The United States Law Week

Kaplan Hecker & Fink Adds Wachtell Litigator, Ex-Prosecutor (1)

Jan. 15, 2020, 10:00 AMUpdated: Jan. 15, 2020, 3:58 PM

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz white-collar litigator and former federal prosecutor Marshall Miller has joined New York-based Kaplan Hecker & Fink as a partner.

Before joining Wachtell in April 2016, Miller spent much of his career with the Justice Department both in New York and Washington.

He served as chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and later as principal deputy assistant attorney general and chief of staff at the DOJ’s criminal division. He stepped down as the division’s No. 2 official in July 2015.

Miller told Bloomberg Law in leaving Wachtell he was looking for a top litigation firm that “combines a cutting edge white-collar practice with a powerful civil litigation practice” plus a real commitment to litigation in the public interest.

The high-powered litigation boutique founded in July 2017 by former Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison partner Roberta Kaplan is also adding another former prosecutor along with Miller.

Michael Ferrara will join the firm as counsel on Jan. 27 from the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He had multiple roles during his tenure there, most recently as co-chief of both the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime and Terrorism and International Narcotics Units.

“It’s very clear that both Mike and Marshall are people who share our values, and who want to practice law the way we practice law, which is not only to have the commitment to the public interest and pursuing justice, but to creating a firm culture that matters,” Kaplan told Bloomberg Law.

DOJ to Boutique Firm

Miller began his career in public service in 1999 as an assistant U.S. attorney for Eastern District of New York. After a stint elsewhere, he returned to the Eastern District in 2006, where he rose to become chief of its criminal division.

In April 2014, Miller left New York to work for the Justice Department in Washington as principal deputy and chief of staff to the criminal division’s leader Leslie Caldwell, who is now a Latham & Watkins partner.

In his role Miller supervised over 600 federal prosecutors nationwide and led some of DOJ’s most high-profile prosecutions including an investigation that resulted in the guilty pleas of several banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, that were accused of foreign currency price manipulations.

Miller stepped down from DOJ in 2015 to join New York University before joining Wachtell less than a year later as of counsel in the firm’s litigation department, where he advised corporations, board members, and senior executives on internal investigations, cybersecurity, data privacy, criminal defense, and other civil litigation.

He will help Kaplan Hecker & Fink build its capacity to handle internal investigations and white-collar work for corporations and individuals. He is also looking forward to getting back in the courtroom.

Miller, who oversaw the launch of the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn’s national security cybercrime
unit, also said he’ll bring that expertise to advising clients on emerging data and cyber issues.

“We have a really nice balance of experience which I think I’d stack up against really any firm, boutique or not, in terms of our white-collar capabilities,” Miller said.

With Miller and Ferrara’s addition, Kaplan Hecker & Fink now boasts a headcount of 28 total associates, counsel and partners, as well as two law clerks. Though the firm doesn’t have a concrete two or five-year plan, Kaplan said she anticipates opening an office in Washington in 2020.

The firm’s managing partner Julie Fink told Bloomberg Law that the boutique continues to look for lawyers “committed to both this place and the profession and to public service.”

“I expect that while we want to remain a boutique and we don’t have a specific size in mind, we’re going to keep finding our kindred spirits out there and adding some great lawyers,” she said.

(Added number of law clerks in paragraph 15.)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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