Celeste Koeleveld Joins Clifford Chance's Litigation Practice as a Partner

Monday, January 8, 2018 - 15:27
Clifford Chance announced that the former General Counsel of the New York State Department of Financial Services ("DFS") and Chief of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of New York ("SDNY"), Celeste Koeleveld, has joined the Firm as a partner in its Americas Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. Her arrival represents yet another high-profile addition by Clifford Chance's growing Litigation team in the US.
In her leadership role at DFS, Koeleveld was deeply involved in the key policy and enforcement initiatives of the department, including the groundbreaking DFS cyber security and transaction monitoring and filtering regulations.
"Celeste brings tremendous insight into the current regulatory and criminal enforcement issues affecting financial institutions and their executives in today's age of heightened penalties and increased personal accountability," said David DiBari, head of the Americas Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. "We are building one of the leading white collar and regulatory practices in the US, and Celeste adds important complementary skills, expertise and experience to an already strong team in the US and globally. We couldn't be more delighted to welcome her as our newest partner."
Prior to DFS, Koeleveld was a member of the New York City Law Department's senior executive team, where she was responsible for overseeing nearly half of the 700-attorney office, including the 100-member Special Federal Litigation Division and 250-member Tort Division.
"Our strategy is to continue building out areas of clear strength for us in this region and provide clients with the highest-quality legal services for critical matters," said Evan Cohen, regional managing partner for Clifford Chance in the Americas. "Our investigations capabilities in the US are world-class; adding someone like Celeste to our team only serves to fortify an already outstanding team of US litigators."
"Celeste is a really exciting addition to our global regulatory investigations and financial crime team, which works closely together to help clients around the world grapple with a fast-changing regulatory environment and ever-increasing scrutiny from multiple government authorities," said Matthew Newick, Clifford Chance's global head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution. "Her insights – derived from years of experience at the heart of important US government institutions – will be of enormous value to our clients."
From 1991 to 2008, Koeleveld served with distinction as an Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney's Office for the SDNY. As Chief of the Criminal Division, she supervised more than 160 Assistant US Attorneys assigned to nine different units – spanning securities and other complex frauds, corruption, terrorism, organized crime and narcotics trafficking – in all aspects of criminal investigations and prosecutions. As Chief Appellate Attorney, she counseled the US Attorney on legal matters, including trial practice and strategy. She also served at the SDNY as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney and as Chief of General Crimes.
"I'm excited to be joining one of the finest law firms in the world," said Koeleveld. "I'm also looking forward to working alongside so many talented and committed lawyers – both in the US and across the Clifford Chance network – and putting my insights and experience to work for such a large and impressive roster of clients."
Koeleveld's arrival further strengthens Clifford Chance's US information security and technology law offerings. She joins Dan Silver, who joined the Firm in 2016 after serving as Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime Section within the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, as well as Washington, DC partner Megan Gordon, who advises Fortune 100 companies on cyber-related issues.
With the addition of Koeleveld, who will be based in the Firm's New York office, Clifford Chance now has 22 partners and experienced counsel across its white collar and regulatory defense and commercial litigation and arbitration practices in the Americas.