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Kaplan Hecker & Fink Adds Former House Oversight Committee Deputy Staff Director & Chief Counsel Susanne Sachsman Grooms and Former SDNY Prosecutor Michael Ferrara as Partners
April 2, 2021
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP adds Congressional investigations expertise
NEW YORK, NY, April 2, 2021 – Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP announced today that Susanne Sachsman Grooms has joined the firm as a partner in Washington, D.C. and Michael Ferrara will be promoted to partner in New York. Grooms joins the firm from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where she has served as Chief Counsel. With the addition of Grooms, the firm adds Congressional investigations expertise to its already dynamic investigations, regulatory, and white-collar practices, and further expands its presence in Washington, D.C.
A longtime veteran of Capitol Hill, Grooms served as lead counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform for a decade, where she led a team of lawyers on a broad range of high-profile investigations, first for former Committee Chair Elijah Cummings and later for Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. She also served as Staff Director and General Counsel for the Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi and on the trial teams for both impeachments of former President Donald J. Trump.
“I am delighted to join Kaplan Hecker & Fink, a firm known for its strong commitment to public service and high-stakes, high-profile investigations and litigation,” said Grooms. “I know that my years on Capitol Hill, combined with my prosecutorial and other executive branch experience, will be an asset to the firm’s clients, and I look forward to working with them as they navigate their most difficult legal and regulatory problems.”
Kaplan Hecker & Fink founding partner Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan said: “We are so excited for Susanne to be joining us as a partner in our relatively new office in Washington D.C. Susanne’s deep experience working in the federal government, including on hundreds of Congressional investigations, means that she has exactly the kind of expertise that is so valued by clients doing business in today’s complex, interconnected world. We are equally thrilled to be promoting Mike to partner – Mike’s integrity, trial skills, commitment to clients, and last, of course, but certainly not least, his amazing sense of humor, personify what we value most about our law firm.”
Ferrara joined the firm as counsel in January 2020 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task before serving as Co-Chief of both the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime and Terrorism and International Narcotics Units. Over the course of Mike’s 14 years as a federal prosecutor, he served as counsel in twelve federal criminal trials, and briefed over forty and argued nine appeals before U.S. Courts of Appeals. At Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Ferrara advises corporations, executives, and boards of directors on matters related to white collar criminal defense, government investigations, and complex civil litigation. Mike currently represents the chief investment officer of an investment fund facing regulatory scrutiny from the SEC, as well as a Swiss banker extradited to the United States to face securities fraud and other charges, and a trader sued by the CFTC for market manipulation, both in the Southern District of New York.
“Mike is a stellar trial lawyer and an experienced white collar practitioner. Since joining our firm just over a year ago, his extensive experience gained from his career in public service has greatly benefited our clients,” added Kaplan Hecker & Fink partner Sean Hecker. “He is an invaluable member of our firm’s growing investigations, regulatory, and white collar practices and couldn’t be more deserving of this promotion.”
“Being a part of Kaplan Hecker & Fink over the past year has been incredibly rewarding,” explained Ferrara. “I’m so proud to be a part of the firm as well as of the growth of our practice and the unparalleled results we’ve achieved for of our clients. I am eager to continue the work as a partner, and look forward to working together with Susanne and my other partners as we strengthen our capabilities in the D.C. market and beyond.”
Kaplan Hecker & Fink partner and head of the Washington, D.C. office, Marshall L. Miller added: “Kaplan Hecker’s acclaimed white collar and investigations practice has seen significant wins over the past few years, and Mike has played an integral part in that record of success. Adding Susanne and her leadership experience in Congressional oversight will expand the ways the firm can advocate effectively for our clients and mitigate the risks of government investigations. Susanne’s career and achievements in Washington are remarkable, and we are so fortunate she is joining our team at such an exciting time.”
Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s white collar and investigations practice has grown significantly over the past three years. Just last week, the firm was retained by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to conduct an independent review of gender equity issues in connection with the NCAA. Grooms will work on that review. With a team of litigators that now includes five high-level former federal prosecutors, three former public defenders, and now a former lead Congressional investigator, the firm is uniquely positioned to take on the most complex controversies and legal challenges. Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as the top litigation boutique in the country for two years in a row and by Chambers as one of New York’s top firms in white-collar crime and government investigations, the firm is known for “its excellence across an array of litigation-related matters.”
About Susanne Sachsman Grooms
Grooms comes to Kaplan Hecker & Fink from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. As a former federal prosecutor and one of the nation’s leading experts in congressional investigations, Susanne’s practice focuses on helping clients navigate high stakes, complex investigations that potentially involve multiple federal and state agencies, Congress, and regulatory authorities, as well as significant reputational concerns.
After clerking for the Honorable R. Barclay Surrick in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Grooms began her legal career as a prosecutor in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2007, she moved to the Hill to serve as a counsel in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for then-Chairman Henry Waxman. Grooms then worked for the Internal Revenue Service in several roles, including as advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement and as a senior counselor to the Chief of Criminal Investigations. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School after graduating cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
About Michael Ferrara
At the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Ferrara served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Criminal Division, including as a member of the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force, and supervised other AUSAs as co-Chief of the Terrorism & International Narcotics Unit (2018-2019), Co-Chief of the Complex Frauds & Cybercrime Unit (2017-2018), and Deputy Chief of the Appeals Unit (2016-2017).
Prior to serving as an AUSA, Ferrara spent four years as a Trial Attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. He has also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He served as a clerk for the Honorable Michael Chertoff at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for the Honorable John Gleeson at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ferrara earned his law degree, with distinction, from Stanford Law School and his B.A. from Boston College.
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