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Flush from winning a conviction against former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Anders said he’s not planning on switching sides to high-paying white-collar defense work—at least not yet. But Anders, with last week’s guilty verdict against Ebbers for accounting fraud, in addition to his work in the government’s win against former Credit Suisse First Boston investment banker Frank Quattrone last year, most likely could take his pick among the bounty of firms with corporate governance and white-collar practices. Anders, a 1994 graduate of Fordham University School of Law, has worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for more than six years, a healthy stint for most federal prosecutors, Anders said, adding that moving is possible: “I’m thinking about it, but not right now.” As a white-collar defender, Anders would join legions of federal prosecutors who opt for corporate defense work after a few years with U.S. attorney’s offices. Indeed, the lead counsel working with Anders in the Quattrone case, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Peiken, is now of counsel with Sullivan & Cromwell. Quattrone was convicted of obstruction of justice and witness tampering. In addition, Anders’ former boss, Mary Jo White, who served as the U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, now is a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. And the attorney representing Ebbers, Reid Weingarten, also is a former federal prosecutor. He is now a partner with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington. The amount of experience Anders has as an assistant U.S. attorney puts him in “the sweet spot” for making a transition to private practice, said former federal prosecutor Jonathan Polkes, a corporate governance attorney at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Anders has worked as a prosecutor long enough to get the A-list cases, Polkes said, but he hasn’t stayed too long. Prosecutors become less attractive to law firms if they remain at their government jobs beyond a few years, an indication that they won’t fit in with the “Darwinian environment” of law firms, he said. For now, he is catching up on e-mail and fielding phone calls. He views his win against Ebbers, convicted of orchestrating an $11 billion accounting fraud, “without much revelry,” he said.

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