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(Adds comment from Brodsky's former colleague Jonathan Streeter)
By Casey Sullivan
NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Reed Brodsky, the former prosecutor who led the insider trading prosecution of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta, is leaving the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office to join law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as a partner in New York, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the move.
Brodsky, who is expected to specialize in white collar defense and general litigation at the Los Angeles law firm, also helped convict the hedge fund titan Raj Rajaratnam on insider trading charges in 2011.
It was unclear when Brodsky will join the firm, but Gibson Dunn is expected to announce the move on Thursday, one source said. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office declined comment on Wednesday.
Brodsky joins a growing list of government lawyers who have left public service for private practice. In January last year, Jonathan Streeter, the former deputy chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney's office and prosecutor who tried Rajaratnam with Brodsky, left to join the Dechert law firm. Two months later, Andrew Michaelson, a prosecutor who also tried Rajaratnam with Brodsky, left the Securities and Exchange Commission to join Boies Schiller & Flexner.
Streeter, who has a white collar and securities litigation practice at Dechert in New York and remains close friends with Brodsky, said that Brodsky earned himself the nickname on the Rajaratnam prosecution team as "The Bulldog" because of his tenacity.
"He was the kind of guy who would bite on to something and wouldn't let go," Streeter said. "He's relentless."
Streeter gave Brodsky credit for a key moment in the 2011 Rajaratnam trial when Brodsky revealed that eight weeks before the start of the trial the Rajaratnam family invested millions of dollars in a hedge fund owned by Richard Schutte, a key witness testifying on Rajaratnam's behalf.
The evidence, which Brodsky revealed through subpoenaed documents and cross-examination of Schutte, undercut Schutte's testimony, Streeter said.
Richard Holwell, the presiding judge in the case who is now retired from the bench and returned to private practice in his own law firm, told Reuters last year that the evidence "was a surprising development and Reed did a very good job of pulling that out."
Ken Doran, the chair of Gibson Dunn, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Neither did Randy Mastro or Mark Kirsch, co-chairs of the firm's litigation department.
Brodsky joins a list of well-known litigators at Gibson Dunn that include Theodore Olson, the former United States Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, and Orin Snyder, a trial lawyer who represented Facebook in the Paul Ceglia case.
Gibson Dunn employs 1,100 lawyers in 17 offices worldwide and specializes in practices including mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and intellectual property.
Brodsky is not expected to have an official leadership title in his new role on the team, according to one source. (Reporting By Casey Sullivan; Editing by Richard Pullin)