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Perspectives from Baker McKenzie’s London Dispute Resolution practice

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the world, businesses continue to face significant levels of uncertainty caused by weakened financial markets and disruption to supply chains, workplace operations and business pipelines. The inevitable consequence has been (and will continue to be) an increase in the number and types of disputes, and we have already seen judicial systems and the corporates operating in them twist and turn to adapt to the new “norm”.

In this podcast series, members of our London Dispute Resolution practice – along with some guest speakers from external organisations and elsewhere in the Baker McKenzie network – share bite-sized insights into the latest legal, commercial and industry hot topics to guide you as you shape your organization’s business resilience and strategy in the medium and long term.

Corporate Criminal Liability: Has the US Got it Right?

The first episode of the series follows Baker McKenzie’s response to the UK Law Commission’s consultation on possible revisions to the law on corporate criminal liability.

That got us thinking about whether other jurisdictions have got it right.

US partners and former US Department of Justice prosecutors William Devaney and Tom Firestone discuss with UK senior associate Andrew Matheson the ins and outs of the US approach to prosecuting companies and, perhaps more importantly, how that approach could be improved upon.


Widge Devaney is a partner in the Firm's North America Litigation group in New York, Chair of the North American Government Enforcement Practice and Co-Chair of the Global Compliance and Investigations Group. Since 2011, Mr. Devaney has been listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers in the Criminal Defense: White Collar category. Mr. Devaney is co-chair of the ABA's Transnational Crime Subcommittee, and an officer of the IBA's Business Crime Committee. He previously served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of New York, representing indigent clients in federal criminal matters. Mr. Devaney served as law clerk to the Honorable Oliver Gasch on the US District Court for the District of Columbia from 1993 to 1994.


Tom Firestone is Co-chair of the firm's North American Government Enforcement practice and is a member of the Firm's Global Compliance & Investigations Steering Committee. He represents clients in matters involving anti-corruption and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), internal investigations and transactional due diligence. Prior to joining the Firm, he spent 14 years at the US Department of Justice. He worked as an Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York where he prosecuted transnational organized crime cases. He also worked as Resident Legal Adviser and Acting Chief of the Law Enforcement Section at the US Embassy in Moscow. In the latter capacity, he facilitated US-Russian law enforcement cooperation, assisted the Russian government in drafting new criminal legislation, advised the US government on policy issues related to criminal justice in Russia and twice won the US State Department Superior Honor Award.


Andrew Matheson is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Compliance and Investigation Team in London. He has an extensive experience in managing corporate investigations in the finance sector, both from regulatory law and from competition law perspectives.

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