Top NYC prosecutors Strauss and Vance head to private law firms



The former top Manhattan prosecutors announced on Monday that they have joined private law firms after years overseeing some of the nation’s most high-profile cases.

Former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. will serve as global cybersecurity practice chairman at law firm Baker McKenzie.

“Cybercrime is really, today, a global challenge,” Vance said in an interview. “There really is a tsunami in terms of the rapid explosion of cyber risk and cybercrime over the last decade plus.”

Former Manhattan attorney Audrey Strauss, meanwhile, announced that she had returned to white-collar defense firm Fried Frank. She led the Southern District of New York from June 2020 to October last year.

Strauss was in the driver’s seat when federal prosecutors announced the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein’s main enabler, Ghislaine Maxwell. The British socialite was found guilty in December of trafficking minors for Epstein’s abuse.

Strauss’s appointment as U.S. attorney resolved a dramatic showdown between former Attorney General William Barr and then-U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman, who refused to resign when former President Donald’s AG Trump gave him the axe. Berman left when Barr agreed to hand over the reins to Strauss.

Berman, now a partner at Fried Frank, said in a statement that he was pleased to have Strauss as a colleague again, calling her “one of the wisest and most effective advisers in the legal community.”

Vance led the district attorney’s office for 12 years, handling numerous high-profile cases, including the Harvey Weinstein trial. Vance also led a year-long investigation into the Trump Organization’s accounting practices, which resulted in charges against the company itself and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

The investigation into Trump’s business continues under Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg.

Vance told the Daily News that he understood the threat of cyberterrorism during his tenure as prosecutor.

“As a country, we need federal leadership and leadership in all states to identify for the public how they can identify risk,” he said. “I don’t think as a country we’ve really been that clear to the 300 million Americans about how they should respond to growing cyber risks.”

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Vance and Strauss were replaced by pioneer prosecutors. District Attorney Bragg and current Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams are the first black men to lead both offices.

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