You can go home again - just ask Brian Cartwright. The former general counsel of the Securities & Exchange Commission announced today that he has rejoined Latham & Watkins, the firm where he started as a new associate in 1982.
Cartwright was named general counsel of the SEC in 2006, serving until January of 2009. He could not be reached immediately for comment.
"We’re delighted to have Brian come back,” said D.C. office managing partner Eric Bernthal, who hailed Cartwright’s "unique, fresh expertise."
But he’s not coming back to Latham as a partner – though he previously served on the firm executive committee and as global head of the public company representation practice group. Instead, Cartwright’s new title is “special advisor.” According to the firm’s website, he’s the only one of Latham’s roughly 2,000 lawyers with the title.
John Clair, managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office said the title is analogous to senior counsel and was “what Brian was interested in doing.”
Bernthal said the title reflects Cartwright’s “special stature,” and that he is not expected to take on the work load of a full-time partner.
Cartwright will split his time between Latham’s offices in Los Angeles and Washington DC, working with the public company, capital markets, private equity finance and securities practice groups.
In a press release from the firm, he said he was “honored to have served with the distinguished chairman and commissioners of the SEC, as well as alongside the many talented and committed SEC staff, and I now look forward to rejoining friends and former colleagues at Latham & Watkins.”
At the SEC, Cartwright helped shape the commission’s major policy and regulatory initiatives, counseling on enforcement actions, rulemakings, appellate briefs and adjudications.
Issues included the mergers of the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext and NASDAQ-OMX, the creation of independent securities regulator FINRA in 2007, the overhaul of executive compensation disclosure, and the ban on naked short-selling. But the agency during this period was also slow to detect the deteriorating position of brokerage firms and failed to uncover Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme.