The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Matthew T. Martens, the Chief Litigation Counsel for the Division of Enforcement, will leave the agency next month.
Mr. Martens has led the Enforcement Division’s litigation program since August 2010, managing cases pending both in federal courts and administrative proceedings at the Commission. The trial unit has 40 attorneys at the SEC’s Washington headquarters as well as litigators throughout the agency’s 11 regional offices.
Mr. Martens served as lead trial counsel in the SEC’s successful prosecution of Fabrice Tourre in addition to directly assisting in litigation efforts for several other significant matters. Mr. Martens also developed and directed the SEC’s nationwide litigation response to significant changes in the securities laws such as the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus Capital.
Last year, Mr. Martens was the recipient of the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence.
“Matt’s outstanding stewardship of the trial unit and his impressive command of the securities laws have resulted in many favorable outcomes for our litigation program,” said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Matt leaves a legacy of great service to the agency and the investing public, and we wish him every success in the future.”
Mr. Martens said, “It has been a privilege to lead such a talented and dedicated team of professionals committed to prosecuting wrongdoing in the securities markets. During my time in the Enforcement Division, I have been fortunate to work with great people on significant and challenging matters on behalf of our nation’s investors.”
Mr. Martens began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He then served as a law clerk for then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Mr. Martens worked as a litigation associate for a national law firm and later held several positions in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, eventually becoming chief of staff to the Assistant Attorney General.
Prior to his arrival at the SEC, Mr. Martens served as an assistant U.S. attorney and then the deputy criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. Mr. Martens tried numerous cases to verdict and argued several appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Martens received his B.A. with highest honors from Cedarville College, and his J.D. with highest honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Following the departure of Mr. Martens, the current Deputy Chief Litigation Counsel Matthew C. Solomon will become the Enforcement Division’s new Chief Litigation Counsel.