Kaplan & Company, LLP today announced that it will change its name to Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP to reflect the fact that prominent white-collar defense lawyer, Sean Hecker, will be joining the firm, effective July 2nd, 2018. Co-founding partner Julie Fink will continue as Managing Partner, responsible for all firm operations and practice areas. In addition, former federal prosecutor Jenna Dabbs will join the firm as a partner, and counsel John Quinn and Gabrielle Tenzer will be promoted to partner. With the addition of Hecker and Dabbs, the firm adds an accomplished white collar criminal defense practice, expands its already busy internal/regulatory investigations practice, and brings together two talented trial lawyers.
Founded less than a year ago by renowned litigator Roberta Kaplan, Kaplan Hecker & Fink has quickly emerged as one of the most formidable litigation boutiques in the country, fusing cutting-edge, high-stakes commercial litigation with a groundbreaking public interest practice. Kaplan Hecker & Fink represents clients as varied as Airbnb, Uber, Fitch Ratings, Sydell Group, Pfizer, and Columbia University in complex, high-profile matters, while at the same time helping to launch the Times Up Legal Defense Fund and representing clients such as the ten plaintiffs who sued 25 Nazi and white supremacist individuals and groups responsible for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville last August.
Sean Hecker, an accomplished trial lawyer, contributes to the firm’s unique combination of practice areas, skill sets, and culture. Hecker is widely recognized for his expertise in government and internal investigations, white collar criminal defense, regulatory compliance, and complex civil litigation. Hecker has first-chaired numerous trials and brings a wealth of experience as a courtroom advocate.
Jenna Dabbs will also join the firm as partner. She joins from Pershing Square Capital Management, where she served as senior counsel and a member of Pershing’s Investment Team. Dabbs has extensive criminal litigation experience, having served for over eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney, including as chief of the narcotics unit, in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Kaplan Hecker & Fink Co-Founding Partner Roberta Kaplan said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sean and Jenna to the firm. As a former federal defender and a former federal prosecutor, Sean and Jenna offer the perfect combination of perspectives from opposite sides of the courtroom, allowing us to add an impressive white-collar defense practice and reinforce our already active investigations practice. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, we are confident that we have the right team to meet whatever challenges our clients may face in the years ahead.”
Kaplan continued: “I am incredibly proud of what Julie and I have built and what our exceptional team of brilliant, creative lawyers has already accomplished as part of our mission-driven, ‘new, old-fashioned’ law firm.
Our clients depend on us to help them navigate their most difficult problems and they count on us to provide a ‘bang for the buck’ by winning in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Both Sean and Jenna are fearless litigators who bring with them drive, determination, and deep trial experience, and both are a perfect match not only for our clients’ needs and expectations, but equally as important, for the character and culture of our firm.”
Hecker said: “I am delighted to join the pioneering team at Kaplan Hecker & Fink. In the short time since its founding, the firm has already earned a national reputation for excellence in commercial litigation and for its innovative public interest practice. The entrepreneurial culture of Kaplan Hecker & Fink, combined with the firm’s commitment to social justice, and its intense devotion to its clients, is perfectly aligned with the approach I have always taken in my own legal career. I look forward to working with the team of amazingly talented lawyers who have already made a difference for their clients and the community.”
Julie Fink, Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s Managing Partner said: “I have been honored to play a leading role in building a new kind of boutique law firm, rooted in the values of fairness, integrity, and justice and offering creative, cost-effective solutions for all of our clients. Sean and Jenna, based on their knowledge, experience and values, could not be more welcome additions to our team. In addition, as we expand, we are proud to continue to be one of the few elite litigation firms with a majority female partnership, particularly in this era of #MeToo and #TimesUp.”
Dabbs said: “I am so excited to become a part of Kaplan Hecker & Fink as the firm continues to create winning solutions for its clients’ problems. In such a short time, the firm has created a new equation for contending with high-stakes legal challenges. Clients recognize the incredible value and efficiency that Kaplan Hecker & Fink lawyers bring to the table, whether in the courtroom or the boardroom. I jumped at the opportunity to join this group of aggressive, yet principled, trial lawyers dedicated to solving problems faced by their clients and the broader community.”
Hecker joins the firm from Debevoise & Plimpton, where he worked for 12 years, serving as partner since 2008. He has been recognized extensively for his work by The Legal 500 US, Chambers USA, and Benchmark Litigation, and was named a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group. Hecker has represented executives and multinational corporations across various industries in regulatory investigations and criminal proceedings. His work has focused on fact-intensive cases involving securities and commodities fraud, corruption, money laundering, tax fraud, and criminal antitrust violations.
Previously, Hecker was a trial lawyer with the Federal Defenders of New York where he tried numerous cases, defending individuals charged with a vast range of federal offenses. Prior to serving as an assistant federal defender, he was an associate at Covington & Burling in New York, and served as a clerk for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr. at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and for the Honorable Sidney H. Stein at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Hecker received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Columbia University and M.A. in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School, graduating Order of the Coif.
Hecker is recognized as a leader in criminal justice reform due to his work representing indigent individuals while serving as a member of the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel of the Southern District of New York, and previously as a member of the CJA panel in the Eastern District of New York. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Office of the Appellate Defender and of the Board of the Federal Defenders of New York, Inc., and is an officer of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.
Dabbs joins the firm from Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., a concentrated research-intensive fundamental value investor in the public markets. Since joining Pershing Square in 2014, Dabbs served as Senior Counsel and Member of Pershing’s Investment Team, where she focused on regulatory and litigation matters as well as compliance in the areas of insider trading, data security and privacy, and cybersecurity.
During her tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, Dabbs investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases, first chaired eight federal jury trials, and briefed and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As a prosecutor, Dabbs not only led dozens of white collar investigations but also served as the Chief of the Narcotics Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prior to working as a federal prosecutor, Dabbs was an associate at Covington & Burling in New York. She served as a clerk for the Honorable Denise Cote at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her law degree from Columbia University, where she was a Stone Scholar, and her B.A. with high honors from Wesleyan University.
About Kaplan & Company, LLP
Founded in July 2017 by renowned litigator Roberta Kaplan, Kaplan & Company, LLP has quickly emerged as one of the most formidable litigation boutiques in the country, fusing high-stakes commercial litigation with a groundbreaking public interest practice. Clients trust Kaplan & Co. with some of their most pressing challenges, from white collar criminal defense, to complex appellate litigation, to business disputes, and Titles VII and IX matters. Kaplan & Co.’s team of New York-based litigators share a mission to provide the highest level of client service, advocacy, and advice while maintaining a deep commitment to the principles of integrity, fairness, and justice.