Baker McKenzie has added leading financial regulatory and enforcement practitioners Rebecca Leon, Jennifer Connors and Mark Fitterman to its North America Litigation & Government Enforcement practice, based in Miami, New York and Washington, DC, respectively.
The addition of Rebecca and Jennifer, who join the Firm as Partners, continues the Firm's strong growth of its financial regulation and enforcement capabilities and its New York and Miami-based teams.
Rebecca, based in Miami, counsels broker-dealers and other financial services clients on a range of state and federal securities law issues, as well as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) compliance. She assists clients with an array of inter-company, customer and industry agreements and works closely to guide broker-dealers, asset managers, banks and other financial services firms on structuring and developing their global operations. She has worked with clients to structure their non-US operations in more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, advising on marketing and offering financial products and services outside the US; foreign registration, licensing and exemptions; and concurrent compliance with US and ex-US law.
Jennifer, based in New York, brings extensive regulatory counseling experience, with a focus on providing sophisticated legal solutions and strategic advice to global financial services firms and innovative Fintech companies. Jennifer represents a wide range of financial market participants, including broker-dealers, investment advisers, private fund sponsors, providers of marketplace lending platforms, developers of trading technology and alternative trading systems (ATSs). She guides clients through complex regulatory and compliance matters including securities offering requirements, registration and status issues, regulatory examinations, securities trading rules and reporting requirements and anti-money laundering laws and compliance programs. In addition to her years of experience in private practice, Jennifer spent more than 20 years in senior legal positions, including General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer roles within the financial sector’s leading investment and technology firms.
Rebecca and Jennifer both join from Holland & Knight.
In addition, Mark Fitterman joined the Firm last month from Morgan Lewis as Senior Counsel in the Firm's Washington, DC office. Mark brings more than 40 years of experience in financial service regulatory and compliance matters. Mark previously served as Associate Director of the Division of Market Regulation and Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, where he was responsible for the inspection and oversight of the nation's stock and options markets, and for nationwide coordination of the SEC's broker-dealer and transfer agent examination programs.
Rebecca, Jennifer and Mark augment the Firm's other recent additions. In October, the Firm brought on board four highly regarded practitioners to launch the North America Financial Regulation & Enforcement Group: Amy Greer, Jen Klass, Peter Chan and Valerie Mirko.
The Firm's Financial Regulation & Enforcement practice offers Baker McKenzie clients a novel and fully integrated approach to navigating the challenges presented by offering financial services in a rapidly changing regulatory environment, while simultaneously considering how to assess and minimize potential enforcement exposure. The practice bolsters 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.
"Continuing to build our financial services regulatory and enforcement practice is a key strategic priority for us right now," said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie's North America Chief Executive Officer.
"These three leading lawyers nicely complement our strong and growing securities regulation and enforcement capabilities."
Rebecca joins the Firm's Miami office following the launch of Baker McKenzie's US-based Latin America Practice. The Firm's location in Miami serves as a bridge to Baker McKenzie's extensive platform and experience as the largest global law firm in Latin America. From Miami, Baker McKenzie's practitioners provide cross-market insights for clients doing business in the Americas and beyond.
Scott Brandman, Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie's New York and Miami offices, added, "We're excited to welcome another exceptional lawyer, as we continue advancing our growth plan in Miami. Rebecca's practice fits perfectly with our strategy to build our Miami-based cross-border and Latin America services, based on strong demand from our clients."
Baker McKenzie can now offer clients in North America and around the world the full range of securities and financial regulatory advice. Last year, the Firm added Perrie Weiner and Edward Totino to its Los Angeles office to spearhead the group's Securities Litigation practice.
"In the last six months, we have established both a Financial Regulation & Enforcement practice, and a Securities Litigation practice, consisting of leading practitioners who are now positioned to provide nuanced and sophisticated regulatory, enforcement and securities litigation advice to our US and international financial industry clients," said Peter Tomczak, Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Litigation & Government Enforcement practice, "enabling us to help our clients navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment both here in the US and globally."