The Talent

June 15, 2010 6:49 PM

Obama Taps Fried Frank Partner to Lead Oil Industry Regulatory Reform

Posted by Zach Lowe

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the nature of Michael Bromwich's new role in the Obama administration. We regret the error.

Am Law Daily sibling publication The Blog of Legal Times reports that Michael Bromwich, a Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson litigation partner since 1999, has been tapped by President Barack Obama to lead the administration's efforts to overhaul regulation of the oil industry in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before joining Fried Frank, Bromwich served a half-decade as inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice, meaning he was in charge of internal investigations and personnel audits, according to his law firm bio.

While Bromwich will begin his mission by focusing on the troubled Minerals Management Service, which regulates the oil industry, he will not run the agency directly. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last month named Bureau of Land Management director Bob Abbey to serve as acting MMS director. Abbey took over for Elizabeth Birnbaum, who resigned as head of MMS under pressure following the oil spill and amid mounting criticism of the agency's lax regulation of oil companies, according to The AP. 

The Obama administration is weighing whether to split the MMS into three separate entities to eliminate potential conflicts of interest, The BLT reports.

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