Pro Bono Rank Firm
(Am Law 200 Rank)
Am Law
Pro Bono Score
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With More Than 20 Hours
Wilmer (21)


In December 2007, a few weeks after Washington, D.C., was rocked by the arrest of a city tax official accused of embezzling more than $48 million over a 20-year period, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner William McLucas got a call from Washington, D.C., council member Jack Evans, a longtime friend. “[The district] wanted to figure out what happened and how to prevent it from Am Law Pro Bono 100happening again,” says McLucas. That call led to an independent investigation into the city’s Office of Tax and Revenue, which Wilmer took on a pro bono basis, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The year-long effort included 15 Wilmer lawyers and more than 70 interviews, including one with Harriet Walters, the tax official at the center of the scandal. The investigation’s 122-page report, released in December 2008, cited among other things “a failure of controls, a dysfunctional work environment, and a lack of oversight.” At the time the report was released, Walters and ten accomplices, not employed by the city, had pleaded guilty to the scheme, which was based on fraudulent tax refund checks. The report’s recommendations include the creation of a chief risk officer position.

—Drew Combs | July 1, 2009

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