Melinda Haag Partner, White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance, White Collar
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Melinda brings her stellar reputation, leadership skills and deep experience to Orrick’s San Francisco office. She is a seasoned trial lawyer and a Fellow with the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. Most recently, in January of this year Melinda and the team successfully represented a tech executive at trial who was charged with criminal theft of trade secrets. Following a two-week jury trial and one hour of deliberations, the client was acquitted on all counts.
After being nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Melinda served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California from August 2010 through September 2015, overseeing the U.S. Department of Justice’s work in a district that is an epicenter for complex, cutting-edge investigations and prosecutions. She led a team of more than 130 criminal and civil Assistant U.S. Attorneys in handling a high volume of matters that involved export enforcement, computer intrusions and intellectual property theft, international corruption, digital currency issues, securities fraud, and economic crimes, health care fraud, national security, public integrity and civil rights violations, and organized crime, among other things. Melinda served as Co-Chair of the White-Collar Crime Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was a member of the Cybersecurity and Health Care Fraud Subcommittees, where she collaborated with U.S. Attorneys nationwide on the development and implementation of national policies and practices regarding the government’s approach to economic crimes and cybersecurity.
Melinda is an experienced trial lawyer and is a Fellow with the American College of Trial Lawyers. She has personally handled securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, trade secret theft, bribery, antitrust, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, environmental, civil rights, defense contractor fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and child exploitation cases. Melinda has served as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 20 jury and bench trials, including a number of complex white-collar and civil rights cases. Among her most notable trial accomplishments, Melinda served as co-lead trial counsel representing the CFO of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company who was charged with violating the federal criminal securities laws. The client was acquitted and completely vindicated following a lengthy trial. She also successfully defended at trial the former GC of a publicly-traded software company, who had been charged with federal criminal securities law violations. Following a three-week jury trial, all charges against her client were dismissed. And most recently, Melinda and the team represented a tech executive at trial who was charged with criminal theft of trade secrets. Following a two-week jury trial and one hour of deliberations, the client was acquitting on all counts. While serving as an AUSA, Melinda led the federal government’s successful investigation and criminal trial against prison guards at Pelican Bay State Prison charged with violating the civil rights of numerous prison inmates in their care.
After earning her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1987, Melinda began her career as a litigation associate and then served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. She thereafter worked as a partner in a San Francisco boutique law firm before being tapped by then U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller (who later served as FBI Director and later the Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in U.S. elections) to serve as a supervisor in the San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office. Melinda stepped down as the Chief of the White-Collar Section in 2003, joining Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a litigation partner in San Francisco.
Melinda has conducted and supervised countless complex investigations in connection with her work representing companies, boards of directors and the government. She typically first meets with the client to discuss and understand the facts and allegations, as well as context and culture, and then to agree on a focused, efficient investigative plan. Melinda understands that some investigations require a broad, exhaustive approach, and that some can be more narrowly tailored and conducted in a way that minimizes disruption. These investigations have involved allegations or concerns regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, trade secret theft, bribery, antitrust enforcement, health care fraud, public corruption, securities fraud, and mail and wire fraud, among others.
Melinda also has significant experience representing high-level executives in connection with government investigations and cases, as well as in internal investigations. She is currently representing the General Counsel of a national bank; the founder and former CEO of a San Francisco-based tech company; the founder and CEO of a tech company in connection with a wide-ranging international investigation; the former CEO of a health care company; and more. Melinda understands the special challenges her individual clients face, cares deeply about the difficulties they face, and quickly gains their trust.
Melinda is called upon regularly to speak at conferences and law schools, as a keynote speaker, panelist, or moderator, on a wide range of legal and career-related subjects. She is also often asked by media outlets to provide information and commentary regarding issues ranging from the work of the Special Counsel to criminal justice reform.
Tal Hacohen is a partner in the Corporate Group of Orrick’s New York office and is a member of the Global Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Group.
Tal represents U.S. and multinational public and private company clients in a variety of transactions and across industries, including domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, private placements and restructurings. Tal also advises boards of directors and shareholders in all aspects of New York and Delaware corporate, partnership and limited liability company law, including corporate governance and fiduciary duty matters.
In addition, Tal represents numerous early- and growth-stage technology companies (with a particular focus on Israeli-related companies) in equity and debt financing rounds and general corporate matters.
Tal was recently recognized as a "40 under 40 Emerging Leader" by The M&A Advisor, an "Acritas Star" by Acritas and a “Rising Star” by IFLR for his work in the area of Mergers & Acquisitions.
Sarah Hafeez is an associate in the Washington, D.C., office and is a member of the firm's Litigation practice group.
Bill Haft is a corporate finance lawyer and serves as head of Orrick’s global Banking & Finance group. He has a broad practice counseling international financial institutions and corporations in credit and capital markets transactions; bank, structured and asset finance; project finance; securities regulation and commercial law; mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures and restructurings.
Bill regularly counsels clients in connection with cross-border matters, including maritime, energy and infrastructure transactions.
Reflecting feedback from his clients, Bill was recently named to BTI’s “Client Service All-Stars,” an exclusive recognition for lawyers who demonstrate superior client service. Described by an IFLR1000 client commentator as “extremely responsive” with a “deep spectrum of knowledge,” in Banking and Finance, Bill is also consistently recognized as a leading international lawyer by Chambers Global for his “experience working with French and other European clients on capital markets transactions.”
