Forward to a Friend  | May 23, 2007

Bisnow on Business Legal

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Quick Questions for Ray Banoun, Managing Partner, Cadwalder Wickersham & Taft

How many attorneys in DC and firm-wide? 
Approximately 80 in DC and 650 firmwide.


And the growth rate?
In Washington, DC, we’ve added about 20 attorneys in the last 18 months. We’ll be adding nine first year associates in the fall, and we’re looking for a number of laterals.


Don't worry, Managing Partner Ray Banoun dresses better for the office. Here he is in his kitchen recently showing admirable cooperation with our photographic needs.


Such as?
About six in existing practices, including litigation, financial restructuring, tax, and capital markets. And up to five or six in antitrust. Rick Rule joined us last month from Fried Frank with six attorneys. We don't go out and seek laterals on a regular basis, but just where we see opportunities to build strength.


What attracted Rick?
He was interested in us because we have a very high level litigation and federal advisory practice  for financial institutions and corporations. Our attorneys have held major posts at DoJ and the SEC. We have some very substantial names.


Why did you seek him?
We’ve always had a top antitrust practice and want to maintain and bolster that capability and reputation.


What kind of strategic plan have you followed?
Ten years ago we determined that our course for the DC office was to mirror our core practices in our other offices. The plan was to emphasize litigation, especially government regulatory work and high stakes complex litigation, enforcement and advisory work that’s critical to financial and corporate clients. We are very pleased with the success of our strategy. The business fraud practice, which includes securities regulatory enforcement that I head, is now the largest group in the office.


How big?
37 lawyers, including six partners — approximately half the office


In securities regulation we’ve brought into DC Bruce Hiler from O’Melveny where he was head of that practice, and in New York Steve Lofchie from Davis Polk. Jim Robinson was the Assistant AG for the Criminal Division at Justice, Michael Horowitz was a Deputy Assistant AG and is now a presidential appointee to the US Sentencing Commission, Peter Clark was in charge of DOJ’s international corruption group, and Dale Turza, who was at Clifford Chance, specializes in export controls and economic sanctions.


How do you find your laterals?
Primarily personal relationships with attorneys we’ve worked with.  Rick came through a headhunter.


Who have you represented?
I can only tell you those that are a matter of public record or resolved.  Among many others, AES Corp., an investment group consisting of JP Morgan Partners, and two UK equity funds on international anticorruption aspects of the acquisition of the upstream oil and gas business of ABB. Also, Vetco International Limited, Aibel Group Limited and other international companies involved in oil and gas exploration, Schnitzer Steel Corp. in Portland, Oregon, Lockheed on anti-corruption matters, General Dynamics, Northrop, Siemens, and Dow among others. We also represent or have represented a number of executives on matters arising from the and webMD securities cases, the CFO of Gary Winnik ‘s company Pacific Capital in the KPMG tax case in the Southern District court in New York, and Ronald Ferguson, the former CEO of Gen Re who was indicted in the AIG case. 


Other kinds of cases?
In addition to the work related to enforcement matters, we also conduct internal investigations and money laundering and international corruption audits, provide compliance and corporate governance advice, and implement compliance programs. Both Jim and I have served as independent monitors for companies, including AOL.


How much work is originated for DC out of New York?
The great majority of the work in DC is generated by the partners in DC.


How does your DC office size compare to other locations? 
We have five offices, of which DC is the oldest. The DC office is about the same size as our Charlotte and London offices. We also have a small office in Beijing.


Why are you in Charlotte?
Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the United States. As the oldest Wall Street firm and leading financial services firm in the US, it was natural. We were among the first to do so.


How long have you been with the firm and from where? 
I joined in ’91 from another firm, and before that had been Chief of the Fraud Division of the US Attorney’s office.


How much time do you spend in management?
Very little. I devote the large majority of my time to my practice. We don’t have that many committees and we have a good administrative group here.


Where’d you grow up?
In Paris. My father came to New York to work for a big accounting firm, and I went to college in New York, then came to DC for law school at GW, clerked for Harold Greene and stayed on here.


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