Karen Patton SeymourPartner
Karen Patton Seymour is a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. She has a multidisciplinary practice focusing on corporate governance, crisis management, complex commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations.
Ms. Seymour recently rejoined the Firm from Goldman Sachs, where she served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and was a member of the Management Committee. She oversaw the firm’s strategy regarding class action and other litigation and enforcement issues and served as a key advisor to the firm across a wide variety of legal, reputational and other matters. She successfully resolved a number of important matters on behalf of the firm and was key in negotiating the firm’s most critical legal matters, including the multijurisdictional settlement relating to 1MDB. She also advised the “Launch with GS,” Goldman Sachs’ $500 million commitment to narrow the gender investing gap and to increase access to capital for women and diverse entrepreneurs and investors, and served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Prior to her time at Goldman Sachs, Ms. Seymour was co-managing partner of S&C’s Litigation Group and represented corporations and individuals in state and federal investigations and proceedings involving allegations of securities fraud and insider trading, and FCPA, anti-money laundering, OFAC sanctions, and criminal antitrust violations. She often worked on complex, multi-jurisdictional matters, such as leading the negotiations of numerous significant settlements involving multiple jurisdictions. Illustrative of this is the high profile sanctions settlement Ms. Seymour secured for BNP Paribas in 2014 for which the Financial Times noted the “limited fallout.” Ms. Seymour has tried numerous jury and bench trials in federal court and argued many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She has deep experience representing corporations and individuals outside of the United States in responding to U.S. inquiries and investigations, and assisting in complex international investigations.
Ms. Seymour has been recognized as a “Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal and was named “Attorney of the Year” twice, by Benchmark and Best Lawyers in America, for her white-collar and investigations work. In 2021, Chambers USA recognized Ms. Seymour as an “Eminent Practitioner,” a recognition that is given to a select few attorneys, for her work in financial services regulation and white-collar crime and government investigations. She was named “Investigations Professional of the Year” by Global Investigations Review in the inaugural presentation of the award in 2021.
From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Seymour served as Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she supervised 165 federal prosecutors and oversaw all criminal investigations and prosecutions in the district.
During her first tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1990 to 1996, she prosecuted a wide variety of cases and served as Chief of the General Crimes Unit.
Selected Rankings and Recognitions
- Chambers USA – Recognized as a leading litigator in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2006-2017, 2021-2022) and in Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Regulatory Enforcement & Investigations) (2007-2017, 2021-2022)
- Lawdragon – Ranked as one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States (2012-2017, 2021-2022)
- Global Investigations Review – Investigations Professional of the Year Award (2021)
- Women’s White Collar Defense Association, Laurie A. Miller Memorial Award (2020)
- Lawdragon, Legends of the 500 (2020)
- Chambers General Counsel Influencers – Recognized in the Global 100 (2019)
- Euromoney’s American Women in Business Law Award (2018)
- The Best Lawyers in America “Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)” Lawyer of the Year Award (2017)
- Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation “White Collar/Enforcement/Investigations” Attorney of the Year Award Recipient (2016)
- The Best Lawyers in America – Recognized as a leading litigator in the areas of White-Collar Criminal Defense (2007-2018), Commercial Litigation (2007-2018), Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (2012-2018), Bet-the-Company Litigation (2016-2018) and Litigation - Securities (2012-2018)
- Euromoney’s Expert Guides – Ranked as one of the top 30 white collar crime attorneys in the United States
- Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation – Recognized as a Top 10 Practitioner in White-Collar Crime/Investigations (2017)
- Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers – Recommended Lawyer for Business Crime Defense
Professional Activities and Community Involvement
- Advisory Board Member, NYU Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement
- Honorary Trustee, Vera Institute of Justice
- Board Member, Public Art Fund
- Member, American Law Institute – Adviser on Restatement of the Law Third, Conflict of Laws project and on Principles of the Law, Compliance, Enforcement, and Risk Management for Corporations, Non-Profits, and Other Organizations
- Member, The Board of Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art