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The Case for Lateral Partner Due Diligence

  • June 20, 2017 | The American Lawyer | By Dan Nardello

A law firm's reputation is built on the conduct of its partners. Firms have traditionally promoted from within, a thoughtful and incremental process. Today, however, it has become much more common to recruit partner-level candidates from competitors. Lateral recruiting can drive growth and enhance a firm's reputation, but it can backfire if not done carefully and with thorough vetting. Given the amount of money spent annually by law firms that hire investigators, it is a curious fact that a negligible percentage is spent conducting due diligence on prospective partners.

The reality is many firms hire senior lawyers on little more than a handshake and a personal recommendation. A 2014-15 study by ALM Intelligence found that few law firms maintain formal policies for vetting partner candidates: more than half do not conduct criminal background checks or credit checks, while nearly two-thirds do not check personal references in a comprehensive manner. Such a lax approach to hiring can be costly, as illustrated by a recent episode involving a former partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. Subscribers of The American Lawyer can access the article here >

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The Morning Risk Report: Asian Companies More Alert to FCPA Risks

  • November 14, 2016
  • | The Wall Street Journal

Asian companies are increasingly alert to the risks of bribery, although they aren’t attuned to the behavior regulators often see as good compliance practice, according to two experts speaking on a panel in Tokyo.

A focus by U.S. prosecutors on punishing individuals for wrongdoing has grabbed the attention of companies in Asia, said Ben Rowse, managing director for Asia at investigations firm Nardello & Co., and Christopher Frey, a lawyer at law firm Paul Weiss. The risk of individuals being prosecuted has caused a “mind shift” among companies, whereas even a penalty as large as $300 million on a company “isn’t going to sink the ship,” said Mr. Rowse, speaking Thursday at a joint event hosted by WSJ Risk & Compliance and Dow Jones Risk & Compliance. Read More

Lucy Fato joins Nardello as general counsel

  • September 16, 2016
  • | Corporate Secretary

This week the global investigations firm Nardello & Company appointed Lucy Fato managing director, head of the Americas and global general counsel, starting October 11. During her more than 25 years of experience in the legal, compliance, regulatory and corporate governance arena, Fato has advised corporations, financial institutions and boards of directors on a variety of governance issues. Nardello & Company’s clients, which comprise legal and compliance teams and boards of directors of publicly listed multinational firms, will benefit from her expertise. Read More

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