Latham Adds Two Acclaimed White Collar Partners In New York
Preeminent first chair trial lawyer Christopher L. Garcia and skilled litigator Raquel Kellert bring a wealth of experience that spans a wide range of white collar matters.
“We are committed to building the preeminent white collar defense practice,” said Marc Jaffe, Managing Partner of the firm’s New York office. “And Chris brings unique skills and knowledge that enhance our unparalleled team, and our ability to handle the most complex, highest-stakes investigations, trials, and enforcement matters. Chris is a leader, an outstanding trial lawyer, and a tireless advocate for his clients. With an illustrious career spanning more than two decades handling an impressive range of matters, Chris has earned a reputation in the New York white collar community that speaks to his prodigious work ethic, judgment, and talents. He brings a unique combination of private practice and government insight, and he will play a major role in helping to further build our practice.”
Garcia focuses on defending clients in regulatory and criminal investigations, conducting internal investigations, and litigating securities class actions in state and federal courts across the United States. He also counsels boards of directors, executives, broker-dealers, and investment advisers on a variety of issues, including securities matters, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance.
Garcia’s prior experience includes serving as Chief of the Southern District of New York’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. In this role, he led a unit of more than 35 prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and staff in all aspects of securities fraud investigations, trials, appeals, and other litigations, including several significant and highly publicized insider trading matters. Over the course of his government tenure, Garcia supervised the investigation and prosecution of more than 300 cases, including those arising out of the 2008 financial crisis and in the areas of corporate fraud, consumer fraud, insider trading, fraudulent investment schemes, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He personally conducted 10 federal jury trials and litigated numerous successful appeals.
Michele Johnson, Global Chair of Latham’s Litigation & Trial Department added, “Chris and Raquel join our growing constellation of star trial lawyers with a reputation for providing clients with pragmatic and sophisticated counsel. They anticipate and address future business trends, and bring the right mix of experience that is highly synergistic with our platform.”
Kellert defends corporations and individuals, and represents companies, boards, and executives, in criminal, civil, and regulatory enforcement matters involving the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures and Trading Commission, and other government agencies. In particular, Kellert conducts internal investigations on behalf of boards and companies concerning alleged accounting irregularities, commercial bribery, cybersecurity incidents, honest services fraud, employee misconduct, securities fraud, and FCPA and False Claims Act violations.
“Chris and Raquel are both exemplary trial lawyers and adept strategists, who will make great additions to our white collar team,” said Doug Greenburg, Global Chair of Latham’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice. “They will leverage their substantive skills across white collar matters and help lead a variety of large teams in connection with high-stakes trials, investigations, and enforcement matters.”
“In addition, Chris and Raquel offer clients a proven ability to navigate a wide range of legal and regulatory crises. Their creative counsel and tenacious advocacy make them the people you want in your corner,” said Christopher Clark, Deputy Managing Partner of the firm’s New York office.
Garcia said, “I am delighted to be joining the Latham’s top-tier litigation practice. In New York, across the US, and around the world, Latham’s standing as an elite go-to litigation practice reflects the firm’s immensely talented team, depth of experience in investigations and disputes, and extensive track record at trial. In particular, I am drawn to the firm for its global, integrated transactional and dispute platforms. Latham will provide me with unique and exciting opportunities to contribute to the firm’s incredible success and growth while serving a varied client base.”
“I am eager to join such an outstanding group of lawyers at Latham. I have long admired their work, and along with Chris, I am delighted to be joining the team,” said Kellert. “Latham not only is a leader in New York corporate circles, but the firm is also recognized as one of the best law firms in the world for its platform, depth of expertise, and culture of teamwork and excellence. I look forward to working with Latham’s renowned roster of clients, and further developing my practice at the firm.”
Garcia and Kellert join Latham from Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York. Garcia received his JD from Harvard Law School; and an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. Kellert received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center; and an undergraduate degree cum laude, from Yale University.
About Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.
Notes to Editors
1 Latham & Watkins operates worldwide as a limited liability partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware (USA) with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in France, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and as an affiliated partnership conducting the practice in Japan. Latham & Watkins operates in Israel through a limited liability company. Latham & Watkins operates in South Korea as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins works in cooperation with the Law Firm of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, a limited liability company, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.