Lawyer integral in LICH case opens new firm
A familiar face in Brooklyn courtrooms who was a member of a prestigious Manhattan law firm has stepped out on his own to start a private boutique law practice focusing on complex litigation. Jim Walden has represented varied clients in litigation cases but has returned time and again to work for the public interest, with a knack for challenging government action.
Walden’s new firm, Walden Macht & Haran LLP, will have its inaugural office in Lower Manhattan on Broadway and will be joined by two former Brooklyn federal prosecutors, Timothy Macht and Sean Haran.
Walden served as federal prosecutor for the Eastern District for nine years, where he was chief of the Computer Crimes & Intellectual Property Section and deputy chief of the Organized Crime & Racketeering Section.
“This is my dream team,” Walden said. “Throughout our careers, we have tried the tough cases, handled investigations around the world and helped boards and management navigate dangerous shoals with stunning results. Together we will challenge the notion that corporations must employ the largest firms to handle bet-the-company matters.”
Walden was a partner with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where he served as co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice for seven years prior to starting Walden Macht & Haran.
Most recently, Walden gained media attention for his work on the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) case, where he represented six Brooklyn community groups that challenged the abrupt and clandestine closure plan for the Cobble Hill-based medical facility. While the case moved with the civil calendar through a series of dueling hearings and motions between the parties, Walden successfully negotiated a settlement agreement allowing the hospital to maintain on-site emergency medical services.
“He’s such a fine person with unimpeachable integrity,” Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA), one of the community groups party to the suit against the LICH closure, said of Walden. “A brilliant lawyer, and we are very grateful to him for the many pro bono hours he and his firm [Gibson Dunn] donated to the good causes BHA was advancing.”
The new firm will specialize in government investigations, white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation. But Walden, who gained much of his legal experience in Brooklyn, says he will continue to advance the community’s interest and defend it against unlawful government practices.
“Brooklyn has been a critical part of my professional development since I began in the U.S. Attorney’s office,” Walden told the Eagle.
In 2011, Walden filed a legal suit against the city to remove a Prospect Park West bike lane citing safety concerns.
“I love the borough,” Walden said of Brooklyn. “I will do as much as I can do in Brooklyn and continue to defend my community against unfair legal actions.”
“In my experience, Jim approaches every problem creatively, gives thoughtful guidance and keeps a clear-eyed focus on his client’s goals,” said Dan Cahill, former president of Viking Global Investors LLP. “There has been no problem too knotty for him to unwind. Even in a crisis, Jim solves problems.”
“We wish him the very best,” Stanton added.
The founding partners are joined by three other lawyers —Brian Mogck, Devon Little and Yeeta Yeger — formerly with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.