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King & Spalding, Cleary Gottlieb announce career moves

One firm gains a former DOJ official, another says goodbye to a white-collar defense partner

Two Big Law firms recently announced two significant career moves.

On Monday, King & Spalding announced that former high-ranking Department of Justice (DOJ) official Gary Grindler, who left the DOJ in December 2012, will join the firm as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office. Grindler was acting deputy U.S. attorney general and chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder during his four years at the DOJ, where he was heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious, the government’s failed U.S.-Mexico gun-trafficking probe.

At King & Spalding, Grindler will specialize in government investigations with a focus on financial fraud, health care and False Claims Act cases—the same area of specialty he held when he worked as a partner at the firm from 2000 to 2009.

Cleary Gottlieb also has career-related news. Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported that partner Joon Kim will leave the firm to become the chief counsel of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. Kim first joined the firm in 1997 before spending six years at the U.S. Attorney’s office, where he prosecuted notorious mobsters such as Peter and John Gotti. Kim returned to Cleary Gottlieb in 2006 and was named a partner in 2009. During his time at the firm, he focused on white-collar criminal defense and regulatory enforcement.

A Cleary Gottlieb spokeswoman followed up with InsideCounsel and provided the following statement from Managing Partner Mark Leddy: “Joon is an exceptionally talented lawyer and a wonderful person. He will be a tremendous resource to the U.S. Attorney's Office. While we will miss him greatly, we share in his excitement for his new role. He follows a long tradition of Cleary attorneys who have entered public service. We very much appreciate the contributions he has made to the firm and offer him our best wishes for the future.”

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Ashley Post

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