Katherine Goldstein
Katherine Goldstein ()

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy on Thursday became the latest law firm to snag a departing federal prosecutor in New York, hiring Katherine Goldstein, who is stepping down next month as head of the securities fraud unit in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The hire ends her 12-year tenure prosecuting financial and other crimes in Manhattan, where she has reported for the past seven years to Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

She plans to step down in January and to start at Milbank early next year.

Goldstein, 42, has been chief of the securities and commodities fraud task force since 2015, after becoming a deputy chief in 2014. Before that, she spent two years as co-chief of the office’s general crimes unit. She has been at the U.S. attorney’s office since 2004, following a stint as an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Milbank chairman Scott Edelman said Thursday that Goldstein would boost the firm’s already-busy white-collar defense and investigations practice.

“It’s been a huge source of growth,” he said of the practice. “It’s work that gets us into the C-suite and the boardroom.”

At Milbank, Edelman said, Goldstein will join Antonia Apps, a litigation partner who joined from the SDNY’s criminal division in 2014. He said he was excited that the firm can boast “two of the strongest women in the white-collar bar.”

In the securities and commodities fraud unit, Goldstein oversaw a team of about 20 senior federal prosecutors as they investigated and prosecuted charges of insider trading, accounting and disclosure fraud, market manipulation and other misconduct.

The unit handled several high-profile cases under her leadership, including insider-trading charges announced in May against professional sports gambler Billy Walters. Walters, whose case is pending, is accused of passing stock tips from former board chairman of Dean Foods Co. Thomas Davis to professional golfer Phil Mickelson.

Goldstein said Thursday she feels she is leaving the unit in good shape to continue its work. “It felt like the right time for the next generation of leaders to take over.”

In addition to Apps, the roster of former Southern District prosecutors now at Milbank includes George Canellos and special counsel Adam Fee.

Goldstein said those connections helped draw her to the firm, although she also touted its overall reputation. “Milbank was attractive to me because of the excellence of their white-collar and regulatory practice,” she said.

Goldstein is the latest in a string of U.S. Department of Justice departures in Manhattan over the past several months, even as Bharara announced last month that he would stay on under the incoming Donald Trump administration.

Those leaving include terrorism and international narcotics unit chief Brendan McGuire, who joined Wilmer; civil division chief Sara Shudofsky, who left for Arnold & Porter; public corruption unit chief Arlo Devlin-Brown, who joined Covington & Burling; complex frauds and cybercrime unit chief Nicole Friedlander, who joined Sullivan & Cromwell; and narcotics unit chief Jessica Ortiz, who joined the litigation boutique MoloLamken.