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Hughes Hubbard Adds Fraud Chief, Veteran FCPA Lawyer in DC

After nearly a decade working for the U.S. Department of Justice, Laura Perkins is getting off the federal government’s payroll for a life in private practice.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed announced Thursday that it had hired Perkins as a partner for its anticorruption, internal investigations and white-collar regulatory defense group in Washington, D.C.

“It felt like time to make the transition in my career,” Perkins said of her departure from Main Justice. “I really had a lot of insight and had accomplished and done most of what I set out to do when I went into government service, so this felt like a great time to [go into] private practice.”

Perkins spent the past 10 years in the fraud section of the Justice Department’s criminal division, where she most recently served as assistant chief for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement. She first joined Main Justice in 2007 from Latham & Watkins, where she had spent the previous six years as an associate.

Perkins’ first role in the Justice Department’s fraud section was as a trial attorney in the criminal division, where she would eventually rise to the role of senior trial attorney before being appointed chief of the FCPA unit in 2015. It was in the FCPA unit that Perkins supervised and directed hundreds of investigations and prosecutions of business executives and companies for foreign bribery violations.

She also led in the development of the FCPA pilot program that was created to motivate companies to voluntarily report misconduct and cooperate with the fraud section to come into compliance. In June, Perkins was part of one of the new Trump administration’s first FCPA-related actions, a declination to prosecute Linde North America Inc. and Linde Gas North America.

For her move to Hughes Hubbard, Perkins used the services of Major, Lindsey & Africa legal recruiter Jane Sullivan Roberts, a former partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and the wife of current U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. At Hughes Hubbard, Perkins plans on using her government experience to develop a white-collar criminal defense practice with a particular focus on handling anticorruption matters for clients at Hughes Hubbard, a New York-based firm known for its FCPA expertise.

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