Willkie launches UK bribery practice with Herbies hire

Willkie Farr has launched a UK anti-bribery practice with the hire of Herbert Smith partner Peter Burrell, the US firm’s first English solicitor recruit in London.

Burrell, the head of Herbert Smith’s investigations and corporate crimes practice, specialises in contentious regulatory work. He also advises on all aspects associated with compliance with the relevant money laundering provisions systems and controls to prevent financial crime.

His hire is a direct response to the expected increase in instructions in the firm’s London office as a result of the introduction of the UK Bribery Act.

Willkie co-chair Tom Cerabino said Burrell’s hire was “one further step” in the development and expansion of the US firm’s European network.

The chair of Willkie’s compliance and enforcement practice Martin Weinstein added: “The UK Bribery Act is expected to have a significant impact on global anti-corruption compliance by multinational companies. Willkie already has one of the preeminent US-based anti-corruption practices. With the addition of Peter in London, we’ll have market-leading expertise on both sides of the Atlantic.”

While at Herbert Smith Burrell advised on a number of notable cases including acting for Severn Trent and Mabey & Johnson in their prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office.

Burrell has also advised on investigations by HM Revenue & Customs and the FSA and has coordinated investigations in jurisdictions outside the UK, including the Far East and China.

Burrell will join Willkie as soon as he is free to do so under his existing arrangements with Herbert Smith.