King & Spalding has hired Gareth Rees QC as a partner in London. Rees will spearhead UK investigations and financial crime and regulatory advice within the firm’s 100-lawyer-strong Special Matters & Government Investigations practice.

Rees has been executive director of Enforcement and the Executive Counsel at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the UK’s audit regulator and corporate governance authority, since 2012 and led prosecutions against accountants, auditors and actuaries in matters which affect the UK public interest.

’Gareth’s focus on financial investigations and criminal defence is a great fit for our firm and his arrival is a significant strategic step for our international white collar capabilities,’ said Drew Hruska, head of the firm’s Government Investigations Area of Focus. ’Our clients are increasingly involved in cross-border investigations involving the UK, with English law enforcement a key consideration, so Gareth’s credibility at the highest levels of the UK enforcement agencies and decades of experience will be an immediate asset.’

’It has been a privilege to be part of the FRC for the past five years and to lead investigations and enforcement cases of great public importance,’ Rees commented. ’King & Spalding has a reputation as a leader for white collar and investigations work so it is an extremely exciting opportunity to be joining the team.’

Rees is the latest former prominent enforcement official from a government agency to join the group. Most recently, Zachary Fardon, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, joined to launch the firm’s Chicago office.

Before joining the FRC, Rees practised at the bar for over 30 years and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 2003. While in private practice, Rees specialised in fraud and advised on criminal and regulatory issues relating to corruption, bribery, money laundering, sanctions and insider dealing. He was highly ranked in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

Rees will bolster King & Spalding’s existing regulatory and disputes practices in London. He becomes the fourth Queen’s Counsel in the firm’s London office and will work alongside partner Angela Hayes, who launched a UK financial services regulatory practice in 2013. Rees will join the firm on November 1, 2017.

’Gareth’s knowledge, pre-eminent expertise and involvement in so many significant investigations adds another level of expertise to our existing strengths in the key areas of regulatory and disputes work,’ added Garry Pegg, King & Spalding’s London Office managing partner.