Peter Tomczak has been named Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice and Maurice Bellan has been appointed Vice Chair of the group. Peter and Maurice succeed Mark Taylor, who will continue his active litigation practice.
Based in Chicago, Peter joined Baker McKenzie as an associate in 2003 and was elected partner in 2010. During his career at the Firm, he has held a number of leadership positions within the Litigation and Government Enforcement (LGE) practice, including serving on its Steering Committee and also as Chair of the Chicago LGE practice.
Maurice, a former criminal investigator and trial attorney at the US Department of Justice based in Washington, DC, leads the Firm's False Claims Act practice and serves as Chair of the LGE North American hiring committee.
"Our Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice has seen great success under the leadership of Mark Taylor, and I'm certain Peter and Maurice will continue to build on that growth -- working with their colleagues to provide industry-focused service to our clients as they manage an array of multijurisdictional risks, disputes and investigations," said Colin Murray, the Firm's North American Chief Executive. "I look forward to working with them as part of our North America management team."
Peter and Maurice's appointments became effective July 1 and they will serve a three-year term.
A recognized leader in advising on anticorruption issues and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Peter focuses his practice on conducting corporate internal investigations, counselling on corporate governance matters and litigating complex business disputes. He has conducted sensitive investigations in more than 20 countries, and advised companies and their boards of directors on anticorruption issues. Peter is the co-author of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Handbook (5th ed. 2018), considered a leading anticorruption reference.
"It is an honor to serve and lead the Litigation and Government Enforcement practice in North America," said Peter. "Our team excels in serving our clients as their trusted advisers in international, high-stakes litigation and controversies, and I strongly believe that by continuing to focus upon our clients and their legal and business issues, we have an even stronger future."
Maurice's government enforcement practice involves pharmaceutical and medical devices, government contracts, and the financial and energy industries. He counsels clients who participate in US federal programs or receive federal funding for business activities and also handles enforcement of the False Claims Act, the FCPA, and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, as well as investigations related to Stark and Anti-Kickback allegations.
“We have a terrific team in North America and around the world, with standout practitioners across all areas of disputes, investigations and compliance," said Maurice. "I'm excited to work with Peter and our talented colleagues as we provide our clients with top-tier service during this period of global uncertainty."
Baker McKenzie's litigation practice is one of the largest and most recognized globally, with more than 850 litigators based in major financial centers and emerging markets worldwide. In North America, the practice has more than 150 litigators, including several senior-level former DOJ regulators, prosecutors and the former Minister of Justice for Canada. The group's practitioners act as trial and appellate counsel in state and federal courts, and represent clients before arbitration tribunals, mediation panels, administrative agencies, grand juries, and in federal and internal investigations. The practice also develops compliance programs addressing a variety of issues and perform risk assessments to help reduce clients' litigation exposure.
The practice continues to grow - having added 11 partners in the region over the last two years as it continues to strengthen its capabilities.
Peter earned his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, from which he received among other awards the Daniel H. Grady Prize for graduating with the highest scholastic average in his class. He served as a law clerk for the Delaware Court of Chancery before joining Baker McKenzie.Maurice received his B.A. from Howard University and his J.D. from the University of Maryland where he was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Health Care Law & Policy at the School of Law’s nationally-ranked Law and Health Care Program.