Former South Florida U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez on Monday joined McDermott Will & Emery, where he will build a white collar and business litigation team in the firm’s Miami and New York offices.
Jimenez, U.S. attorney from 2002 to 2005, joins McDermott from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, where he was a partner since January 2010.
Jimenez said he had no plans to bring other lawyers from his former firm.
“It’s better for me not to talk about it at this time as I just started today,” he said. “I really liked the people in the Miami office, and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Jimenez said he was intrigued by McDermott Will’s platform. The firm has 1,100 lawyers and 18 offices throughout the world.
“I’ve known about the firm for a long time,” he said. “I have some friends in the Chicago and Miami office and was looking for a better platform for me and my practice to grow. I think the firm has an excellent reputation and a great culture.”
Jimenez brings with him a significant client: TD Bank, which recently hired him and his former firm, along with McGuireWoods, to represent the bank in matters involving Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, replacing Greenberg Traurig.
Jeffrey Stone, McDermott Will’s co-chair, said he was interested in Jimenez’s deep trial experience, particularly with health care clients and his potential for helping the firm possibly expand into Latin America. The firm has no offices in the region.
“We have a reputation for being very selective in terms of the laterals we bring into the firm,” Stone said. “We were interested in his reputation for excellence, both as a former U.S. attorney and an assistant U.S. attorney. He has a stellar reputation as a first-chair lawyer, and we have a huge demand for those skills throughout the world.”
In one of his more prominent wins, Jimenez represented Alltel Communications, a subsidiary of Verizon Wireless, in a deceptive trade practices case brought by the Florida attorney general. He obtained final judgment in Alltel’s favor after a three-week trial following a nine-year investigation.
Jimenez also represented CDR Creances in its civil fraud suit against imprisoned developers Mauricio Cohen Assor and his son Leon Cohen Levy. The Third District Court of Appeal in May affirmed a default judgment against the men, who planned Empire World Towers, a pair of skyscrapers in downtown Miami that never got off the ground.
Jimenez also recently represented International Oil Trading Co. in a matter involving federal and state antitrust and RICO allegations brought by a disappointed bidder for a valuable Pentagon contract to supply fuel to U.S. troops in Iraq. Though the Pentagon determined that IOTC was the only qualified bidder, the plaintiff, a multi-national foreign corporation, charged that IOTC and its principals impaired its ability to compete for the Department of Defense contract by allegedly influencing foreign officials.
“They are a very lucky law firm to get him,” said Kendall Coffey, another former U.S. attorney and partner at Burlington Coffey in Miami. “Mark is a superstar and has a huge impact wherever he goes.”
As U.S. attorney, Jimenez led 230 federal prosecutors in one of the largest and busiest districts in the country, stretching from Key West to Fort Pierce. During his tenure, Attorney General John Ashcroft chose him to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a select group of U.S. attorneys who provide guidance to the Justice Department. Jimenez also headed the nation’s largest organized crime drug enforcement task force and chaired anti-terrorism task forces in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.