White-collar crime specialist Jo Rickards (scroll down for video interview) joined DLA Piper nearly three years ago from boutique Peters & Peters, and her reputation in the field led former News of the World editor Andy Coulson to instruct her on a number of matters relating to the phone-hacking scandal.
The major battle over the past year has been over payment of Coulson’s legal costs. In November last year the Court of Appeal ruled that the defunct newspaper’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, was contractually obliged to pay Coulson’s costs in the defence of criminal as well as civil proceedings.
Rickards will continue to represent Coulson on the parallel investigations into phone hacking and payments to police. A trial into the phone hacking claims will take place later this year.
Other matters on Rickards’ plate over the past year have included representing parties involved in the Libor scandal and the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into chemicals company Innospec.
She expects investigations into individuals will continue to be a feature of the white-collar crime sphere and that more firms will be fighting for the work available, with global firms and boutiques both playing in this market.
“There’s more of an overlap,” Rickards observes. “Everyone’s chasing the same work - there’s only a certain amount of investigations.”
She believes global firms have an edge in the increasingly cross-border white-collar crime world.
“It’s very rare that you end up on a case that only involves the English boundaries,” she notes.