Senior SEC Enforcement Official Kenneth Lench Will Join Khuzami to Strengthen Kirkland's Global Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice
NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kirkland & Ellis LLP announced today that former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami has joined the Firm as a partner in the global Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group. Mr. Khuzami joins the Firm after leading the SEC's Enforcement Division for four years, and will be based in Kirkland's Washington, D.C., and New York offices.
Senior SEC official Kenneth Lench will also join Kirkland as a partner in the global Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations practice. Mr. Lench, who will leave the agency at the end of July, has headed the Structured and New Products Unit within the SEC Enforcement Division since January 2010 and will be based in the Firm's Washington, D.C., office.
"Rob is one of the most respected and experienced attorneys within global enforcement and brings invaluable public and private sector experience to our growing government, regulatory and investigations practice," said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee. "Rob and Ken joining our existing team of talented lawyers furthers our ability to provide our clients with the highest level of resources, advice and counsel globally."
During Mr. Khuzami's tenure at the SEC, the Enforcement Division filed its highest rate of cases, in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and he initiated and oversaw the most significant restructuring of the division in agency history. He created nationwide prosecution units to concentrate on the high-priority areas of investment advisers and private funds, large-scale trading and market abuse, mortgage and other structured products, bribery of foreign officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and municipal securities and public pensions. Mr. Khuzami also hired private sector and other experts into the division, adopted targeted and risk-based investigative approaches, and helped broaden the agency's expertise in the products, transactions and practices in the securities markets it polices. He also created the Office of Market Intelligence to address the tips, complaints and referrals received each year by the division, a cooperation program for individuals and companies to assist the SEC and the Office of the Whistleblower to implement the program authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act.
"Rob and Ken are great additions to the global team we have built and they will be great leaders in their field," said Mark Filip, a partner in the Firm's Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group and a member of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee. "As a Firm we are now even better positioned in our white collar and securities defense practice, with extraordinarily deep and broad national and international experience and capabilities."
"Washington, D.C., regulatory and enforcement issues have become critical to global clients, and the addition of this senior team continues the expansion of our enforcement and regulatory capabilities and presence here," said Gene Assaf, a Washington, D.C.-based litigation partner and a member of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee. "Our clients have benefited greatly from the Firm's recent addition of former White House lawyers Susan Davies and Neil Eggleston, and Rob and Ken will add great value to our team."
"Kirkland presented a unique opportunity to join a growing, highly regarded team," said Mr. Khuzami. "Ken and I are excited about the opportunity to add to a truly dedicated team of attorneys who have significant public sector experience and skill sets, and to join a global Firm that is consistently delivering exceptional results for its clients."
Prior to his position at the SEC, from 2002 to 2009 Mr. Khuzami worked at Deutsche Bank in New York, initially as Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations and from 2004 onwards as General Counsel for the Americas. From 1991 to 2002 he served as a federal prosecutor within the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, including three years as chief of its Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. As a prosecutor, Mr. Khuzami tried 12 federal criminal trials to verdict, including his membership in the prosecution team in what was then the largest terrorism trial in U.S. history — the successful prosecution of Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman and nine co-defendants in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the planned simultaneous bombing attacks in New York City on the FBI Headquarters, the United Nations Headquarters, and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
Mr. Lench will join the Firm after a 23-year career at the SEC, where he most recently was Chief of the Structured and New Products Unit created by Mr. Khuzami in 2010 as a specialty group of more than 45 professionals nationwide focusing on abuses in markets for complex securities, including asset-backed securities and derivatives. In that role, he was responsible for building and managing the unit and supervised wide-reaching investigations into markets for collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities, resulting in $1.7 billion in recovered funds for investors in those products. He previously held various senior positions in the SEC's Enforcement Division including assistant director, assistant chief counsel, branch chief and senior counsel, during which time he supervised and conducted investigations into violations of federal securities laws and achieved some of the largest settlements in SEC history in connection with auction rate securities issuance, among other matters. Mr. Lench is also the recipient of multiple SEC-wide honorary awards.
"This will be a chance to work with a great team of attorneys, leverage the diverse practices at Kirkland and help the Firm's clients navigate the complex and challenging issues facing them," added Mr. Lench.
Mr. Khuzami served as a law clerk for Judge John R. Gibson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Kansas City, Mo. He received his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was recently named as one of "The 100 Most Powerful People in Finance" by Worth magazine, one of 20 "Champions and Visionaries" by the National Law Journal and one of the "Power 30" by SmartMoney magazine.
Mr. Lench holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Brandeis University. He was an adjunct professor of securities regulation at the George Washington University Law School from 2005 to 2007.
Kirkland's lawyers have tried numerous high-profile federal criminal cases and SEC enforcement actions, and have been involved in a number of the most significant white collar criminal defense matters in the United States, representing corporations and their executives in matters involving the FCPA, securities, health care, environmental, tax, public corruption, antitrust and related areas. The group has also conducted hundreds of comprehensive internal investigations and is recognized by Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, and the International Who's Who of Business Crime Lawyers.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,600-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex government, regulatory and internal investigations and enforcement matters, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate and tax, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Shanghai.
More information on Kirkland's Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice can found here: http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentid=218&itemid=780&displaymore=1
Kirkland's Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group consists of globally recognized attorneys including Gene Assaf; Mark Filip, a former Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and federal judge; Neil Eggleston, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and White House Associate Counsel; Michael Garcia, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Henry DePippo, a former Deputy Chief in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York; Sam Williamson, a Mandarin-speaking former distinguished federal prosecutor, who resides in China; Satnam Tumani, former Head of the Bribery & Corruption & International Assistance sections of the UK Serious Fraud Office; Laurence Urgenson, former Chief of the Fraud Section for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Mark Holscher, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California; William Stuckwisch, the former Deputy Head of the DOJ's Fraud Section; Jonathan Bunge, former Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Chris Colbridge and Rajinder Bassi, senior partners in the Firm's International Litigation Practice Group in London; Charles Clark, former Assistant Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division; Andrew Genser, former Deputy Chief in the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York; John Hartmann, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael Keats, former Managing Director and Associate General Counsel in Goldman Sachs's Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings Group; John Lausch, former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois; James Mutchnik, former trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the DOJ; Granta Nakayama, former Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurances at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; as well as numerous other former federal prosecutors and senior lawyers from the SEC, DOJ and other government entities.
SOURCE Kirkland & Ellis LLP