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Obama's New SEC Chief: In Through the Revolving Door

POSTED:
Daniel M. Gallagher, Jr.
Daniel M. Gallagher, Jr.
wilmerhale.com

A little while ago I did a brief post about how the SEC was being dominated by attorneys from the firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The story then was that an attorney named Anne Small was going to be joining the SEC to replace a Marc Cahn as Deputy General Counsel. Cahn in turn had replaced an Andrew Vollmer. All three people were Wilmer Hale lawyers.

Having made that list I added a few other names:

Besides Cahn and Small, there are other ex-Wilmerites at the Commission. There's Joseph Brenner, the chief counsel of the Enforcement Division, and Meredith Cross, who heads the Division of Corporate Finance. Both were Wilmer partners.

Of course it's not like the traffic doesn't go in both directions. Last year the SEC's head of trading and markets, Daniel Gallagher, left to become a Wilmer partner. And the SEC's former Director of Enforcement William McLucas is now the head of Wilmer's securities department. The firm hired the head of the SEC's Los Angeles office, Randall Lee, in 2007. And so on and so on.

Well, guess what, sports fans? Barack Obama has apparently decided to bring Gallagher back to serve as an SEC Comissioner. From a Washington Post story:

He returned in 2010 to WilmerHale, where he has advised financial companies, William R. McLucas, chairman of the firm’s securities practice, said in a recent interview.

You can see WilmerHale's list of clients here: it includes Chase, Goldman, and Morgan Stanley. Just FYI, Bill McLucas, the WilmerHale lawyer quoted in that piece, is a former longstanding SEC Enforcement Division chief himself. We can now officially rework the chicken-and-egg joke for all time: what came first, the WilmerHale lawyer, or his SEC appointment?

Good times on planet Revolving Door.

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Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary. Please direct all media requests to taibbimedia@yahoo.com.

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