07:39, April 04 162 0

2018-04-04 07:39:17
Pinsents corporate crime head joins Greenberg to launch new City practice

Pinsent Masons head of corporate crime Barry Vitou has joined US firm Greenberg Traurig to establish the firm’s first white collar practice in London.

Vitou previously spent eight years at Winston & Strawn before joining Pinsents in 2011 to set up the firm’s regulatory, investigations and administrative group.

He will join Greenberg’s 80 lawyers in the firm’s offices in The Shard.

Greenberg Traurig vice chair Paul Maher told The Lawyer: “We’ve got a big white collar team in the US, including [former New York City mayor] Rudy Giuliani and others, and certainly strategically we’ve been keen to build and develop that practice on this side of the Atlantic.

“Barry’s a top-tier player in the market so we’re very confident he’s the right person to spearhead that for us here.”

Vitou’s arrival is the most high-profile move into Greenberg’s London office since the arrival of the six-partner team from King & Wood Mallesons in December 2016.

The firm’s well-known real estate capabilities were boosted during that move as private equity funds partners Steven Cowins and Marc Snell, corporate partners Michael Goldberg and David Fitzgerald, transactions partner Matthew Priday and tax partner Clive Jones all joined the firm.

US firms have been increasingly on the look-out for white-collar lawyers in the City with a series of hires being made in the last two years to focus on work from the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority and Information Commissioner’s Office.

Alongside Greenberg Traurig’s most recent foray in the market, Paul Hastings hired DLA Piper corporate crime partner Simon Airey to spearhead its new practice last April.

Other hires in the space include Latham & Watkins’ hire of Stuart Alford QC, a senior prosecutor at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO and Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) investigations head Aaron Stephens’ exit to King & Spalding.

A spokesperson for Pinsents said: “We can confirm Barry is leaving the firm and wish him all the best.”