Exclusive: Barclays' Diamond turns to top lawyer for Libor scandal

Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:47pm EDT
 
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By Steve Slater and Aruna Viswanatha

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Barclays' embattled former chief executive Bob Diamond is being represented by top white-collar defense lawyer Andrew Levander in a widening scandal over the manipulation of benchmark interest rates, people familiar with the matter said.

More than a dozen current and former employees of several large banks under investigation have hired defense lawyers over the past year, but Levander's role is one of the most high-profile.

Levander, a partner at the law firm Dechert LLP, is one of the biggest names in the defense bar in the United States. He is currently also representing former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine in investigations into the collapse of the failed commodities brokerage he ran, MF Global.

Levander, who is known for his trademark bow ties, had a prime seat by Corzine when the former CEO was grilled multiple times at congressional hearings in Washington late last year.

He has also represented outside directors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and hedge-fund manager and philanthropist Ezra Merkin, who was sued over money lost in the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff.

A person representing Diamond declined to comment. A spokesman for Barclays Plc declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Dechert declined to comment.

It is unclear when Diamond hired Levander and Dechert.

Barclays last month agreed to pay $453 million to settle charges that it manipulated Libor -- the London interbank offered rate, which is compiled from estimates by large international banks of how much they believe they have to pay to borrow from each other.   Continued...

 
Barclays bank former Chief Executive Bob Diamond arrives at Portcullis House to attend a Treasury select committee hearing in Westminster, London July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor