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Boies, Schiller & Flexner Hires former prosecutors to launch investigations and white collar practice group

January 12, 2015

Download: Press Release (PDF, 258.34 K)

New York, January 12, 2015 – Boies, Schiller & Flexner has hired Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew L. Schwartz, Peter M. Skinner and John T. Zach from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The group bolsters the firm’s existing white collar and regulatory capabilities and will help launch a new Global Investigations and White Collar Defense practice area. 

Messrs. Schwartz, Skinner, and Zach have led or co-led many of the federal government’s most prominent cases of the past several years, including the prosecutions of SAC Capital Advisors on insider trading charges, JPMorgan Chase for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, numerous individuals associated with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, and Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout in connection with the “London Whale” trades.  

They have worked together as federal prosecutors for nearly a decade on a wide range of national and international cases, including ones involving securities and commodities fraud, Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering violations, export control and sanctions violations, tax offenses, accounting fraud, and health care fraud.  The group also has extensive experience in False Claims Act, FIRREA, and forfeiture matters, including handling what were the two largest forfeitures in U.S. history.  

Between them, they have conducted more than 30 federal trials and argued more than three dozen appeals.  They have also handled innumerable federal investigations, including parallel investigations with regulators such as the SEC, CFTC, OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FinCEN, OFAC, and PCAOB; state Attorneys General and other state regulators such as the New York State Department of Financial Services; and foreign regulators and law enforcement, such as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. 

“Matt, John, and Peter add substantially to our deep and talented bench for handling white collar, investigative, and regulatory matters at the highest levels throughout the world,” said firm Chairman David Boies.  “This will contribute significantly to the firm’s global capacity. They know these issues and have worked closely and extensively with regulators in many countries. The firm’s clients will benefit from their skill, knowledge, and experience.” 

Managing Partner Jonathan Schiller added that the new team will focus on banks and other financial clients facing government investigations and litigation from multiple jurisdictions. 

“Financial institutions are actively assessing their regulatory risks, and there is increased focus and budgeting at the Department of Justice for investigations and prosecutions in the financial services industry,” Mr. Schiller said. “We are adding to the firm’s ability globally to assist clients who want to know the direction regulators are taking in 2015 and how to avoid a range of issues before they become regulatory problems.” 

The new Global Investigations and White Collar Defense practice area unifies and expands the firm’s resources in the areas of internal and government investigations, regulatory guidance, and white collar defense.  Schwartz, Skinner, and Zach join the numerous existing Boies, Schiller & Flexner lawyers who formerly held significant positions in government, including more than a dozen former federal prosecutors, officials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the New York Attorney General’s Office, as well as within the White House and in Congress.   

Mr. Schwartz, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2005, served as a member of the S.D.N.Y.’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  He was lead counsel in all aspects of the government’s investigation of the fraud at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, including the six-month trial of five Madoff associates; recovering nearly $9 billion through what were the two largest forfeitures in history; and overseeing the largest and most ambitious victim remission process in Department of Justice history.  He was lead counsel in the investigation of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money laundering requirements – a matter that resulted in a $1.7 billion payment by the bank, the largest BSA-related penalty ever imposed on a U.S. financial institution.  He also co-led the investigation of the “London Whale” trades, resulting in the prosecution of two senior JPMorgan traders.  Mr. Schwartz also has extensive civil litigation experience, including acting as lead counsel for the United States Treasury and the Presidential Auto Task Force in the historic General Motors bankruptcy. 

Mr. Schwartz is a three-time recipient of the Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award – the Department’s highest award for attorneys – and was named Prosecutor of the Year in 2013 by the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas J. Meskill in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  He also worked as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.  He has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Columbia College. 

“Boies, Schiller & Flexner is the go-to firm for the biggest and most difficult litigation matters.  Increasingly, these cases have government enforcement and regulatory components,” Mr. Schwartz said. “We are thrilled to join a firm that is committed to building the very best investigations and white collar defense practice and to help the firm’s clients navigate the changing regulatory landscape.” 

Mr. Skinner served as a member of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, overseeing international investigations and prosecutions of terrorist financing, money laundering, export controls, and Bank Secrecy Act violations.  He also served as a member of the Violent and Organized Crime Unit and the Civil Division.  He was co-lead counsel in the prosecution of Vikram Datta, during which he oversaw investigations and prosecutions related to the laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars by Mexican cartels through domestic and international businesses and banks. He was also co-lead counsel in the investigation and prosecution of more than 40 doctors, lawyers, and Russian organized crime figures in a $250 million healthcare fraud — the largest such fraud ever charged.   

Mr. Skinner was the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Prosecutor of the Year in 2012.  Prior to joining the government in 2004, he worked as an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and as an associate at Orion Consultants, where he formulated strategic advice for investment banks operating in the fixed income markets.  He has a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. 

“Boies, Schiller and Flexner advises an impressive list of global companies.  With the breadth of our government experience, Matt, John and I are uniquely positioned to address the growing regulatory pressures these companies face, particularly in the financial and technology sectors.  We’re excited to expand the services the firm offers these clients,” said Mr. Skinner.

 Mr. Zach served as a member of the S.D.N.Y.’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  He co-led the investigation and prosecution of insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, which resulted in the historic guilty plea of SAC itself, as well as the collection of a total $1.8 billion in fines.  Along with Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Zach served as co-lead counsel in the trial of the “Madoff five,” which resulted in the conviction of all five defendants on all 31 counts submitted to the jury.  Mr. Zach also co-led the investigation and prosecution of a group of hedge fund traders and analysts as part of an insider trading scheme spanning multiple firms, and obtained the conviction of Jamaican drug lord Christopher Coke for operating a massive international criminal organization. 

Mr. Zach was the recipient of the 2014 John Marshall Award and the 2014 Director’s Award from the Justice Department.  Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2006, he worked as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  He has a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. 

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office was a special place to work because of its exceptionally dedicated lawyers, the significance of its cases, and its institutional commitment to excellence, and we found a similarly inspiring environment at Boies, Schiller & Flexner,” Mr. Zach said. “We have met person after person here who is like us: committed and dogged trial lawyers. We speak the same language.” 

Related Lawyers: Matthew L. Schwartz, Peter M. Skinner, John T. Zach

Related Practices: Global Investigations and White Collar Defense, Internal Investigations, White Collar Defense

Download: Press Release (PDF, 258.34 K)