Network Firm News

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Regulatory Law Booming
Otis Bilodeau -- Legal Times -- 02-25-2003

"We're in a period of unprecedented corporate regulatory activity," says David Becker, a securities partner at Cleary Gottlieb's 80-lawyer D.C. office. "These practices are probably more active than they've been in 20 years."

The level of activity is probably most visible at the SEC. The spate of corporate failures has prompted what current and former SEC officials describe as frenzy of investigations and enforcement proceedings. At the same time, the commission has also pounded out a host of new rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The combination, observes Latham's D.C. managing partner Eric Bernthal, amounts to a "sea change in the culture of corporate regulation."

For securities lawyers and litigators throughout the city, that has meant a tsunami of legal work as they counsel queasy clients on strategies for compliance with the new rules, tackle internal investigations for companies that have unearthed problems, and, in many cases now underway, struggle to fend off civil and criminal charges.

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