Best Law Firms Names Venable "Law Firm of the Year" in Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation

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Group also named to the first tier in Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC

Washington, DC (November 1, 2012) – Best Law Firms, a joint publication of U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in America, has named Venable the 2013 “Law Firm of the Year” in Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation.  Additionally, Best Law Firms named Venable a “First Tier” firm for Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation in Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

The Law Firm of the Year award recognizes only one law firm in each of the 80 practice areas ranked nationally by Best Law Firms. Venable received this award based on a combination of factors including high performance on client surveys, feedback from attorneys in other firms in the same practice area, and information provided in a firm survey.

“We are very honored that U.S. News and Best Lawyers has chosen to recognize Venable with this award,” said Geoffrey Garinther, chair of Venable’s Litigation Division. “We are especially thankful to our clients for their continued support of the firm and our attorneys.”

Venable’s national White-Collar Criminal Defense Group consists of former senior attorneys in numerous branches of both federal and state government, including the U.S. Department of Justice, numerous U.S. Attorneys offices, various state Attorneys General offices, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Venable’s White-Collar Practice also features one of the premier national environmental criminal defense practices, headed by Judson Starr, former Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental Crimes Section, as well as a robust, forward-looking corporate governance and compliance practice focused on the firm’s corporate clients.

Among many other significant national and international cases, Venable represented clients in two recent high-profile white-collar matters:

Partners Warren Hamel, Geoffrey Garinther, Winifred Weitsen and Thomas J. Kelly, Jr., of the Washington, DC and Baltimore offices have represented Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited and Ranbaxy, Inc., a large generic drug manufacturer based overseas, in defending against criminal and civil investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice into violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the False Claims Act, coupled with administrative enforcement actions by the Food and Drug Administration. Venable counsel worked in close coordination with FDA regulatory counsel at Zuckerman Spaeder to negotiate the outlines of a comprehensive resolution with the government. In December of 2011, Ranbaxy announced that it would reserve $500 million to resolve all potential civil and criminal liability, and in January 2012, Ranbaxy entered into a Consent Decree resolving all administrative actions.  During the same period, Ranbaxy was also able to bring to market atorvastatin calcium (the generic version of Lipitor®) with a 180-day period of exclusivity.  

Jan Handzlik, a partner in Venable’s Los Angeles office, successfully represented Lindsey Manufacturing Company and its CEO in what has been described as a “landmark” prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The Lindsey case was only the second time in the 30+ year history of the FCPA that a corporation had challenged the Department of Justice at trial, and the first time ever that an FCPA case was submitted to a jury. It was also the first time an FCPA defendant launched a comprehensive challenge to certain key terms in the Act, such as “foreign official.”

Following a five-week jury trial resulting in FCPA convictions, in December 2011, the federal judge presiding over the Lindsey case threw out the convictions and dismissed the grand jury indictment, with prejudice, citing a pattern of prejudicial prosecution misconduct. In May 2012, the Department of Justice dropped its appeal, resulting in a complete victory for our clients. The American Lawyer described the outcome as a “stunning defense win.”

“With a track record of success for our clients, our team consistently provides a steady hand in all aspects of white-collar defense, even in the face of intense media scrutiny and reputational risk to our clients,” said Nancy Grunberg, co-chair of Venable's SEC and White-Collar Defense Group. “Over the past year, our attorneys have been on the front lines of precedent-setting cases,” added group co-chair Warren Hamel, “and with a strong presence on both coasts, Venable will continue to be a national leader in white-collar defense.”

Best Law Firms was first published in 2010 by Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, in partnership with U.S. News & World Report.  The results published in Best Law Firms are based on multiple research components and rank law firms that excel in particular practice areas.  Venable was previously honored as “Law Firm of the Year” in 2012 for its Advertising Law practice.

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Note: An American Lawyer 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs.