WilmerHale hires ex-financial watchdog for London white-collar practice

Signage is seen outside of the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr said Wednesday that it has hired a former UK financial regulator as a partner in London, extending a string of hires by law firms adding regulatory enforcement experience on both sides of the Atlantic.

Richard Burger joins Wilmer’s white-collar defense practice from UK-based global law firm DWF, where he co-led the corporate investigations team, according to DWF’s website.

Burger is a former regulatory enforcement lawyer and prosecutor with the Financial Services Authority, the predecessor to the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He now represents clients in investigations by the FCA, U.S. Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office, Wilmer said in a statement.

The move comes as companies and individuals face increased regulatory scrutiny and enforcement activity, WilmerHale’s UK white-collar defense and investigations practice head Stephen Pollard said in a statement.

The U.S. Justice Department has seized more than $1.2 billion connected to fraud schemes since the start of the pandemic and charged more than 1,500 people, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in October.

Latham & Watkins, DLA Piper, Winston & Strawn, Shearman & Sterling, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Squire Patton Boggs all added attorneys with regulatory and enforcement experience to their ranks this week.

Law firms expect growth in regulatory, investigations and compliance work in 2023, Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group and Hildebrandt Consulting said in their latest annual client advisory released Wednesday.

Washington, D.C.-founded WilmerHale added former U.S. attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara and two high-ranking officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission earlier this year.

A spokesperson for DWF did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Burger’s departure.

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