Partner Jamie Parkinson Discusses His Career, the Firm’s Focus, Working in London and MoreJames T. Parkinson
James Parkinson was profiled in The Brief, in which he discussed his career, the firm’s focus, and working in London, on May 31, 2017.
Jamie, firstly can you give us a brief overview of your own career?
I started practice in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and trained with a cadre of very fine criminal defense lawyers focusing on white collar issues such as fraud, corruption, environmental crimes, etc. My work has almost always involved a cross-border element and like many U.K.-based lawyers, I have worked on issues in dozens of countries including India, China, Kazakhstan, the U.K., Egypt, Myanmar, Russia, Colombia, Guatemala, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. Over time, my partners and I have been privileged to work with some of the finest criminal defense counsel in many jurisdictions globally and developed a strong network of relationships. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work has been collaborating with superb counsel in jurisdictions where the legal regimes and traditions differ significantly from the U.S. – all while advancing the shared overall goal of defending our client.
What attracted you to a career in Law?
Unlike many, I did not wake up one day as a child and tell myself I wanted to be a lawyer, but I have always been an advocate and a problem solver, so my attraction to a career in law was in part that it permits me to do both. I find great motivation in the very human issues that are laid bare in an enforcement action, the fact development, and the policy questions. There is also a particularly American feature: We are acutely aware of the push and pull between our rights as private citizens on one side and the authority of the state on the other. Some areas of law embody this push and pull, and enforcement defense is one such area.
Can you tell us a bit about Buckley Sandler?
Founded during the white hot moments of the financial crisis, we focus on three main areas: (1) white collar criminal and civil enforcement defense for corporates and individuals; (2) complex civil litigation particularly but not exclusively stemming from the fallout of the financial crisis, mostly for banks and other financial institutions; and (3) regulatory and compliance counseling and transactions work for banks and other financial services firms, which have experienced an almost comprehensive overhaul of the applicable regulatory regime. When I joined in 2010, there were 70 lawyers at the firm and we are now 160 lawyers practicing in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. We count among our clients, 21 of the 25 largest banks in the U.S., the top 10 credit card issuers, the top mortgage originators and servicers, seven of the top 10 auto finance originators, and numerous mid-size banks, fintech companies, private equity firms, and other investors in the financial services industry. We are also involved in numerous complex international enforcement actions, requiring collaboration with counsel in multiple jurisdictions. With all of this in mind, however, we have retained cohesion during this growth and maturation that allows us to be a close-knit group. I think our clients see and value (and benefit from) that cohesion.