David Meister
David Meister ()

After a three-year stint as director of the enforcement division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, David Meister is rejoining Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as head of the government enforcement and white-collar crime group in New York.

Meister, who left the commission at the end of October, said in a prepared statement he is “absolutely thrilled to rejoin my friends at Skadden, and am honored to take on a firm leadership role.”

On his watch, the CFTC’s 130-lawyer enforcement team filed a record number of new cases, going after some of Wall Street’s biggest players—including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Meister also led the prosecution against megabanks, including Barclays, for the manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate. The enforcement generated record penalties of nearly $1.3 billion.

In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act expanded the CFTC’s enforcement powers, giving the agency new grounds to go after wrongdoers. Meister oversaw the first cases making use of these broader powers, for example bringing charges against a commodity pool operator, Quiddity LLC, for making material false statements to the CFTC.

At Skadden, the firm says Meister will represent financial institutions and other corporations and their boards, and individuals, in investigations, litigation and other proceedings. His practice “will involve the full range of federal, state and international criminal and enforcement agencies with respect to the financial markets and other matters.”

Mesister first joined Skadden in 2008, moving from Clifford Chance, where he was a partner. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1994.

Contact Jenna Greene at jgreene@alm.com.