George Canellos
George Canellos

George Canellos stepped down from his position as co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division in January. Now, just a few weeks later, he has found a new home. In fact, his new position represents a return to his old home. 

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has revealed that Canellos will head up the firm’s litigation department. From 2003 to 2009, Canellos served as a litigation partner in the firm, until he departed from Milbank in order to take the job at the SEC. 

While at the SEC, Canellos rose to the role of deputy director of enforcement and then served as acting director and later co-director of the enforcement division. In those roles, he oversaw an enforcement staff of over 1,300 spread over 12 regional offices. During his tenure, his office brought actions against companies involved in the financial crisis and various insider trading scandals.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White spoke highly of Canellos. “He helped to improve coordination between the enforcement and exam programs, streamline procedures to expedite investigations, and better integrate our investigative and trial functions,” White said in a statement. “Every day, he brought to work an intense enthusiasm for our mission, extraordinary intellect and experience, and a total commitment to fairness and the public interest.” 

At Milbank, Canellos will head up a litigation group that is larger than when he left the firm. The group specializes in cases related to securities class actions, bankruptcy litigation, white collar defense, intellectual property, regulatory enforcement and more. 

“We are absolutely delighted that George has chosen to rejoin us as a partner and Global Head of our Litigation Department.” Scott Edelman, newly elected chairman of Milbank, said.  “From the time we started out as junior associates and during our years together at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and at Milbank, George has stood out as a brilliant lawyer, skilled advocate and wise counselor.  During his tenure at the SEC, he was well known for bringing exactly the right mix of prosecutorial toughness and fairness to his cases.”


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