Neil Barofsky, a former Southern District prosecutor who served as the chief watchdog of the government's bank bailout program, said he is joining Jenner & Block partly because of the law firm's willingness to not only defend but litigate against financial institutions.

Barofsky joined Jenner on Monday as a partner in its litigation department and a member of its white-collar defense and investigations, securities litigation and enforcement, and government controversies and public policy litigation practices.

He spent more than eight years as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, where he headed the mortgage fraud group. After leaving the prosecutor's office, Barofsky served as the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), overseeing the creation and expansion of a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Treasury Department that conducted criminal and civil investigations of fraud and abuse linked to the bailouts. Most recently, he taught at New York University School of Law and wrote a book about his experience overseeing the TARP program.

Barofsky said he spoke with a number of firms in the past year, but he was attracted to Jenner's work in representing and being adverse to banks. "I feel like going to a firm like Jenner gives me the opportunity to sort of continue the work I've been doing," he said. "Like any big firm, they also represent financial institutions. A lot of firms do that and only that," he said.

"Some firms would shy away from or be concerned about my very vocal voice in favor of the importance of regulatory reform, and Jenner embraces it," Barofsky said. He said he was also attracted to the firm's white collar and securities litigation platform and its experience, including the firm's role in investigating Lehman Brothers' collapse.