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Paul Weiss Launches Specialized Investigations Practice
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Paul Weiss has officially established an investigations practice, responding to the growing demand for specialized expertise in navigating regulatory scrutiny. According to Jeannie Rhee, a former federal prosecutor and one of the three co-leaders of the practice, clients now face overlapping investigations from multiple federal, state, and international agencies, as well as from government bodies and Congress.

Addressing Overlapping Scrutiny

Rhee emphasized that clients seek holistic solutions and trusted counsel to guide them through complex, multifaceted issues. The firm’s new practice is designed to meet this demand by bringing together expertise from various legal disciplines.

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Emergence of Specialized Practices in Law Firms

Law firms are increasingly creating specialized practices to better address emerging issues, highlight their expertise, and connect lawyers with diverse skill sets. Earlier this year, Cooley launched a congressional investigations practice in Washington by bringing in former federal prosecutor Susanne Grooms.

Paul Weiss’ Legacy in Major Investigations

Paul Weiss Wharton Rifkind & Garrison is renowned for handling significant investigations, including the New England Patriots’ “Deflategate” incident, allegations of discrimination at BlackRock, and a review of Credit Suisse’s relationship with hedge fund Archegos Capital Management, whose founder Bill Hwang is facing criminal charges.

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Leadership and Expertise

The new investigations practice at Paul Weiss is co-led by Jeannie Rhee, Harris Fischman, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan US Attorney’s office, and John Carlin, who held a top role in the Justice Department under Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. The team also includes notable figures such as former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, firm chairman Brad Karp, and litigator Ted Wells Jr.

Extensive Government Experience

The practice boasts a team with over 80 former government roles, including positions within the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Treasury Department, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the New York Attorney General’s office.



Evolving Nature of Government Investigations

Harris Fischman noted that there has been a significant evolution in government investigations, with changes in the focus, methods of evidence collection, and types of cases being pursued. This evolution requires a broad and adaptable approach from law firms.

Cross-Agency Collaboration

One example of this evolution is the collaboration between the Justice and Commerce departments, the FBI, and Homeland Security to form a task force aimed at protecting advanced technologies from foreign adversaries. Since its launch in early 2023, the Disruptive Technology Strike Force has adopted an “all-tools” approach, resulting in more than a dozen cases by February.

Increased Government Communication

John Carlin highlighted the increase in government communication around complex problems, which challenges the previous model of hyper-specialization. This collaborative approach by the government necessitates a comprehensive and coordinated response from law firms.

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