Bill has particular experience in the maritime sector having advised on numerous complex international shipping and offshore corporate and capital markets transactions and restructurings on behalf of a cross section of banks, arrangers, investors, owners and operators.
Before joining Orrick, Bill practiced with two other international law firms in New York and Paris.
Kevin Hale is resident in the Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Public Finance Department. Kevin has more than 12 years of experience working as bond counsel and disclosure counsel on tax-exempt bond financings including certificates of participation and lease revenue financings, tax increment redevelopment financings, Mello-Roos district financings, assessment district financings, single- and multi-family housing financings, transportation and capital improvement revenue financings, both pooled and stand-alone Marks-Roos financings and general obligation bonds.
Kevin has also served as bond counsel in conduit financings by the California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA), the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank), the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) and several local agency issuers for the benefit of educational and cultural facilities throughout California.
Kevin also has extensive experience working as counsel to underwriters and placement agents and is routinely engaged and consulted on disclosure and structuring issues by national and regional investment banks working with public sector clients.
Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate with Wehner & Perlman where he had significant responsibility in the litigation of actions for fraud and securities fraud under California and federal securities laws, both civil and criminal.
Wheeling, W.V. (GOIC)
Wheeling, W.V. (GOIC)
Melanie is a member of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate practice.
Before joining Orrick, Melanie served as a law clerk and judicial assistant to the Honorable Thomas M. Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was previously an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.
Melanie received her law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where she was an Articles Editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. She graduated from Vanderbilt University.
David Halperin, a senior partner in Orrick's Hong Kong office, is a member of the Corporate Group. His practice focuses on corporate and commercial matters, banking and finance projects for investment funds and their managers, and entertainment and media clients.
David has advised a number of venture capital and direct investment clients with respect to their Asian investments.
Before joining Orrick, David served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander (U.S.N.R.) and serving from 1969-1970 as a special assistant to Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Commander of Naval Forces, Vietnam and later Chief of Naval Operations. From 1970-71, he served as personal assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger, assistant to the president for national security affairs. David worked for Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York from 1974-1976 before joining the Hong Kong office of Coudert Brothers in 1976. He became a partner of Coudert in 1983 and has practiced in Hong Kong for over 40 years.
Sophia’s practice focuses on federal income tax law, with an emphasis on renewable energy investment, energy tax credits and domestic and international project developments and financing transactions. She has represented both lenders and borrowers in various financing transactions, and also sponsors in renewable energy transactions.
Siobhan Handley is Orrick’s Chief Talent Officer. She is responsible for developing and executing talent and human resource strategies to advance the firm’s strategy and serve its clients.
In collaboration with the firm’s leadership team, she focuses on designing and implementing programs to recruit, inspire and advance the best legal and staff talent.
Siobhan previously served as Orrick’s Managing Director for Resources. In that role, she spearheaded the development of the firm’s innovative talent model—the first of its kind in a major law firm—which replaces the traditional associate lockstep advancement system with merit-based advancement. As chair of the firm’s Talent Committee, she oversees Orrick’s lawyer training and performance feedback program – which is one of the most rigorous in the market. She also has led the creation of a range of new lawyer and professional staff roles.
Siobhan brings to this role extensive experience on the front line of client service, having been a partner in the firm’s product liability litigation and mass tort defense group. For more than a decade, she was a member of the Orrick team that acted as National Counsel to Union Carbide Corporation in connection with asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits and served as lead trial counsel in cases across the country. Siobhan was one of the key trial counsel in the highly-publicized landmark trial in Texas State Court, Brazoria County, where Kelly-Moore Paint Company sued Union Carbide for $1.4 billion in compensatory damages and $4.2 billion in punitive damages that resulted in a complete defense verdict. In addition, she served as trial counsel for significant product liability cases for other clients including Wyeth and Flexible Products.
Christine is recognized by her clients for her unique ability to distill complicated concepts into powerful and persuasive narratives that put their interests front and center.
She has experience working on multi-jurisdictional litigations and regulatory investigations that involve a complex combination of securities law, shareholder litigation, and regulatory compliance. Her experience also includes litigating matters with the Washington Attorney General's office. Christine dives into new cases and areas of law fearlessly and has a talent for quickly getting up to speed and crafting strategies to stop the opposition in its tracks.
Christine has a strong interest in the intersection of financial litigation and regulation and emerging fintech, and she has written articles on the intersection of securities law and cryptocurrency, which are featured below. As technology advances beyond the traditional language of the law, Christine understands that clients need a cohesive strategy to move their business forward while avoiding legal pitfalls.
Christine also maintains a pro bono practice centering on immigration and prisoners' rights.
Rick advises investment funds and asset managers on structured finance, securitisation and fund financing solutions in respect of a wide range of alternative and illiquid asset classes.
He has experience with funding structures backed directly and indirectly by commercial real estate, private debt and other asset classes. He advises on fund leverage matters including warehouse lines, loan-on-loan and repo financing, as well as loan portfolios (performing and non-performing) acquired or disposed of using securitisation and structured lending techniques.Rick handles derivatives-related matters as as well as standard and esoteric securitisations, across a wide range of specialty finance structures and asset classes.