A Boston lawyer who was one of the final names being considered for the U.S. Attorney role in Massachusetts, before Rachael Rollins was ultimately picked and later resigned in disgrace, has been appointed as the top prosecutor at The Hague for the Kosovo war crimes tribunal.
Kim West, a partner at Ashcroft Law Firm in Boston, was recently selected as the Specialist Prosecutor at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, Netherlands.
West was one of the high-profile local lawyers who were being looked at as the replacement for Andrew Lelling to lead the Bay State U.S. Attorney’s Office. Rollins, the Suffolk County district attorney at the time, was later picked as U.S. Attorney — and she recently resigned following bombshell investigative reports from two federal watchdog agencies.
Instead of the experienced and accomplished West running the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office, she’s now heading to the European Union-backed court.
“I am extremely grateful to the European Union for selecting me for this position,” West said in a statement. “My colleagues at Ashcroft Law Firm know that my passion has long been centered around international investigations. They recognized that this is an opportunity of a lifetime, and have all been very supportive.
“This new role allows me to continue working with victims, witnesses, and the international community to ensure that perpetrators of war crimes are brought to justice,” West added.
She began her legal career as assistant district attorney in Plymouth County. Then after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, she joined the Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit at the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Later, she served for five years as a trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where she prosecuted Radovan Karadzic — who was found guilty of directing the genocide of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims in the worst massacre on European soil since the Holocaust.
Then as chief of the Criminal Bureau for the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts, West supervised a team of more than 120 professionals responsible for investigating and prosecuting a range of financial, fraud, public corruption, narcotics, gaming, human trafficking, and other offenses.
West at Ashcroft Law Firm has focused on white-collar cases, primarily representing international clients.
“We are immensely proud of her achievements and grateful for the contributions she has made to our firm,” said Michael Sullivan, managing partner of Ashcroft Law Firm’s Boston office. “People from around the world have sought her help because of her empathy and commitment to international justice and accountability. Those same characteristics will guide her in her new position.”
Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the firm’s founder and chairman, said of West, “Her appointment to the European Union-backed court is not at all surprising because her career has been defined by a dedication to justice on a global scale. We are sad to be losing Kim as our colleague, but by selecting her for this key position, the international community has chosen the ideal steward to oversee the important responsibilities of investigating war crimes in Kosovo.”