SPEARS & IMES LLP devotes its practice to complex litigation and investigative work in the areas of civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and regulatory matters including securities enforcement.

Our lawyers have decades of experience trying civil, criminal, and administrative matters in a wide range of forums and locations. We have tried a large number of civil and criminal cases before juries in federal and state courts across the country; we have tried many regulatory cases before administrative law judges and agency hearing panels; and we have tried cases before a variety of arbitration tribunals. We also have an extensive appellate practice, and we regularly handle appeals of civil and criminal cases.

For many years, Spears & Imes has been recognized as a “Leading Firm” among Specialist Firms with expertise in White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations by Chambers and Partners in its highly regarded annual guide to leading law firms and lawyers, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers describes the firm as a “highly respected litigation boutique offering expert advice in all areas of white-collar criminal defense as well as securities enforcement,” with “a strong bench of trial advocates with extensive prosecutorial experience,” “appellate expertise,” and “significant expertise in assisting individuals with complex investigations conducted by regulators across several jurisdictions, as well as advising a range of institutional clients.” According to sources consulted by Chambers, the firm’s attorneys enjoy a market reputation for being “totally excellent at what they do,” and clients seek them out because “they dig in deep, are thoughtful and really add value.” One source describes the firm’s attorneys as “legends.”

Additionally, Chambers has long recognized partners David Spears and Linda Imes as “Leading Individuals” in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations. Chambers reports that Mr. Spears “offers a wealth of experience acting for financial services sector clients in criminal trials and civil enforcement and regulatory proceedings.” Sources consulted by Chambers describe Mr. Spears as “extremely knowledgeable” and “terrific,” emphasizing that he is “fearless, a quick study, and a great adviser” with “a wide breadth of experience.” Chambers recognizes Ms. Imes as a “Band 1” leading practitioner in white collar criminal defense and investigations. Sources quoted by Chambers praise Ms. Imes as “a trailblazer” and “one of the leaders of the Bar,” noting that she is “always outstanding in her representations” and “very focused and diligent,” with “excellent” judgment and “brain power and experience.”

Spears & Imes has been listed among the “50 Law Firms Professionals Should Know About” in the Super Lawyers supplement to The New Yorker magazine. The firms on this list have been selected by the publisher of Super Lawyers as firms that stand out in their designated areas of expertise, and each has attorneys who are highly ranked on the New York Super Lawyers list.

The firm represents both entities and individuals. We routinely represent large companies, including financial institutions, in litigation and investigations in which billions of dollars are at stake or which involve extremely sensitive issues of great importance to our clients. We frequently represent our entity clients in disputes with other large entities. We typically represent individuals whose liberty or livelihood is in jeopardy.

The firm’s practice is international in scope. In recent years, the firm has represented clients in Canada, England, France, Gibraltar, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, the Netherlands, Iceland, and the Cayman Islands. We have been involved in litigation and government investigations in foreign countries with implications in the United States, litigation and government investigations in the United States where our clients and much of the relevant evidence are located in foreign countries, and court proceedings in the United States to obtain evidence for use in foreign proceedings.

We seek to hire the brightest and most talented attorneys and paraprofessionals in the New York City legal market. In every aspect of the firm’s work, our attorneys and our staff share a commitment to excellence, and we have consistently achieved outstanding results for our clients.

Complex Civil Litigation

In the area of complex civil litigation, we have represented preeminent domestic and international financial institutions and other entities, as plaintiffs and defendants, in high-stakes lawsuits often involving hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars. We have tried many civil cases before juries, judges, and arbitration panels. We have also helped our clients achieve very favorable settlements without trial.

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White Collar Criminal Defense

In the area of criminal defense, we recognize that avoiding indictment is the best possible outcome, and we have persuaded prosecutors across the country not to bring charges against our clients. When we represent clients who have been indicted, we bring extensive jury trial experience to bear. Our attorneys have defended numerous clients in jury trials with notable successes in high-profile cases.

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Securities Enforcement

In our securities enforcement practice, we have substantial experience in every phase of investigations by and proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA (formerly the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD). Our cases have involved a wide range of legal issues and provisions under the securities laws. Our attorneys have tried many cases against the SEC, both in federal court and before an SEC Administrative Law Judge, and against FINRA, before a panel headed by a Hearing Officer.

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The firm also has an active and varied appellate practice. Our lawyers, who include a former Deputy Chief of Appeals (Criminal Division) at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, have decades of experience in appellate work. In government and private practice, our lawyers have briefed and argued scores of appeals in civil and criminal cases in federal and state courts.

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Parallel Proceedings

Our experience means that we are especially well-qualified to defend individuals and institutions in parallel proceedings where a criminal investigation, a regulatory inquiry, and a civil lawsuit progress simultaneously or in quick succession, all based on the same underlying facts. Each of these proceedings presents different risks, and we are adept at protecting our clients by devising strategies that take all of the risks into account.