Former Assistant Chief’s move follows 16-year DOJ career investigating and litigating complex fraud, conspiracy, antitrust, money laundering, and other white-collar crimes; led Antitrust Division’s LIBOR and Forex financial markets international-cartel investigations; Hughes Hubbard’s established international platform and strong litigation tradition will help grow her government investigations and white-collar and cartel defense practice
In a significant addition to its antitrust, government investigations and white collar practices, Hughes Hubbard announced that Elizabeth Prewitt, former Assistant Chief of the Antitrust Division in the New York office of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has joined the firm as a partner.
A Justice Department trial lawyer for 16 years, Prewitt most recently managed a team of approximately 25 attorneys and staff investigating and prosecuting domestic and international criminal antitrust and fraud cases, as well as civil antitrust matters, as an Assistant Chief. She also served as first chair trial counsel in the prosecution of a Superfund fraud and kickback indictment in New Jersey last year that led to the longest prison sentence—14 years—ever imposed in an antitrust-related case. She also secured some of the New York office’s largest criminal fines against financial institutions as the lead Antitrust Division prosecutor investigating rigging of LIBOR interest rate benchmarks. In addition, she led the Division’s investigation into alleged manipulation of foreign currency exchange rates (Forex).
Hughes Hubbard Chair Candace Beinecke said, “In her accomplished career at Justice, Liz Prewitt has shown herself to be not only a first-tier investigator and trial lawyer, but also a visionary leader. She’s handled cases involving both domestic and global regulatory issues, covering an array of industries. We’re excited to have her join our quickly growing antitrust practice.”
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“Justice has made it plain that it is vigorously pursuing alleged price-fixing, bid-rigging, and other types of fraud and cartel behavior,” said William Kolasky, co-chair of Hughes Hubbard’s Antitrust practice. “Liz Prewitt’s deep experience investigating antitrust, fraud and other white-collar offenses both in the U.S. and overseas will complement our strong practices in these areas, particularly for our firm’s clients in the financial services sector.”
In addition to her supervisory role as Assistant Chief, as a lead attorney involved in complex financial markets matters she coordinated with numerous parallel investigations, including those of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as states’ attorneys general and numerous overseas regulators and foreign enforcers, such as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and the European Commission.
Over the course of her DOJ tenure, Prewitt’s investigation and prosecution work focused primarily on fraud, bribery, tax, and antitrust matters, leading to the convictions of more than 100 individual and corporate defendants across multiple jurisdictions and industries. She played a significant role in the investigative task forces probing such crimes in the New York-area advertising and graphics services and food distribution industries for which she received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second-highest honor bestowed by the Justice Department, which characterized the investigation as among the “most significant” of recent years.
Prewitt also led ongoing investigations of fraud, bribery, bid-rigging, tax, international money laundering, and obstruction offenses across industry sectors to include federally funded public utility providers and EPA Superfund cleanup projects. Over the course of her career, she secured dozens of convictions and several of the Division’s most lengthy prison sentences. As noted above, one conviction where Prewitt served as first chair resulted in the single longest prison sentence for a defendant charged with an antitrust offense.
During her 16-year career at Justice, Prewitt received numerous awards for her work, including two Attorney General’s Distinguished Service awards, as well as two Assistant Attorney General’s Awards. Two honors were bestowed for her work in the LIBOR investigation.
In 2014 Prewitt was the first DOJ representative detailed for several months as a Visiting International Enforcer to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition in Brussels, as part of an initiative for American investigators to gain a better understanding of European enforcement policies and procedures. She has served as an instructor on cartel enforcement and investigative techniques at the DOJ and for foreign competition authorities.
“The current climate of intense scrutiny and enforcement in the antitrust and fraud arena, and Hughes Hubbard’s long track record of innovation in its client work in these areas, convinced me that this was the time and Hughes Hubbard was the place to build my practice,” said Prewitt. “I’ve become acquainted with Hughes Hubbard during my time at Justice, and I knew it would provide an excellent platform to develop a first-rate global cartel defense practice and start representing clients of my own. I look forward to adding my knowledge and experience to the firm’s practice in a field that promises to remain a challenging and dynamic one in the years to come.”
Prewitt received her J.D., cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Loyola Law School, where she contributed to the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. She earned a B.A. in History, with Honors, at Brown University.