Sidley Austin Taps SEC's Cohen For Securities Practice

Feb 13 2017 | 5:03pm ET

Former associate director of enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Stephen Cohen has joined global law firm Sidley Austin as a member of the firm’s securities and derivatives regulatory practice. 

Cohen will help clients with government and internal investigations, enforcement-related litigation, whistleblower complaints, congressional issues and those seeking to establish or strengthen compliance programs, the company said in a statement. He will be based in Washington, D.C.

Cohen has an extensive background in the financial regulatory space. During his tenure with the SEC, he oversaw domestic and international enforcement activities involving accounting and disclosure fraud, auditor misconduct, FCPA, insider trading, registered and unregistered securities offerings, market abuses, broker-dealers, investment advisers and other regulated entities. He joined the SEC in 2004 as an assistant chief litigation counsel in the enforcement division. He was an advisor to former SEC chair Mary Shapiro from 2009-2011, when he was named to the associate director post. 

Cohen started his career as a federal district court law clerk before joining the Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Beforehand, he handled litigation matters and government investigations at a national law firm.

“Steve is one of the top regulatory enforcement lawyers in the country and we couldn’t be more pleased that he chose Sidley as having the best platform for his practice,” said Neal Sullivan, partner and co-leader of Sidley’s securities & derivatives enforcement and regulatory practice, in the statement. “His excellent reputation and demonstrated experience with federal securities law makes him a perfect addition to our team.

“Having Steve on board will significantly augment our ability to guide [our clients] through all aspects of their most complex regulatory and enforcement challenges,” he added.

Sidley Austin has 1,900 lawyers in 20 offices around the globe. The firm is a top legal adviser for clients across a wide spectrum of industries, and has one of the premier capital markets practices in the world.  

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