King & Spalding Boosts SEC Enforcement, White Collar Practices And Government Investigations Practice; Recruits EU Regulatory Expert

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 13:54

King & Spalding has announced a significant enhancement of its SEC enforcement and white collar criminal practices with the addition of partners Dixie L. Johnson in Washington, DC, and William F. Johnson in New York. The two join King & Spalding from Fried Frank, where they co-headed the SEC enforcement and white collar criminal defense groups.

Christopher A. Wray, leader of King & Spalding’s special matters and government investigations practice, said, “For some time we have sought to dramatically broaden our SEC enforcement capabilities and to expand our white-collar securities practice in the ever-important Southern District of New York. Dixie and Bill are exactly what we’ve been looking for.”

Dixie Johnson is among the most prominent SEC enforcement defense practitioners in the country. She has dedicated her entire 27-year legal career to assisting financial services firms, public companies, professional service firms and individual executives in SEC investigations and related litigation matters. She currently serves as chair of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, and she is consistently recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers, Legal 500 and other rating organizations. Over the course of her career, she has represented clients in some of the SEC’s most sensitive and high-profile investigations.

Bill Johnson is also a nationally recognized SEC enforcement and white-collar defense lawyer, representing clients in both civil and criminal securities fraud investigations. He served a combined 17 years with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including four years as Chief and Deputy Chief of the Southern District’s prestigious Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. He has repeatedly been recognized by Chambers and Legal 500 as a leader in this field, having played pivotal roles as either a prosecutor or defense lawyer in some of the highest-profile securities and white-collar cases in recent decades, including the criminal investigations of Bernard Madoff, Raj Rajaratnam, WorldCom, Refco and Adelphia.

“I have known and admired both Dixie and Bill since my earliest days as an SEC lawyer, when Dixie was an exceptional advocate for her clients and Bill was a valued friend and colleague on the SEC staff,” said King & Spalding partner Russ Ryan, who joined the firm in 2004 after a 10-year career with the SEC. “I am thrilled that these two outstanding lawyers and friends have decided to join King & Spalding, greatly expanding the SEC enforcement capabilities and expertise we can offer to our clients.”

The new partners join a government investigations and special matters practice that includes 36 veterans of posts at the U. S. Department of Justice and the SEC, including four former U.S. attorneys, two former chief assistant U.S. attorneys, and numerous former assistant U.S. attorneys and Justice Department trial lawyers. Wray, the practice leader, previously served as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and partner Gary Grindler rejoined the firm in 2013 from his role as acting U.S. deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder.  

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King & Spalding has announced a further expansion of its special matters and government investigations practice with the addition of Robert K. Hur as a partner in its Washington, DC, office, just one week after SEC enforcement and white-collar criminal defense lawyers Dixie L. Johnson and William F. Johnson’s arrival at the firm. Mr. Hur rejoins King & Spalding from the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland. He was an associate at the firm from 2005 to 2007.   

Christopher A. Wray, leader of King & Spalding’s special matters and government investigations practice said, “Rob has exceptional investigative and trial experience, and his move to the firm brings additional depth to our government investigations, appellate and financial fraud teams. Having worked closely with Rob both at DoJ and in his earlier stint at King & Spalding, I know he is an immensely talented lawyer whose government experience will be valuable to our clients.” 

Hur has investigated and prosecuted a wide range of white-collar criminal cases, including cases related to mortgage fraud, bank fraud, tax offenses, FDA matters, financial institutions fraud, public corruption as well as intellectual property-related matters involving electronic surveillance, computer network intrusions and theft of intellectual property. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, Hur tried a dozen jury trials and received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for superior performance and excellence as a lawyer.

Mr. Hur began his legal career as a law clerk for the late William Rehnquist, chief justice of the United States, and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He received his J.D. degree from Stanford Law School and his undergraduate degree from Harvard College. He also previously served as special assistant and counsel to the assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, at the Department of Justice.

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King & Spalding has recruited Ulf Grundmann, a European Union regulatory law expert, as a partner in the firm’s FDA & Life Sciences practice. Grundmann will reside in the firm’s Frankfurt, Germany, office.  He was a partner at Bird & Bird in Frankfurt and joint head of its international food and beverage group.

“Ulf’s international regulatory expertise adds a further dimension to our capabilities of serving the global regulatory needs of our pharmaceutical, medical device, and food clients around the world,” said Mark S. Brown, leader of King & Spalding’s FDA & Life Sciences practice. “Ulf is a top-quality EU regulatory expert. We are pleased he has joined our firm, and we look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with him to serve our ever-expanding life science and food industry clients’ European regulatory needs.”

Grundmann focuses on European regulatory work in the pharmaceutical, medical device and food industries, and advises European and U.S. companies on related litigation, intellectual property and unfair competition matters. He is a lecturer at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and the Deutsche Anwalts Akademie. He is a contributing author of the 2012 Guide to EU Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law published by Wolters Kluwer.