Firm establishes AG practice and further expands enforcement and investigations capabilities
IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Clayton S. Friedman and Michael Yaghi have joined Crowell & Moring as partners and members of the firm's State Attorneys General Enforcement and Investigations practice, which Friedman will lead. The pair brings more than 40 years of combined experience handling state and federal consumer regulatory enforcement matters, and strengthens the firm's ability to advise clients facing state attorneys general investigations, as well as investigations brought by the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and local and county District Attorneys' offices.
Friedman spent nearly a decade as an assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri and held various posts, including overseeing consumer protection matters, before going into private practice. He was also the chief counsel and director of business regulation for the National Association of Attorneys General. Friedman has been lead counsel for numerous states in multistate enforcement actions, including nationwide settlements with major automotive repair and manufacturing corporations, credit reporting agencies, and national retailers. In private practice, Friedman has handled some of the largest and most complex individual and multistate enforcement proceedings for major corporations. He has led teams in successful litigation initiated against clients by the FTC.
Yaghi has extensive litigation experience as well as in defending companies against state and federal consumer regulatory enforcement. He handles single and multistate enforcement actions, including actions brought by the FTC, CFPB, and other state and federal regulatory agencies relating to advertising, marketing, privacy, telemarketing and other consumer regulatory issues. Yaghi also handles litigation if an enforcement matter is not resolved and the state or federal regulator brings a formal lawsuit.
Friedman and Yaghi have developed a premier practice focused on matters involving advertising, marketing, privacy, and regulatory issues—both traditional and e-commerce. As a result, they have handled an array of high-profile matters, including national settlements for a variety of publicly-traded companies. The pair is based in the firm's Orange County office.
"Clay and Mike are a dynamic and seasoned team, widely recognized for their handling of some of the most high-stakes AG enforcement matters. Their proven experience, relationships, and approach will immediately benefit our clients given the rise of state-level regulatory enforcement actions," said Philip T. Inglima, chair of Crowell & Moring.
"We are thrilled to welcome Clay and Mike to our Orange County office. Their arrival strengthens the firm's ability to advise clients confronting the highly complex consumer regulatory environment," said Chahira Solh, managing partner of the firm's Orange County office.
"One of the firm's core strengths is representing clients in challenging government-facing litigation matters. We have recognized the need to supplement our significant federal enforcement experience with in-depth state attorneys general capabilities," said Chris Cole, co-chair of the firm's Advertising & Media Group. "So many serious consumer protection investigations now start in the states. By adding this team, we strengthen our ability to guide clients through matters across the expanding landscape of federal and state regulatory enforcement, litigation and compliance matters."
Friedman and Yaghi said they were drawn to Crowell & Moring because they had previously worked with Cole and other firm lawyers and were impressed by the culture.
"We have worked closely with Crowell & Moring lawyers over the years, and were attracted to the firm's collegial atmosphere and unique culture," Friedman said. "We are excited about the synergies that are possible by moving our practice to Crowell & Moring. It's a win-win for us."
Friedman earned his law degree from the Saint Louis University School of Law and his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Yaghi earned his law degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and his undergraduate degree in political science also from Santa Clara University.
About Crowell & Moring LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.
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