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Gibson Dunn Grabs SEC Regional Office ChiefAfter a 15-year run at the Securities and Exchange Commission, San Francisco Regional Office chief Marc Fagel is joining Gibson Dunn, a move that the firm says fits in with its decision to grow its West Coast white-collar group. Fagel said he wanted to return to working with clients and chose Gibson for its reputation and client relationships.
2013-04-10 06:45:15 PM
After a 15-year run at the Securities and Exchange Commission, San Francisco Regional Office chief Marc Fagel is joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, marking the firm's latest gambit to deepen its bench in the Bay Area.
During Fagel's tenure, the SEC pursued investigations of insider trading, improper backdating of stock options by Silicon Valley tech companies and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The office, which oversees enforcement for the northwest region, has recently focused on actions against investment advisers, fund managers and other industry players.
Fagel, 46, said in an interview last week that he wanted to return to working with clients and chose Gibson for its reputation and client relationships. Joining Gibson partners and SEC alums Mark Schonfeld and George Curtis "made the decision particularly easy," said Fagel, who intends to leave the SEC this month.
"I've been here over 15 years and done pretty much everything a lawyer with an enforcement background can do," he said.
At Gibson's San Francisco office, Fagel will join an expanding group of white-collar and securities lawyers, including Michael Li-Ming Wong, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California. Wong and securities litigator Thad Davis jumped to Gibson last year from Ropes & Gray. The year before, Gibson hired of counsel Winston Chan, a former prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York.
"We're very busy," said Wong, co-chair of the firm's securities enforcement practice. "Marc will play a critical role as we build out our white-collar and SEC enforcement capacity in the Bay Area."
Because of his government service, Fagel will be barred from appearing before the SEC for one year. However, he said he expects to counsel clients on compliance and staying out of trouble.
Fagel was tapped to head the SEC's San Francisco office in 2008. He previously served as regional enforcement director and chief of the Internet Enforcement Branch. Prior to joining the commission, Fagel spent six years as an associate at Morrison & Foerster.
Kristin Snyder and Michael Dicke, associate regional directors for examinations and enforcement, will serve as co-acting regional directors in the office after Fagel's departure.
Covington & Burling partner David Bayless, regional SEC chief from 1994 to 1998, hired Fagel into the agency and called him a great catch for Gibson Dunn.
"He knows the priorities of the agency and of course has a very good reputation within the agency," Bayless said. "He knows how not to make the agency angry, which is a very important thing to know."
Gibson L.A. partner Debra Wong Yang, head of the firm's white-collar defense and investigations group, said hiring Fagel fits in with the firm's decision to grow its white-collar group on the West Coast.
"We've been trying to respond to the market and bring in people who understand the issues that go on for businesses in San Francisco and Silicon Valley," said Yang, former U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles. "Marc is an important part of putting that together."