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November 2, 2010 4:31 PM

Skadden Partner Meister Lands CFTC's Top Enforcement Role

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

David Meister, a white-collar crime partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, is set to become the newest enforcement director for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meister--who served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1994--will replace the acting enforcement director, Vincent McGonagle. The CFTC's enforcement division has been without a permanent head since Gregory Mocek left for private practice in 2008, the WSJ said. The agency confirmed the appointment in a press release.

Meister did not immediately respond to an e-mail message from The Am Law Daily.

During his time as a prosecutor, Meister was also a member of the U.S. attorney office's securities and commodities fraud task force, according to his profile on the Skadden Web site.

Meister has more than 20 years of experience with white-collar criminal matters. At Skadden, he has represented financial institutions and corporations in criminal, enforcement, and regulatory issues. His appointment comes at a time when the CFTC is adding new responsibilities.

As The New York Times noted yesterday, the regulatory agency often spent time in the past wrangling with the Securities and Exchange Commission over jurisdiction. But, with the passing of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, the CFTC will now have the authority to regulate actions in the commodities, futures, and swaps markets.

And with a former federal prosecutor heading up its enforcement division, the agency is clearly looking to embrace its new, more aggressive regulatory role.

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