Louise Delahunty (scroll down for video interview) is one of a growing group of English corporate crime specialists to have joined a US firm in recent years.
She made the move to Sullivan & Cromwell in June 2011 and over the past year has been busy developing an innovative new practice, working closely with the firm’s transactional team to provide advice on the UK Bribery Act that complements advice provided by her US colleagues on the jurisdiction’s Foreign & Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
“Historically FCPA lawyers have been very much involved in transactional due diligence work,” Delahunty explains. “Now that we have the Bribery Act, which is wider than the FCPA, what we’re finding is that international companies are sitting up and taking notice.”
Working alongside her corporate colleagues, Delahunty has a key role in asking questions of potential targets which could have a Bribery Act element.
Developing the new practice has seen her exercising her contentious skills in a new way. “It’s a slightly different skill-set in that you’re very conscious you’re part of a deal team,” she says.
The need for such skills is only likely to grow, and Delahunty expects to be busy in the coming year. She is keeping a close eye on the changes to the FSA as it prepares to split its functions, but in the meantime says she has been advising clients on the authority’s thematic reviews.
Such work will ensure that Delahunty continues to be one of the most high-profile UK lawyers in her field.