Lawrence A. West, Associate Director of Enforcement, to Leave Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, December 21, 2005 The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Lawrence A. West, Associate Director of the Division of Enforcement, will leave the Commission. He will become a partner in the law firm Latham & Watkins, resident in the firm’s Washington office.
West, 54, joined the Commission's staff in 1994 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement. He became a branch chief in 1997, an assistant director in 1999, and an associate director in March 2003. During his tenure at the Commission, he oversaw numerous cases in a wide variety of areas, including actions involving financial fraud at WorldCom, Enron, Parmalat, and many other public companies. He led several of the Commission's industry-wide investigations into illegal practices at broker-dealers, including the mutual fund fee breakpoints and yield-burning cases, and supervised investigations into a number of hedge fund frauds and Ponzi schemes. Recently he has supervised the Commission’s ongoing risk-based investigations of pension accounting at public companies and practices in the auction rate securities market.
"For well over a decade, Larry West has approached the work of protecting investors with energy, creativity and courage,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the Division of Enforcement. “He has brought great intellect to every investigation, and devoted countless hours to making sure we got it right. The list of the cases he brought is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the person who brought them. It has been a great gift to work with Larry, and I, and we, will miss him very much."
In announcing his plans to leave the Commission, West said, "For nearly 12 years I’ve been privileged to work with colleagues at the SEC who do their jobs zealously yet treat everyone fairly. This is one government agency – perhaps there are others – that does its utmost to enforce the law with intelligence and compassion. Every day of my tenure here, I’ve taken pride in being a member of the staff. It has been a particular pleasure to serve under and work with four exceptional directors of the Division of Enforcement: Bill McLucas, Dick Walker, Steve Cutler, and now Linda Thomsen.”
In 2002, West received the Commission's Stanley Sporkin Award, which recognizes those who have made "exceptionally tenacious and insightful contributions" to the enforcement of the securities laws. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.