Pinsent Masons corporate crime head Barry Vitou quits to launch new City practice for Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig has hired Pinsent Masons global corporate crime head Barry Vitou to launch and lead a white-collar defence and special investigations practice in London. 

Vitou (pictured) co-founded Pinsents’ regulatory investigations and corporate crime practice when he joined the firm in 2011.

He had previously been a partner at Winston & Strawn’s City office, where he headed up the regulatory and technology practice.

Greenberg Traurig executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum said: “We are now one of a select few with this level of expertise on both sides of the Atlantic in this critical area…Our practice in white-collar defence and special investigations has been involved in most major global landmark cases and Barry will further that involvement in additional key markets.”

Vice-chair Paul Maher, who works closely with Rosenbaum with respect to the London office he founded in 2009, added: “London is a dynamic office that has experienced tremendous growth in headcount and activity in the past 18 months. We are always exploring ways to enhance what we can offer clients. This is one of the things we will achieve with the expected addition of Barry Vitou.”

A Pinsents spokesperson said: “We can confirm Barry is leaving the firm and wish him all the best.”

His exit leaves Pinsents’ corporate crime practice with 14 lawyers including four partners.

Greenberg Traurig boosted London cash revenues by more than 75% last year on the back of a major increase in office headcount. The firm estimated that its City office took in $35m (£25m) during 2017, with lawyer headcount rising 63%, driven in large part by the hire of a six-partner team from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).

In 2017, the firm also expanded its European operations, with the hire of an 11-lawyer real estate team from Hogan Lovells for its Warsaw office.

Vitou’s exit is the second significant white-collar partner move in recent weeks. Last month, Macfarlanes launched a white-collar practice with the hire of Eversheds Sutherland corporate crime and investigations head Neill Blundell.

Vitou is also the co-author of www.thebriberyact.com alongside corporate crime silk Richard Kovalevsky QC. The site is a free online resource of information relating to the UK Bribery Act.