Deutsche Bank case alleging the bank misled investors about the the quality of residential mortgage-backed securities, resulting in a $7.2 billion fine imposed on the bank in 2017.

When it came to choosing a private-practice law firm for the first time in his career, Capers said his decision was “very cautious and deliberate.”

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Stephen Joyce at sjoyce@bna.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Casey Sullivan at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com.

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