Michael B. Mukasey to Join Debevoise & Plimpton
February 17, 2009
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP today announced that Michael B. Mukasey, who has served as Attorney General of the United States and Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, will join the firm’s Litigation Department in New York as a partner, effective later this month.
Judge Mukasey has had a distinguished career in public service and private practice. He served on the bench of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for 18 years, six as Chief Judge. Judge Mukasey then served as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, overseeing the United States Department of Justice.
At Debevoise, Judge Mukasey will join Mary Jo White, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department, and Lord Goldsmith QC, who served for six years as the United Kingdom’s Attorney General and is the firm’s European Chair of Litigation. Judge Mukasey will focus his practice primarily on internal corporate and other investigations, independent board reviews, corporate governance, monitorships and other similar representations.
Martin Frederic Evans, Presiding Partner of Debevoise, said: “Judge Mukasey’s reputation for independence, fairness and integrity has been a hallmark of his career in both the public and private sectors. It is with great pleasure that we welcome such an outstanding and accomplished individual to our firm. We look forward to working with Judge Mukasey to provide the highest quality of legal services to our clients.”
Mary Jo White said: “We are very excited that Judge Mukasey is joining Debevoise. He is a spectacular lawyer and one of the country’s finest public servants. His tenures on the bench, at the Justice Department and in private practice have all been characterized by his intelligence, dedication to principle and tireless energy. It is an honor to welcome him to the firm.”
Lord Goldsmith said: “I welcome Judge Mukasey warmly to Debevoise and look forward to working with him. Our shared experience in government service on both sides of the Atlantic will provide even greater strength to the Debevoise litigation and white collar practice.”
Judge Mukasey said: “I am pleased to be joining one of the world’s leading international law firms and look forward to working with the very talented lawyers at Debevoise. The firm’s highly regarded litigation and investigations practice will provide an excellent platform for challenging and exciting work.”
Debevoise has one of the strongest and most diverse litigation practices in the country. In addition to Mary Jo White and Lord Goldsmith, the firm’s litigation practice includes 11 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, one of whom is also a former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Enforcement, a former Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition and a former Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.
Judge Mukasey was appointed Attorney General in November 2007, serving until January of this year. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he advised on critical issues of domestic and international law and was widely praised for enhancing the Justice Department’s stature, professionalism and independence.
From 1988 – 2006, Judge Mukasey served as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, one of the busiest and largest of the United States District Courts, ultimately becoming Chief Judge in 2000. Among the significant cases over which he presided were the terrorism trial of Omar Abdel Rahman – the “Blind Sheik” – and nine other defendants; SR Int’l Bus. Ins. Co. v. World Trade Ctr. Props., LLC, addressing whether the two-plane attack on the World Trade Center constituted one or two “occurrences” for insurance purposes; Antidote Int’l Films v. Motion Picture Assoc. Of Am., addressing antitrust issues arising from the MPAA’s ban on the distribution of new movies to critics and awards groups; Padilla v. Rumsfeld, addressing the detention of a citizen suspected of engaging in terrorism against the United States; and United States v. Lindauer, rejecting the government’s request to compel a defendant to take psychotropic drugs to render her competent to stand trial. From 1972 – 1976, Judge Mukasey was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, serving as Chief of the Official Corruption Unit from 1975 – 1976.
In private practice, Judge Mukasey was an associate and then a partner with the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (1976 – 1987, 2006 – 2007). Judge Mukasey is a graduate of Yale Law School (1967) and Columbia College (1963). Among the many honors he has received is the Federal Bar Council’s Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence.
Debevoise’s Litigation Department is known for its top tier practice in regulatory and enforcement matters, white collar crime, internal investigations, and securities and other commercial litigation, including litigation and investigations arising from accounting irregularities. The firm’s lawyers regularly represent boards of directors, board committees and corporations in conducting and responding to the results of internal investigations of alleged corporate wrongdoing on a wide range of issues. The Litigation Department includes 46 partners, 21 counsel and over 215 associates based in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris and Frankfurt.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading international law firm, representing a wide range of clients around the world. Founded in 1931, the firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm has approximately 750 lawyers.