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Perkins Coie Raids Richards Kibbe & Orbe 17-Lawyer Group (1)

Dec. 16, 2020, 1:00 PM; Updated: Dec. 16, 2020, 2:04 PM

Perkins Coie is picking up 17 white collar and securities litigation lawyers from Richards Kibbe & Orbe in New York and Washington, the firm’s largest practice expansion in recent years.

The new additions, which account for nearly one-third of Richards Kibbe’s roster, will give Perkins Coie nearly 100 lawyers in its white collar and investigations and securities litigation practices. The moves come ahead of an anticipated increase in federal enforcement activity by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the incoming Biden administration.

Richards Kibbe founding partner Lee Richards and David Massey, the co-chair of the firm’s litigation department, lead the group joining Perkins Coie’s New York office. The former Manhattan federal prosecutors are joined by veteran partners Shari Brandt, Paul Devlin, Rowan Gaither, Arthur Greenspan, Margaret Meyers, Matthew Riccardi, James Walker, and Daniel Zinman.

Partners David Daniels and Jamie Schafer will be joining Perkins Coie’s Washington office, along with counsels Rachel Mechanic and Andrew Podolin and three associates.

Richards co-founded the firm in 1990, after spending roughly six years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Richards Kibbe later grew to nearly 50 lawyers in New York, Washington, and London. Earlier this year, Barnes & Thornburg poached a five-lawyer team from Richards Kibbe to open its office in New York.

The firm announced Wednesday that it’s changing its name to Kibbe & Orbe.

Richards in 2014 represented the former head of JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office Ina Drew before Congress and in multiple investigations surrounding “London Whale” trading losses of $6 billion, for which Drew faced no charges by the government. Richards also reached settlements with U.K. and U.S. regulators for ICAP over LIBOR manipulation investigations.

The group has decades of experience representing institutional and individual clients in significant government investigations and enforcement actions, including financial fraud, antitrust, securities and commodities violations, said Perkins Coie managing partner Bill Malley.

“That depth is something that we believe is one of the great strengths they’ll be bringing to our platform,” said Malley, who took the helm of the firm in 2019.

The group’s significant experience and background in the Southern District of New York could play a key role in the anticipated white collar and investigations and securities litigation brought about by the market volatility triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The breadth of the group’s experience will strengthen the bench of the talented litigators in the New York office and reflects our confidence in an expected rebound of white collar and regulatory enforcement investigations and related litigation in the New York and national markets,” said Keith Miller, Perkins Coie’s New York office managing partner, in a statement.

The financial sector is also rapidly evolving, thanks to the rise of fintech, which has spurred the firm to strengthen its white collar investigations and securities litigation team in New York to serve a broader range of needs from clients, Malley said.

“This group of truly excellent lawyers with decades of experience and expertise and knowledge in the financial sector is really the perfect fit,” Malley said.

(Adds information on Kibbe & Orbe name change.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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