The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that General Counsel Mark D. Cahn will leave the agency at the end of the year to return to the private sector.
Mr. Cahn has served as the SEC’s General Counsel since February 2011 and counseled the Commission on issues ranging from enforcement actions, rulemakings, other administrative proceedings, and appeals throughout the country and in the Supreme Court. Prior to becoming General Counsel, Mr. Cahn served as the SEC’s Deputy General Counsel for two years.
“Mark has always provided the Commission clear and thoughtful legal advice as we set out to better protect investors,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “The Commission has benefited greatly from his careful guidance and his good judgment.”
“It has been a unique privilege to have worked at the Commission during such an extraordinary period of change in the financial and regulatory arena,” said Mr. Cahn. “I am particularly honored to have worked alongside Chairman Schapiro and the other Commissioners on so many important issues that affect investors every day, and I thank them for that opportunity.”
Mr. Cahn served as the SEC’s chief legal officer during a period of unprecedented enforcement and regulatory activity. He was deeply involved in developing the Commission’s rules to establish a Whistleblower Program. The General Counsel’s office also provided advice on every rulemaking release that came before the Commission, including rules proposed and adopted pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Mr. Cahn’s tenure as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel coincided with a period of significant appellate activity. This included the successful defense of SEC enforcement actions in the Courts of Appeals and involvement as amicus in Supreme Court cases addressing a variety of issues, including mutual fund advisory fees (Jones v. Harris Associates), the statute of limitations in securities litigation (Merck & Co., Inc. v. Reynolds), and pleading and proof requirements in securities fraud actions (Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano and Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton).
“The rewards of public service are many, but none as great as the opportunity to work with so many dedicated professionals,” Mr. Cahn added. “I want particularly to express my profound appreciation to the exceptional lawyers who served with me in the Office of the General Counsel. Every day I was the beneficiary of their extraordinary talents.”
Prior to joining the SEC in 2009, Mr. Cahn was a partner at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Mr. Cahn began his legal career as law clerk to Judge Herbert J. Stern of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and to Judge John J. Gibbons, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He graduated from Tufts University in 1983 and from Yale Law School in 1986.