Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has landed a top recruit from the U.S. Department of Justice, Sandra Moser, who stepped down Friday as acting chief of the criminal division’s fraud section.
Moser is joining the firm’s leadership as co-head of its global white-collar practice and its crisis law and strategy group. She said she will begin work in Quinn Emanuel’s D.C. office in early February.
William Burck, co-managing partner of the office, said Moser’s “tremendous amount of leadership experience” and “great reputation,” particularly in the white-collar bar, make her a key hire for the firm.
“We wanted her because we think that she is a world-class lawyer,” Burck said.
Burck said Moser would be working with him “hand-in-hand” on any matters that don’t conflict with her previous work at the Justice Department. His own clients include former White House Counsel Don McGahn, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in matters related to Robert’s Mueller special counsel investigation, and he said Moser would be able to offer her assistance there immediately.
A statement from Quinn Emanuel announcing Moser’s move called her a ”protégé and hand-picked successor of Andrew Weissmann, a key member of Mueller’s team handling the Russia probe.”
Moser, who has worked in government since leaving Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia as an associate in 2006, said her departure was not due to looming personnel changes at Main Justice, such as William Barr’s U.S. attorney general nomination. She said she decided with her family in the late fall that she was ready to make a move, and was attracted by the “real fierceness and support of the entrepreneurial spirit” she sees at Quinn Emanuel.
“I talked to one firm and one firm only, which was Quinn,” Moser said. “There’s certainly a tremendous number of terrific firms that have offices in D.C., but Quinn’s got a really unique combination in terms of their stellar and aggressive white-collar defense practice [and] the fact that they take on the big Wall Street banks as well.”
Moser was an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey before joining the DOJ’s fraud section in 2013. She became acting chief in 2017.
She said she anticipates having a broad practice that will build on all aspects of her Justice Department experience, including work involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities and commodities, and corporate crises and investigations, including related to sexual harassment. “I don’t think that’s going away,” Moser said, referring to the #MeToo movement and its impacts.
“As a woman myself, one of my majors in college was women’s studies, and as somebody who’s always been keenly interested in issues that are really swirling around and coming to the forefront in our dialogue both in the legal profession and more broadly in our society right now, I really hope to make [#MeToo-related work] a key part of my practice,” Moser said.
“I think that there are a lot of companies that need someone like me and a firm like Quinn to bring to bear the really broad range of private- and public-sector experience that we have to provide the informed and strategic counsel that they need,” she added.
Quinn Emanuel, which boasted more than $1 billion in gross annual revenues last year, ranking 21 on the 2018 Am Law 100, counts more than 80 lawyers in its Washington office.