Top Litigators, Chief Of Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force Join Weil

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 12:45

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has announced that Diane P. Sullivan and Kathleen O'’Connor have joined the firm as partners in the Litigation Department. Ms. Sullivan is widely recognized as a top trial lawyer with a remarkable track record. Together with Ms. O'Connor, they bring exceptional additional expertise to Weil'’s Litigation platform.  

Ms. Sullivan specializes in litigating complex commercial disputes in business law, class actions, consumer fraud, product liability, mass torts, and life sciences. She is a renowned trial lawyer and has been recognized by her peers, clients and the industry for her successful track record and significant litigation wins. Ms. Sullivan has served as the lead trial counsel securing several significant defense verdicts for companies such as Merck (Vioxx), Philip Morris USA Inc. and AstraZeneca.

In her more than 20 years of practice, Ms. O'Connor has litigated a wide range of matters, including in the areas of complex commercial disputes, consumer fraud, mass torts and product liability. She has also advised clients involved in government and internal investigations and counseled clients involved in crisis situations. Ms. O'Connor has been honored for her product liability, mass tort and life sciences defense work. In addition to her years in private practice, she also served as an in-house lawyer to Merck. Ms. Sullivan and Ms. O’Connor join Weil from Dechert LLP.

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Christopher L. Garcia, chief of the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO), will join Weil as Litigation partner and member of the Securities Litigation and White Collar Defense & Investigations practices. Mr. Garcia will be based in New York.

As chief of the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Garcia led a unit of prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and staff in all aspects of securities fraud investigations, trials, appeals and other litigations. During his tenure, Mr. Garcia supervised the investigation and prosecution of more than 300 cases, including matters arising out of the 2008 financial crisis and in areas of corporate fraud (Refco, Doral Financial, Duane Reade, Vitesse), insider trading (cases relating to Galleon Group, expert networks, and hedge fund insider trading), and fraudulent investment schemes (criminal and civil forfeiture actions relating to the Bernard Madoff fraud). He personally brought nine cases to trial and successfully litigated numerous appeals. He has received numerous awards, including the DOJ’s Director's Award for Superior Performance.

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Heath Tarbert has been named a partner in the Corporate Department in the Washington, DC office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He is also head of Weil's Financial Regulatory Reform Working Group. A dual-qualified U.S.-UK lawyer, Mr. Tarbert is recognized for his transactional and regulatory expertise involving U.S. and foreign banks, thrifts, credit unions, non-bank financial institutions and holding companies. He also practices in the area of derivatives and complex financial products.

Mr. Tarbert joined Weil after serving as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, where he was a lead expert and negotiator on the various legislative proposals that culminated in the sweeping Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Tarbert served as associate counsel to the President of the United States. During his tenure at the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Tarbert was responsible for legal issues relating to the financial markets and was designated counsel to the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers. Before his White House service, Mr. Tarbert served as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also practiced law as an attorney-adviser in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and as an associate at a New York-based law firm.