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Weil’s White Collar Co-Head Garcia Jumps to Rival Latham (1)

Sept. 30, 2022, 1:03 PMUpdated: Sept. 30, 2022, 2:01 PM

Latham & Watkins is adding the co-head of the Weil Gotshal & Manges white collar, regulatory and investigations practice in New York.

Former federal prosecutor Christopher Garcia is joining Latham, along with Weil colleague and counsel Raquel Kellert. The pair join as partners in the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice.

Garcia defends companies and individuals in connection with regulatory and criminal investigations, conducting internal investigations, and litigating securities class actions in state and federal courts.

“We are committed to building the preeminent white collar defense practice,” said Marc Jaffe, managing partner of the Latham’s New York office, in a statement. “Chris brings unique skills and knowledge that enhance our unparalleled team, and our ability to handle the most complex, highest-stakes investigations, trials, and enforcement matters.”

He began his career at Davis Polk & Wardwell before becoming a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York in 2004. As chief of the securities and commodities fraud task force, he led a team of 35 prosecutors, law enforcement agents and staff. Garcia prosecuted hundreds of cases, many of which were related to the 2008 financial crisis.

Garcia joined Weil in 2012 where he’s represented the likes of Morgan Stanley, General Electric, Barclays, Aeropostale, AIG, DIRECTV and Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Garcia’s move to Latham was brokered by Sabina Lippman, partner and co-founder of global legal recruitment firm Lippman Jungers Bala.

Kellert defends corporations and individuals, and works with companies and boards on criminal, civil, and regulatory enforcement matters.

Garcia and Kellert are the latest additions to Latham’s white collar bench. Earlier this year, the firm added former federal prosecutor and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison partner Christopher Frey to its white collar defense and investigations practice.

Former Latham partner and second-in-command at the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Nicolas McQuaid, who announced his departure from DOJ earlier this month, is expected to return to the firm, but a final decision on his destination has not yet been made, according to a report by Bloomberg Law.

Weil earlier this month added Mayer Brown’s Daniel Stein as co-head of its global white-collar defense, regulatory and investigations practice in New York. Stein joined Mayer Brown in 2016 as co-leader of its white collar defense and compliance group after serving as the chief of the criminal division in the Southern District of New York.

(Updated to include statement from Weil spokesperson in paragraph 3; Updated with information on Kellert's addition and comment from Latham throughout)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com