Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro is entering an alliance with former FBI director and one-time Pepper Hamilton leader Louis Freeh’s law firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, and his consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, the firms announced Wednesday.
The combination, which will be based in Los Angeles and effective immediately, will provide the firms with a “complete package of consultative, investigative and litigation services” to help address clients’ compliance needs and respond rapidly when crisis erupts, the firms said. The firms touted “one-stop access” to both Glaser and Freeh’s lawyers and investigators, who handle white-collar crime, securities and environmental litigation, and cybersecurity and data protection matters.
“What this alliance does, it allows us to go out to clients together, to present the benefits these clients would have if they engage with both of us simultaneously,” said Glaser Weil partner Fred Heather, who is leading the partnership alongside Freeh Sporkin partner Benjamin Scotti, who has recently rejoined Freeh’s group from Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton.
Los Angeles-based Glaser Weil, which experienced several losses in its IP department last year, now has over 90 attorneys, according to the firm’s website.
Freeh’s law firm, on the other hand, has 12 lawyers across offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Wilmington, Delaware; and Palm Beach, Florida. His consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, has 50 professionals focusing on risk management in the areas of compliance, investigations and due diligence and security.
“It is truly a privilege to work in tandem with this great partnership, where our combined investigative, prosecutorial and white-collar criminal experience will provide our clients with a unique and powerful advantage,” Freeh said a statement Wednesday.
Prior to starting his law and consulting firms in 2007, Freeh served as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Before that, Freeh was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the same district.
This is not the first time Freeh has combined forces with another law firm. In 2012, he has merged his law firm and consulting firm with Pepper Hamilton and quickly moved on to become chairman of the firm. However, that marriage did not last long as Freeh left Pepper Hamilton in January 2016 to reestablish his old law firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan. The split became complete in April of that year, when Pepper Hamilton transferred ownership of Freeh Group International Solutions back to Freeh.
Freeh spoke more about that short-lived union in a phone interview Wednesday.
“We wanted to expand internationally, which we have done now—we are in the process of doing that—it was just easier to do that, separately with a smaller platform,” he said. “A lot of our work is overseas, probably 40 to 50 percent now, we want to grow that and it was much easier to do that on a smaller platform.”
Glaser Weil partner Patty Glaser, who chairs the litigation department, added in a statement: “This alliance represents a tremendous example of how two great teams are even stronger together. We are very excited to work alongside Louie Freeh and the rest of his team.”
Founded in 1988, Glaser Weil has gained notice in part due to Glaser’s headline-grabbing clients. Recent clients have included late-night television host Conan O’Brien, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, and toy creator Reuben Klamer, best known for inventing the popular board game The Game of Life.