NY Times: Kramer Levin to bring in John P. Coffey as chair of complex litigation group

After losing a campaign to become New York’s attorney general several years ago, John P. “Sean” Coffey got involved in starting a litigation-funding investment firm and said he didn’t know if he would ever return to law practice.

But last summer he helped Allen & Overy defend a former Goldman Sachs trader, Fabrice Tourre, in a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange commission, setting himself up as a solo practitioner to do so. Although Tourre lost, the case cast a favorable spotlight on Coffey, now 57, and reminded him of how much he enjoyed such work.

On Wednesday, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel is expected to announce that Coffey is joining the firm and will chair its complex litigation practice, the New York Times’ DealBook blog reports. Reuters also has a story.

“He had devastating cross-examinations. That is a skill that few people have,” partner Barry H. Berke of Kramer Levin told the Times, referring to Coffey’s work at the Tourre trial. “He’s going to light the bar on fire.”

Related coverage:

Bloomberg (Aug. 2013): “Tourre’s Junior Staff Defense Seen Leading to Trial Loss”

Bloomberg (Oct. 2013): “Tourre Doesn’t Deserve New Trial in Abacus Case, SEC Says”

Updated at 5:12 p.m. to include link to Reuters article.

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