Jon Campisi Sep. 12, 2011, 7:37am

Former U.S. Inspector General Glenn Fine, who spent his youth in the Philadelphia suburbs, is leaving government work and heading into private industry.

Fine, who graduated from Cheltenham High School in Montgomery County, Pa., has joined as a partner in the law firm Dechert LLP, the company has announced.

Dechert, which today has offices across the globe, was founded in Philadelphia in the late 1800s.

Fine will be working in white collar and securities litigation at the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Dechert announced on its website Sept. 8.

“Glen is a fabulous lawyer – an absolute pillar in the legal community,” Andrew J. Levander, chair of the firm’s policy committee, said in a company news release. “Few lawyers leave the government with the accolades that he has received. We are looking forward to Glenn continuing in his role as a leader among D.C. lawyers in private practice.”

As a partner with Dechert, Fine, who was once drafted to the NBA before turning to the legal profession, will focus his work on internal investigations, corporate compliance issues, corporate monitorships, government investigations and global white collar and securities matters, the release states.

According to the company, Fine worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He worked mostly in employment and labor law, handling many grand jury investigations and arguing cases before the U.S. District Court in Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In January 1995, Fine joined the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, where he first served as special counsel, the news release states.

The following year, Fine became director of the office’s Special Investigations and Review Unit. In 2000, Fine was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as the Inspector General, a position for which he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate at the end of that year.

Much of Fine’s work as Inspector General focused on terrorism-related matters, since he came into the office during the time of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Fine, Dechert said, handled matters such as reviewing the Justice Department’s treatment of detainees after the terror attacks, and looking into allegations of politically motivated hiring’s and firings at the department, specifically the various U.S. attorney’s who were reportedly terminated for their political views.

Under his tenure, the Office of the Inspector General, Dechert said, conducted various audits of the Justice Department’s financial statements and computer security practices as well as investigations into alleged misconduct by department employees.

According to Dechert, Fine graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1979 with a degree in economics. While at Harvard, Fine served as the co-captain of the college’s varsity basketball team and he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs soon after.

Fine went on to earn degrees from Oxford University before receiving his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1985.

According to the website, which lists what it calls the all-time best high school basketball players in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Fine graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1974. Cheltenham is located just over the Philadelphia line.

The site says during his final season at Cheltenham, Fine led his team to an upset victory over Abington High School, also in Montgomery County. Abington players eventually became state champions.

Fine was only 5-foot, 9-inches when he played ball.

As for his place at Dechert, Fine appears poised to enjoy a new career at a well-respected law firm.

“I am looking forward to joining Dechert and beginning the next phase in my legal career,” Fine said in a statement. “The firm has an extremely strong pool of talented lawyers and an outstanding international reputation.”

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