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November 11, 2009 1:55 PM

SEC Adds Another Am Law 100 Partner to Regulatory Ranks

Posted by Brian Baxter

CORRECTION, Nov. 11, 2:32 p.m. - Bruce Carton, who runs the must read Securities Docket, brought to our attention the fact that the division of trading and markets is a separate, stand-alone division not within the scope of enforcement. We appreciate Bruce setting us straight on that, and regret the error.

In August, SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami announced the formation of five specialized units to combat corporate fraud.

A little more than three months later, the agency is dipping into the Am Law 100 partnership ranks to staff up those newly created divisions.

The SEC announcemed late last week two new legal hires for top posts in the division on risk, strategy, and financial innovation.

Adam Glass, a former Sidley Austin partner and founder of the structured finance and derivatives practice at Linklaters, was named as counsel to risk division director Henry Hu. (A former University of Texas School of Law professor, Hu was appointed director of the unit in September.)

Also joining the SEC as counsel to Hu is former Willkie Farr & Gallagher corporate finance partner Bruce Kraus, a 20-year veteran of the firm. Other departments outside the realm of enforcement are getting Am Law attention as well.

On Tuesday the SEC announced that Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Robert Cook, who specializes in securities regulation, will lead the division on trading and markets. Cook, 44, will be tasked with overseeing stock markets, brokerages, credit rating agencies, and the $450 trillion derivatives market.

The SEC taketh from the Am Law world, and it also giveth away.

On Monday, Luis Mejia, who led the SEC's nationwide litigation program as chief litigation counsel since 2005, announced his departure from the agency. Mejia will become a partner at DLA Piper in Washington, D.C. Before joining the SEC in 1999, Mejia was previously a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

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