Gibson Snags Top DOJ Criminal Antitrust Lawyer

, The Litigation Daily

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This article originally appeared in the Blog of Legal Times, an affiliate of the Litigation Daily.

After 25 years with the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Scott Hammond is joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington as a partner.

Hammond, who as deputy assistant attorney general led the division's criminal enforcement efforts, played a key role in crafting a ground breaking leniency program that rewards voluntary disclosure of cartel activity in order to avoid criminal conviction.

During Hammond's tenure, the division implemented what he described in a 2010 bar association speech a "carrot and stick" enforcement strategy by "coupling rewards for voluntary disclosure and timely cooperation …with severe sanctions."

Most recently, those included $740 million in criminal fines, when nine Japan-based auto parts suppliers and two executives in late September agreed to plead guilty to price fixing. In fiscal year 2012, the division filed 67 criminal cases and obtained a record $1.14 billion in criminal fines.

Hammond, who will start his new job in January, has spent his entire career in the government, joining DOJ straight out of law school via the honors program in 1988. As a senior government executive, his salary is around $180,000. Gibson Dunn’s profits per equity partner were $2.81 million last year, according to The American Lawyer.

Hammond is currently in Asia and was not available for an interview. In a news release, Hammond said, "I wanted to find a home where I could hit the ground running by utilizing my experience expanding the Antitrust Division's international cartel program. Gibson Dunn is the perfect fit for me."

He rejoins former colleague and Gibson Dunn partner Gary Spratling, who headed the Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement section when Hammond served as senior counsel.

"Scott is a long-standing leader of global cartel investigations and prosecutions, and his addition will ensure that Gibson Dunn will continue to be the 'go-to' firm for cartel defense work," said Spratling, co-chair of the firm's antitrust and trade regulation practice, in a written statement. "He first established a model enforcement program that is being replicated around the world, and then was a leading force in facilitating international cooperation among antitrust authorities globally."

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