Group boosts securities enforcement and regulation practice, adding expertise for financial industry clients, including in the investment adviser and broker-dealer space
Baker McKenzie has added four new partners to its North America Litigation & Government Enforcement practice: Amy J. Greer, based in New York and Washington, DC; Jennifer L. Klass, based in New York; Peter K.M. Chan, based in Chicago; and A. Valerie Mirko, based in Washington, DC. Amy, Jen and Peter join the Firm from Morgan Lewis, and Valerie was previously general counsel at the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Amy and Jen will co-chair the Firm’s Financial Regulation & Enforcement Group.
This new practice will offer Baker McKenzie clients a truly novel and fully integrated approach to navigating the challenges presented by developing new products and offering financial services in rapidly changing regulatory environment, while simultaneously considering how to assess and minimize potential enforcement exposure. The practice will bolster Baker McKenzie’s already strong capability in advising corporate clients in responding to SEC and other regulatory scrutiny of public company disclosure. The group is uniquely positioned to help clients in evaluating examination and enforcement inquiries and to advise how regulatory compliance might mitigate future potential liabilities.
“We are excited to build an integrated and dynamic practice that reflects how our clients conduct business and evaluate risk,” said Jen. Amy added, “Baker McKenzie’s forward-looking, truly collaborative approach to client service was the perfect match to our vision for this practice.”
"Amy and Jen complement each other perfectly in their practices and in serving clients. Amy is a leading SEC enforcement litigator and Jen is a recognized and respected advisor on complex regulations and innovative advice," said Peter Tomczak, Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Litigation & Government Enforcement practice. "Along with Peter and Valerie, and building on our recent growth in Los Angeles, we’re adding a high-caliber team in an area that is more important than ever to our clients here and abroad, as we advise them on navigating new and increasingly complex US securities laws, regulations, and enforcement priorities that present substantial opportunities and risks. Baker McKenzie is committed to continuing to build this important, developing practice area."
Amy Greer’s practice focuses on securities enforcement and litigation matters with extensive experience representing a broad array of clients in the financial industry. She is a former chief trial counsel for the Philadelphia Regional Office of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Amy advises all manner of financial industry clients and SEC reporting companies, in connection with regulatory enforcement investigations and examinations, as well as internal investigations. Clients have sought Amy’s advice in connection with matters as diverse as conflict of interest disclosures, sales practices concerns, insider trading, financial reporting and accounting issues, allegations related to securities offerings, investigations into complex products and trading, whistleblower concerns, and Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley issues.
Jen Klass is an experienced investment management lawyer with broad expertise in investment adviser regulation and a focus on the convergence of investment advisory and brokerage services. Jen counsels financial services firms on a wide range of regulatory, compliance and examination matters under federal and state securities laws, including investment adviser registration and interpretive guidance, fiduciary duty and conflicts of interest, disclosure and internal controls, advertising and social media, regulatory examinations, and enforcement defense. She is a leading practitioner in digital investment advice and the use of FinTech in financial services. Her clients include asset managers, investment banks, broker-dealers, dual registrants, and the sponsors of private investment funds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Jen was previously vice president and associate general counsel at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Peter K.M. Chan counsels public companies and financial services firms in litigation and regulatory investigations and actions. Peter spent two decades of his career at the SEC in the Chicago Regional Office, holding a variety of leadership roles, including serving as an Assistant Director for Enforcement, and leading the Office’s Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit. He was also one of the original architects of the SEC’s Financial Reporting and Auditing Task Force. Peter counsels clients on corporate issuer disclosure and reporting violations, financial fraud, auditor independence violations, insider trading, broker-dealer misconduct and failure to supervise cases, hedge fund and investment company fraud, municipal securities related matters, allegations of fraud at public pension funds, and Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley violations.
A. Valerie Mirko has substantial experience in advising clients on federal and state securities laws and regulations impacting the financial and brokerage industries. In her position with the NASAA, she advised the Board on developments in federal securities laws and their impact on state securities regulations, including Regulation Best Interest, fiduciary duty/standards of care, preemption, and retail enforcement issues. Valerie also focused on investment adviser regulation and oversight. She supervised all securities-related legal work at NASAA and was a resource on multistate enforcement investigations and settlements, and actively contributed to regulatory coordination between federal and state regulators. Valerie was previously in private practice in Washington, DC. Prior to that, she held legal and compliance roles at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and Merrill Lynch (now BoA Securities).
“Amy, Jen and the team are go-to counsel for the most high-profile securities matters in the financial services sector,” said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie's North American Chief Executive Officer. “They are great additions to this key area of focus for our Firm and for our clients."
Amy added, “Our group is very excited to join the Baker McKenzie team and to be a part of the Firm’s unparalleled global platform. We are looking forward to growing and building this practice and grateful for the overwhelming support.”