Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Bharara joins Wilmer Hale law firm

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FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York

By Jacqueline Thomsen

(Reuters) – Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan who prosecuted high-profile cases involving Wall Street insider trading, public corruption and terrorism, is joining Washington-based law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, the firm said on Monday.

Bharara, 53, was appointed to the U.S. attorney post by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2009 and fired by Republican President Donald Trump in 2017 after refusing to resign.

He won a $1.8 billion insider-trading settlement against SAC Capital Advisors, the largest in history, which forced the hedge fund to shut down, and he forced JPMorgan Chase to pay $1.7 billion to settle charges related to its role in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Bharara also secured a life sentence against the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and a 25-year sentence for international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

WilmerHale, a firm with about 1,000 lawyers, said Bharara has joined its partnership in New York and will represent clients facing congressional and internal investigations, compliance and crisis management issues and other matters.

Since leaving the U.S. attorney’s post, Bharara has served as a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s law school and hosted a weekly podcast. WilmerHale said he plans to keep podcasting and will remain creative director of the podcast company Cafe, which was acquired by Vox Media last year.

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“I believe bringing my combination of experiences, skills and knowledge to WilmerHale will give clients facing the most difficult challenges the greatest chance for success,” Bharara said in a news release issued by the firm. A firm spokesperson said Bharara was unavailable for an interview.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in New York; Editing by Will Dunham and David Bario)