Macfarlanes launches white collar practice with hire of Eversheds corporate crime head

Macfarlanes is launching a white collar practice with the hire of Eversheds Sutherland corporate crime and investigations head Neill Blundell.

Blundell, who is joining Macfarlanes as head of corporate crime and investigations, has spent almost a decade at Eversheds after joining from Russell Jones & Walker in 2008 to set up the firm’s white collar group.

In 2012, he was appointed to lead the firm’s corporate crime and investigations global group.

He advises on fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering, sanctions, extradition, market abuse and regulatory matters, and has a particular focus on the Bribery Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Fraud Act.

Blundell recently acted for former Barclays corporate and investment banking GC Judith Shepherd in connection to the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into bank’s capital raising arrangements with Qatari investors during the 2008 financial crisis. Shepherd, along with two other Barclays lawyers, were not charged.

Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said: “The increasing move in the regulatory sector towards the criminalisation of misconduct, and the introduction of criminal offences across a broad spectrum of regulation affecting our corporate clients – such as bribery, the Criminal Finances Act and environmental matters – makes this area of work a really important and valuable one to our clients.

“Neill will be doing advisory and investigations work as well as litigation and prosecutions working with our existing teams in related fields.”

At Eversheds, he will be replaced as as head of corporate crime and investigations by corporate crime partner Zia Ullah.

Eversheds Sutherland co-head of global litigation Paul Worth said: “Neill has been a valued member of the team since 2008, and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with him. We wish him all the very best in his new position at Macfarlanes.

Last week, Macfarlanes saw a rare partner exit when investment fund finance head Bronwen Jones left the firm after 14 years to join Reed Smith’s London office.

However, the firm is bolstering its partnership with three promotions this May, as well as the hires of tax lawyer Ceinwen Rees from Debevoise & Plimpton and Norton Rose Fulbright global and European head of technology and innovation Mike Rebeiro.