Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced that lawyers Michael Kelly and Douglas Paul have joined the firm as partners in the Washington, D.C. office, deepening its national litigation bench, particularly in the areas of white collar crime and compliance. Kelly and Paul, a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) branch chief, bring decades of experience advising individuals and companies involved in government investigations, and criminal and civil enforcement actions, including matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), securities fraud, and other U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC investigations.
“We are excited to expand our White Collar Crime team in Washington, D.C. with Mike and Doug, who build upon our national capabilities in compliance, liability and enforcement,” said Lawrence Rochefort, chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. “Mike and Doug join us at a time when Akerman has experienced tremendous growth and success for our clients. Their unique background make them a valuable addition for our clients facing increased government scrutiny.”
Kelly defends companies and individuals in criminal and civil enforcement actions covering a wide variety of issues. He has helped clients respond to allegations concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, health care fraud, sanctions, tax fraud, accounting fraud, government contracting fraud, mail fraud, false statements, conspiracy, and food safety. Mike also advises boards of directors and audit committees on the most effective ways to respond to allegations of illegal conduct, and conducts independent investigations on their behalf.
Paul, a former branch chief in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and a former Assistant Independent Counsel, represents individuals and companies in government investigations and enforcement actions covering a variety of areas. He has assisted clients in responding to allegations of securities fraud, insider trading, other violations of the Securities Act of 1933, Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) violations, health care fraud, accounting fraud, fraud, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
As a branch chief in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, among Paul’s achievements, he exercised direct supervisory authority over the far-reaching and complex investigation into Enron Corp. When serving as an assistant independent counsel, Paul prosecuted public corruption.
Kelly and Paul’s hiring continues Akerman’s growth momentum set in motion in recent years, which includes several strategic additions to the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Trial lawyers Amy Doehring and Ellen Robbins recently joined Akerman’s Chicago and Los Angeles offices, respectively. They were preceded by former in-house counsel Elliot Strader in Dallas, whose practice focuses on insurance and high-stakes litigation matters. Other recent additions include a four-person insurance litigation team in Houston, two former federal prosecutors who joined the Chicago office, and a six-member professional liability team joining the West Palm Beach office.
Akerman LLP is a top 100 U.S. law firm recognized among the most forward thinking firms in the industry by Financial Times. Its more than 700 lawyers and business professionals collaborate with the world’s most successful enterprises and entrepreneurs to navigate change, seize opportunities, and help drive innovation and growth. Akerman is known for its results in middle market M&A and complex disputes, and for helping clients achieve their most important business objectives in the financial services, real estate and other dynamic sectors across the United States and Latin America.
Akerman’s Litigation Practice Group has vast experience in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation, including class action defense, securities and corporate litigation, banking, white collar crime and government investigations, insurance, and real estate. The team is ranked tier one nationally by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in several categories including Commercial Litigation and Appellate.