Helen Cantwell Named The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” for Securing Two Major Settlements in One Week

22 January 2021
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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP partner Helen Cantwell has been named “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer. Litigators of the Week are “recognized for their achievements in the nation's most complex high-profile cases” and “are impacting the biggest breakthrough decisions in America's courtrooms.” In selecting Ms. Cantwell, the publication recognized her recent work for Capital One and Toyota.

Ms. Cantwell concluded a long-running matter for Capital One last week, settling with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for a payment of $290 million for errors the bank made in scrutinizing its now-defunct portfolio of check cashers. The settlement was the culmination of over seven years of work. Both the U.S. Department of Justice and New York District Attorney’s office conducted criminal investigations beginning around 2013, which concluded without charges being brought after years of extensive cooperation and presentations pushing back against their theories of the case. The Office of the Comptroller of Currency settled with the bank for $100 million in 2018.

Toyota turned to Ms. Cantwell when, during a monitorship imposed under its 2014 Deferred Prosecution Agreement, it discovered that it had made some late regulatory filings to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She disclosed those filings to SDNY in 2015, and thereafter conducted an investigation and led Toyota’s cooperation efforts with SDNY and the EPA, all concluding with a settlement for $180 million announced last week.

“We are delighted that The American Lawyer has recognized the truly outstanding results Helen achieved in these two long-running matters for our clients,” said Mary Beth Hogan, Co-Chair of Debevoise's Litigation Department. “She is a brilliant strategist who brings her considerable intellect, practical sense, superb judgment and impressive people skills to our clients’ most consequential matters. She is at once a force to be reckoned with and a trusted and wise advisor.”

Ms. Cantwell is a member of Debevoise’s award-winning White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group which is ranked as one of the world’s top practices by Global Investigations Review and as Band 1 by Chambers on both sides of the Atlantic for its complex representations of clients facing litigation and public policy crises. The Group has been involved in some of the most significant investigations and resolutions over the past few years, and offers international and domestic clients a depth of experience and global reach that allows for effective and strategic counsel, from defending against criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions, to conducting internal investigations, negotiating complex global settlements and facilitating cooperation with government regulators.