Firm of man who conducted PSU child sex-abuse probe acquired by Phila. firm Pepper Hamilton

By Jon Campisi | Aug 30, 2012

The Philadelphia law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP announced this week that it has

The Philadelphia law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP announced this week that it has

acquired the law firm and risk management association run by the man who gained national attention recently for his investigation into the Penn State University child sex-abuse scandal.

Pepper Hamilton announced in an Aug. 28 news release that it has acquired Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP and the Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, two firms run by Louis J. Freeh, the former FBI Director and federal judge who earlier this year had conducted an internal investigation into the activities surrounding the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case that made headlines across the country.

Sandusky, who is in his late 60s, was convicted earlier this summer of molesting 10 young boys during a 15-year period.

Some of the children were sexually abused on Penn State’s Centre County, Pa. campus.

The Pepper Hamilton announcement says that Freeh will be joining the law firm’s executive committee.

The risk management group, which was also part of the merger, will continue to operate independently in offering the “skills of top consultants, forensic accountants and analysts, and former FBI and other law enforcement officials in providing global business integrity and compliance, safety and security, and investigations and due diligence services,” the statement read.

Freeh Group International Solutions will retain its name and will continue to operate under the leadership of James R. Bucknam, its president and CEO.

The merger announcement was made jointly by Pepper Hamilton chairwoman Nina M. Gussack and Freeh. The transaction will be effective Sept. 1.

In prepared comments, Gussack said her firm is “delighted” to join forces with Freeh and his team.

“The Freeh Group will deepen and broaden Pepper’s already substantial corporate investigations, white collar advocacy and enforcement practice in key markets,” Gussack said. “With this merger, Pepper and the Freeh Group have enhanced their world-class capabilities to provide key services with a global reach.”

Gussack went on to say that Pepper and Freeh have successfully worked together in the past, something echoed by Freeh himself.

In his own statement, Freeh said the move would deliver value to clients “seeking efficient, timely, cost-effective solutions to complex problems.

“This transaction will allow us to do a lot more than conduct investigations and uncover problems,” Freeh said. “We will now have the depth to react quickly to sophisticated, complex issues anywhere in the world.

“Even more unique is our ability to give our clients real solutions, not merely determine facts, and then work with all parties to implement those solutions,” Freeh’s statement continues. “That’s what clients want. That is where we will provide extraordinary value.”

The attorneys who will be joining Pepper Hamilton will become part of the firm’s White Collar Litigation & Investigations practice group headed by Thomas M. Gallagher.

Freeh’s firm had been hired to conduct an investigation into Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

He unveiled his findings during a mid July news conference in Philadelphia.

The report was issued after Sandusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 counts of child sex abuse against him.

Sandusky currently awaits sentencing. He is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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