Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP Adds Key White Collar and Litigation Hires in New York and Washington, DC

By: 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
Published on:
December 8, 2020

Valerie L. Hletko Joins as Partner
SDNY Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn G. Crowley to Join as Counsel

NEW YORK, NY, December 9, 2020 – Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP announced today the addition of two highly regarded and deeply experienced women attorneys: prominent litigator and financial services regulation expert Valerie L. Hletko, who joins the firm as a partner in Washington, DC, and veteran prosecutor Shawn G. Crowley, who will be joining the firm as counsel from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

Hletko is an accomplished litigator whose practice focuses on financial services regulation and enforcement having provided counsel to a wide range of bank and non-bank financial institutions. She has been recognized by Chambers USA as an “exceptionally brilliant litigator with a robust grounding in consumer protection laws,” naming her to their list of leading Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Litigation) attorneys. Notably, Hletko recently helped to secure a landmark resolution settling the viability of the fintech-bank partnership model following several years of litigation. She has advised clients on consumer financial laws and regulations, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Housing Act, among others. Hletko also co-chairs the American Bar Association Banking Law Committee’s Compliance, Exam, and Audit Law Subcommittee. She joins the firm from Buckley LLP, where she served as a partner in the Washington D.C. and Chicago offices for the past eleven years.

Crowley is an experienced trial lawyer with a long track record of success in high-stakes criminal cases. During her six-year tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Crowley served as an Assistant United States Attorney, as Chief of the Narcotics Unit from 2017 to 2019, and most recently as Co-Chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Crowley prosecuted and supervised cases involving terrorism and national security crimes, sanctions violations, espionage, cyber-terrorism, money laundering, and narcotics trafficking. As a Chief, Crowley supervised the first ever felony charges against an opioid distributor and its chief executives in 2019, as well as narco-terrorism prosecutions of high-level foreign officials, including the sitting president of Venezuela. Crowley has tried numerous cases, including two high-profile national security trials involving terrorism-related bombings in Chelsea and the Times Square subway station.

Kaplan Hecker & Fink founding partner Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan said: “Both Valerie and Shawn bring a breadth of experience to the firm, from investigations to high-profile prosecutions, that will be of tremendous value to our team and clients.  Not only are they both great lawyers, but because they are both great people, we are thrilled to welcome them as colleagues and can’t wait for them to start.”

Marshall L. Miller, Kaplan Hecker & Fink partner and head of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, added: “In its short but eventful history, our firm has built a thriving white collar and investigations practice, and Valerie and Shawn will only add depth and breadth to our stellar team. Valerie has made her mark as a leading financial services litigator, and Shawn has handled complex and ground-breaking prosecutions for the Department of Justice. I look forward to working with them both, particularly as we continue to expand the firm’s Washington presence.”

“I couldn’t be happier to join Kaplan Hecker & Fink at this stage in my career. It is an elite, successful, values-driven firm and an incredible opportunity. I’m looking forward to growing my practice and building upon the ground-breaking success of the firm,” said Hletko.

Crowley said: “Kaplan Hecker & Fink has quickly built a formidable white collar and investigations practice, and I am thrilled to be joining at such an exciting time in the firm’s growth. I look forward to working alongside this incredible team on criminal, regulatory, and civil matters for a wide array of clients.”

“Valerie’s extensive financial services regulation and enforcement experience, coupled with Shawn’s experience leading some of the Southern District’s most prominent and complex criminal investigations, build upon our firm’s already growing litigation capabilities,” added Sean Hecker, partner, Kaplan Hecker & Fink. “They are terrific additions to our firm’s expanding team and our clients will greatly benefit from their unique insight and talent.” 

Hailed by Benchmark Litigation as “the place to be” at the moment and the 2020 Boutique Law Firm of the Year, Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP has made a name for itself as an innovative, values-driven boutique firm since its 2017 founding. With a top-tier team and a fierce commitment to social justice, Kaplan Hecker & Fink has delivered impressive wins on behalf of its clients. Earlier this year, the firm expanded its talented bench with the hires of Marshall Miller and Mike Ferrara, bolstering its white collar and investigations practice.

About Valerie L. Hletko

Valerie L. Hletko joins the firm from Buckley LLP, where she served as a partner in the Washington, D.C. and Chicago offices. Since joining Buckley at its inception in 2009, she has established herself as an authority in the field of financial services litigation, in addition to handling investigations and enforcement actions brought by federal agencies and state attorneys general. Chambers USA identified Hletko as “a brilliant lawyer with an unwavering work ethic who understands that the client's overall business is as important, if not more so, than the thorny regulatory issues which may confront it.”

Prior to joining Buckley, Hletko was an associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. She earned her J.D. from University of Chicago and holds an M.T.S. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Kenyon College.

About Shawn G. Crowley

Shawn G. Crowley joins the firm from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Shawn was Deputy and Co-Chief of the Office’s Narcotics Unit from 2017 to 2019, and Co-Chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit for the last year. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Crowley was an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis A. Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Crowley received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from Northwestern University.

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About Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP

Founded in July 2017 by renowned litigator Roberta Kaplan, Kaplan Hecker & Fink 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 Hecker & Fink with some of their most pressing challenges, from white collar criminal defense, to commercial disputes, to civil rights litigation, to appeals. Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s team of New York and Washington, D.C.-based litigators share a mission to provide the highest level of client service and advocacy, while at the same time maintaining a deep commitment to principles of integrity, fairness, and public service.

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