Orrick Acquires White Collar Morvillo Boutique

Morvillo, the litigation boutique founded by the sons and brother of the late white collar heavyweight Robert Morvillo, will be joining Orrick in January.

The move will add 15 lawyers, including seven partners, to Orrick’s New York and Washington, D.C., offices and marks the firm’s largest single hire of litigators in nearly a decade.

Morvillo was founded in 2012 following the unexpected death of Robert Morvillo, a co-founder of Morvillo Abramowitz who rose to national fame when he represented Martha Stewart on obstruction-of-justice charges in the early 2000s. Robert’s brother, Richard, and three of his sons, Gregory, Scott and Robert, Jr., started the firm to honor his legacy.

Richard, Greg and Scott Morvillo will all move to Orrick. Robert, Jr. has since taken an in-house legal position with Diebold Nixdorf.

Richard said in an interview with Big Law Business that the family didn’t plan to join a larger firm, but that Orrick came calling after Richard mentioned to a partner there that Morvillo was looking for a lateral hire.

“They turned the tables on us, in part because they had been looking to strengthen their white collar practice on the East Coast,” Richard Morvillo said. “While we weren’t really looking, the more we heard the more interested we became. And it also it fit with our expansion plans in the sense of expanding beyond the boutique status.”

He added, “I’m 69 years old, so it also seemed to be consistent with good transition planning.”

The hiring of the Morvillo team significantly expands Orrick’s white collar and securities capabilities.

“Growing a premier securities litigation and white collar practice with national scope has long been a key strategic objective for Orrick,” Walt Brown, co-head of the firm’s white collar and securities practice, said in a statement.

Richard Morvillo, a former Securities and Exchange Commission branch chief, was recently hired by Lumber Liquidators in connection with SEC and Department of Justice investigations.

Gregory Morvillo represented Anthony Chiasson before the Second Circuit in United States v. Newman, a case that reshaped insider trading law in 2015. Scott Morvillo, a former prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, brings expertise in fraud cases and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations.

Also joining Orrick as partners are Amy Walsh, former chief of the business and securities fraud section in the Eastern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office; Andrew Morris, a former federal prosecutor with the Office of the Independent Counsel; litigator Ellen Murphy, who also handles internal investigations; and Daniel Nathan, who has extensive enforcement experience at the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Henry “Pete” Putzel III, Jason Somensatto and Savannah Stevenson will join the firm as counsel.


Contact the reporter responsible for this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at srussellkraft@gmail.com.

Contact the editors responsible for this story: Casey Sullivan at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com and John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com.