Peter Bresnan, deputy director of the Securities Exchange Commission’s division of enforcement, is passing through the revolving door and heading to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Washington office. He starts December 6.
“He’s been involved in very important matters and has a fabulous reputation,” says Peter Thomas, managing partner of Simpson Thacher’s 15-lawyer Washington office. “We’re delighted.”
During his 12 years at the SEC, Bresnan took the lead on several high profile cases, including the multibillion-dollar accounting fraud suit again WorldCom. Settled in 2003 for $750 million, it was the largest penalty ever assessed against a U.S. company by the SEC.
Bresnan will be the first partner in the D.C. office’s government and internal investigations practice. Simpson’s Thomas says Bresnan will work closely with the New York office’s 17-lawyer internal investigations group. That includes partner Paul Curnin, who represented WolrdCom in the SEC settlement.
Bresnan also oversaw the SEC’s crackdown on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after accounting scandals rocked the mortgage companies. Fannie Mae paid a fine of more than $400 million in 2006.
"Peter has been an eloquent and passionate advocate for investors' interests," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a statement. "His strong leadership of our national enforcement program has upheld the SEC's preeminence as the gold standard of securities law enforcement.”
Before joining the commission, Bresnan was a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.