Sean Hecker has established himself as one of the legal professionals in the field of white collar law. He is a partner in Debevoise and Plimpton LLP’s white collar practice group, located in New York City. He is able to offer powerful representation for individuals in the Securities and Exchange Commission in both criminal and in-house investigations. He is also adept at conducting internal investigations and has the necessary experience in order to conduct the most complex civil litigation practices. He recently was the subject of a broad question and answer forum, which included the following:
Q: Tell us about the most challenging case you have ever worked on?
A; I was the core member of a team involved in the internal investigation of corruption issues with the Siemens AG Compliance Committee. There were a number of things that made it challenging, including having to conduct the investigation in many different countries and with many different languages involved; working on a massive investigation in just two years; and the constant and demanding travel.
Q: Are they any aspects of your legal practice that need reform?
A: Our country relies too heavily on lengthy incarceration periods because of the mandatory minimums law. Sentencing reform is sorely needed in my type of legal practice.
Q: Are there any attorneys outside of your own law firm that have impressed you?
A: Yes, most definitely. One of them would be Andy Schapiro, who is currently with the Quinn Emanuel firm. At one time Andy was a federal public defender and advocated for his client during a sentencing hearing. It was a very difficult moment, but he was able to help the client be able to have a dramatically improved outcome. Watching Andy do his work piqued my interest in the legal profession and I ended up following in his footsteps to the public defender’s office from 2003 to 2006.
Q: Tell me about a mistake you have made early in your career and what you have learned from it.
A: My first criminal trial consisted of defending a man who was accused of a Hobbs Act Robbery. Interestingly enough, the only eyewitness at the trial actually identified one of the jurors as the person who robbed the furniture store! I was looking for a “Law and Order” moment and I mentioned this fact in stunning fashion. However, it backfired on me because the eyewitness left his glasses at home. Although my client was ultimately acquitted, I learned a powerful lesson not to open my mouth if things are going well.