Osborne's arrival closely follows that of prominent white-collar lawyer Michael Bromwich, who joined the firm on October 1.
Osborne focuses her practice on conducting investigations of all types, as well as both criminal and civil litigation. She has a particular focus on cross-border matters, including financial crime and contentious regulatory investigations, internal investigations and litigation. Osborne has represented numerous clients in investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Conduct Authority, as well as in investigations and defense work before other agencies in the United Kingdom and worldwide. She has represented clients in relation to financial crimes such as bribery, fraud, and money laundering, and on sanctions, regulation and compliance. Of particular note is Osborne's representation of the global outsourcing company, Serco, in securing the UK's fifth and most recent deferred prosecution agreement for one its subsidiaries in relation to fraud and false accounting offenses.
Supplementing her deep skillfulness in investigations, Osborne brings a wealth of financial services regulatory experience with her, including counseling financial institutions in relation to the wholesale foreign exchange market, credit default swaps, government bonds and sovereigns, supranationals, and agency bonds (SSAs). Osborne has undertaken secondments at both Citigroup and Barclays.
In welcoming Osborne, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: "Zoe has represented some of the largest financial services and other businesses in investigations by enforcement agencies in both the UK and US. She is a smart and hard-working lawyer who will strengthen our International Regulation & Compliance Group operating in the US, Europe, and Asia, and will further deepen the talent pool in our white-collar, financial services and litigation groups."
Through decades of experience, Steptoe has earned a national reputation as a go-to firm for boards, audit committees, special committees, companies, and other institutions in need of outside counsel to handle government investigations, sensitive internal investigations, and compliance reviews. The firm's team includes former officials from a wide range of US law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Treasury Department, IRS, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the New York County District Attorney's Office. The firm continues to invest in this practice, and Osborne’s hire demonstrates its commitment to building and expanding its top-notch team in London.
Osborne remarked: "In reflecting on my career to date and where I aspire to direct it, I wanted a firm that is committed to maintaining a top-quality, cross-border investigations practice. That search led me to Steptoe. Not only does it have a wealth of talent handling criminal defense and investigations, the firm is seeking to further invest in its investigations team in London and other jurisdictions outside the US."
In London, Osborne joins Steptoe partner Meredith Rathbone, a US-qualified international regulatory lawyer who spent nearly 15 years in Steptoe's Washington, DC office before relocating to the firm's London office more than two years ago. Rathbone advises on economic sanctions, export controls, and other trade-related matters affecting clients in the financial services, technology, telecommunications, energy, defense, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and service industries. Steptoe's London compliance team also includes partners John Rupp, who joined the firm in 2015, bringing more than 40 years' experience advising clients on compliance matters and conducting internal investigations involving bribery, money laundering, trade control issues, and accounting irregularities, and Alexandra Melia, who also has significant experience advising clients in cross-border investigations and defense matters, international regulatory due diligence, and compliance counseling.
Osborne received her LLB, with honors, from the University of Birmingham and completed her Legal Practice Course (LPC) from Nottingham Law School in London. She is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.