Michael Levy has been involved in numerous headline-grabbing investigations over his career.

Michael Levy, a Washington, D.C.-based defense attorney who’s had a hand in numerous prominent white-collar matters over the past 20 years, is moving from Paul Hastings to Mayer Brown, where he will be a partner.

Levy will be part of the firm’s white-collar defense and compliance, congressional investigations and crisis management, and regulatory and investigations practices.

“For me it was Mayer Brown’s commitment to growth in the global enforcement space,” that made the firm appealing, Levy said in an interview. He also noted the firm’s “strong interdisciplinary approach to serving clients.”

“Michael is well-respected in the D.C. community and widely known as a first rate trial lawyer,” Raj De, managing partner of Mayer Brown’s D.C. office, said in a statement.

According to his new firm, Levy worked on the Enron case as well as the financial mishaps of Fannie Mae, the downfall of MF Global and the NFL’s “Spygate” scandal involving the New England Patriots. He has also represented clients who were involved in investigations into the murders of four Americans in Benghazi and the use of a non-governmental private email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Levy would not speculate which of his clients would be making the move with him, saying only that “I anticipate serving both my clients and the firm’s clients in the coming weeks.”

In a statement, Levy mentioned how the complicated enforcement mechanisms in place now make his practice all the more prominent.

“In this increasing complex enforcement environment, any company can find itself accused of wrongdoing at any time,” Levy said in a firm release. “Mayer Brown’s robust global platform allows the firm to respond effectively to investigations by prosecutors and regulators throughout the world and across industries.”

Levy said his priority over the next several months is to identify synergies between his practice and those of his colleagues to see how they can work together.

“The best possible way to serve our clients is having our lawyers working together to solve problems,” Levy said.

Mayer Brown as a firm has made it a priority to increase its depth in its white-collar and regulatory practices in D.C. and New York over the past several years.

Richard Spehr, head of Mayer Brown’s global litigation and dispute resolution practice, said that growing in those two areas is the “number one strategy” of the firm right now.

The firm added the former chief of the criminal division of the Southern District of New York, Daniel Stein, back in 2016. Another Southern District prosecutor, Glen Kopp, joined in January of 2018.

Audrey Harris rejoined Mayer Brown as the co-chair of the firm’s anti-corruption practice in October 2018 and the firm brought on veteran litigators Jason Linder and Glenn Vanzura to its LA office in late 2019.

Spehr said the firm plans to continue to grow the practice area by actively looking for talent from the Southern District of New York as well as the Eastern District of New York.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Levy was a partner at Bingham McCutchen, an assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. and an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Asked about Levy’s departure, a Paul Hastings spokesperson said, “We wish him the best in the future.”


Reprinted with permission from the February 4, 2020 edition of The American Lawyer © 2020 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.