Former Director of the SEC Division of Trading and Markets, Robert W. Cook, Returns to Cleary Gottlieb as Partner

March 18, 2013

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that Robert W. Cook, former Director of the Division of Trading and Markets of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will return to the firm as a partner this spring. He will be based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and will focus on securities, derivatives, and market regulation.

“We are delighted to welcome Robert back to the firm,” said Cleary Gottlieb Managing Partner Mark Leddy. “His broad experience and deep expertise as one of the leading practitioners on broker-dealer and market regulation in the United States will be of enormous benefit to our clients. Robert rejoins Alan BellerGiovanni Prezioso and Edward Greene, all former senior SEC officials.”

Mr. Cook, 47, served as the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets from January 2010 to January 2013. Under Mr. Cook’s direction, the Division’s 250 professionals were responsible for regulatory policy and oversight with respect to securities exchanges and markets, broker-dealers, security-based swap dealers, clearing agencies, and credit rating agencies. In addition, the Division reviewed and acted on over 2000 rule filings and new product listings each year from self-regulatory organizations, including the securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The Division was also responsible for implementing more than 30 major rulemakings and studies generated by the Dodd-Frank and JOBS Acts. These included creating a new regulatory regime for security-based swaps, implementing the Volcker Rule, enhancing broker-dealer financial responsibility requirements, reviewing the standards of conduct applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers, and implementing various projects relating to the work of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).

In addition, Mr. Cook oversaw several significant market structure initiatives, including the adoption of enhanced risk controls for traders with access to the securities markets, large trader registration and reporting rules, and consolidated audit trail rules. He also directed the staff’s review of equity market structure and its analysis of the “Flash Crash” of May 6, 2010, as well as its work on regulatory responses such as single-stock circuit breakers, updated market-wide circuit breakers, and more transparent trade cancellation rules.

Mr. Cook commented, “I am delighted to be joining Cleary Gottlieb and look forward to working with the talented lawyers in its offices across the globe. Market participants and intermediaries face a range of significant new and enhanced regulatory mandates. With its deep financial regulatory expertise and international perspective, Cleary Gottlieb provides an excellent platform for helping clients understand and comply with this complex regulatory environment.”

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Securities Regulation Practice

Cleary Gottlieb’s securities regulation practice includes experienced lawyers who advise and defend the world’s leading financial institutions and multinational corporations and, in some cases, their senior officers and directors, in a broad range of sensitive regulatory and criminal matters. We also regularly conduct internal investigations for companies and their boards, and we are well known for our skillful handling of the development, maintenance, and review of compliance programs.

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Derivatives Practice

Cleary Gottlieb continues to be the firm of choice for the largest, globally active financial institutions seeking either regulatory advice with regard to derivatives or advice and assistance in the structuring and development of new derivatives products and market facilities. In the current environment of sweeping new regulation and the accelerated pursuit of innovative new facilities for the OTC derivatives markets, the firm’s recognized expertise and experience have been consistently in demand.

About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism, and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a leading international law firm with approximately 1,200 lawyers in 16 offices around the world.