L-R: Walter Jospin and Michael Sullivan, Finch McCranie, Atlanta. Photo by John Disney/ALM.

The former regional director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Atlanta has joined Atlanta boutique Finch McCranie, where he will serve as of counsel alongside former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.

Finch McCranie announced Monday that it has recruited Walter Jospin, who stepped down as the SEC’s regional director in Atlanta at the end of last year.

“Walter Jospin’s successes as the SEC regional director and his long experience in private practice fit perfectly with Finch McCranie’s white-collar and SEC defense, corporate governance and internal investigations practices.” Thompson said. “He will be a tremendous asset to our firm’s clients.”

Jospin, who was a partner at Paul Hastings in Atlanta before he signed on with the SEC in 2015, said the decision to join Finch McCranie “felt right.”

“I was interested in a law firm with a sophisticated white-collar defense and internal investigations practice,” he said. “I want to work on interesting matters. I like the people here … because they are smart. They do great work.”

The firm’s partners all have federal prosecutorial experience.

Michael Sullivan and Richard Hendrix served under Thompson when Thompson was independent counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in an investigation that led to the prosecution of former Secretary of the Interior James Watt.

Thompson is currently the independent monitor overseeing Volkswagen’s  corporate reforms following the discovery of the company’s long-running scheme to sell diesel vehicles that contained software designed to circumvent U.S. emissions tests.

Partner Steven Wisebram spent seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Atlanta after serving as legal counsel to the Congressional Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Jospin told the Daily Report he hopes to use his longtime securities expertise not only in securities defense cases, but to evaluate and refer potential SEC whistleblower cases. Jospin said he anticipates he will conduct the preliminary investigation to determine whether a claim is valid, and then reach out to the appropriate SEC office.

Jospin also said he will continue to devote time to his nonprofit work. He is incoming chairman of the Georgia Innocence Project and is active with the ADL of Atlanta. He’s also an adjunct professor at Emory University’s School of Law.

Sullivan, who heads the firm’s whistleblower practice, has known Jospin for 35 years. He said he first met Jospin when he interviewed for a job as law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob. Jospin is married to retired Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob, who is Marvin Shoob’s daughter.

Sullivan said that Jospin, while at the SEC, would occasionally call him to brainstorm ways of attracting whistleblower cases.

“Because of his SEC background and relationships, Walter knows what interests the SEC and which SEC office and lawyers are best for a case,” Sullivan said. “Walter was attracted to our firm’s work in representing whistleblowers who report violations of the federal securities laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”