Dodd-Frank Reform Bill and Increased Legal Opportunities by LawCrossing


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Dodd-Frank Reform Bill and Increased Legal Opportunities
By Rebecca Neely

Since The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in July of this
year, both attorneys and legal recruiters are seeing an increase in business.

Described as the most comprehensive change governing                  Brian Davis, a Manhattan-based partner at legal search firm
Wall Street and the financial services industry since Franklin        Major Lindsey & Africa was quoted as saying: ‘’We expect a
Roosevelt’s time, the Dodd-Frank bill is more than 2,000              big uptick in new regulations, which always means more work
pages, introduces hundreds of new rules, and mandates                 for lawyers.’’
dozens of reports and studies over the next several years. It
will affect public and private firms of all types.                    Recruiters and lawyers agree the current demand for
                                                                      compliance and regulatory legal talent arising from Dodd-
Its provisions include requiring certain hedge funds and              Frank is seeing more and more law firms recruiting the most
private equity shops to register with the Securities and              talented and highest profile partners they can from rivals.
Exchange Commission. It also establishes a new federal
watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.                   Recent examples include Dechert’s recruitment of three of
                                                                      Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson’s Washington partners.
All of these changes and requirements translate into new              Among them was Thomas Vartanian, the renowned chair
opportunities in the legal industry, likely for years to come.        of Fried Frank’s financial institutions transaction group.
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve,               In addition, Dechert also recently lured M. Holland West,
recently commented in the Financial Times that: ‘’It is going         a private funds and derivatives lawyer from Shearman &
to take years to address the unprecedented complexity of final        Sterling, to its financial services practice group in New York.
rule-making required in the massive Dodd-Frank bill.’’
                                                                      Attorneys who are experienced with federal or state regulatory
According to the October 31 article at,             agencies can also expect more opportunities. For example,
William J. Sweet Jr. of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom,            Kevin Puvalowski recently left his post as a deputy in the
head of the law firm’s financial institutions regulatory practice     Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset
in Washington, D.C., he was used to receiving two or three            Relief Program in Washington to join Sheppard Mullin Richter
calls a year from headhunters asking if he was interested in          & Hampton. As a partner in the firm’s business trial practice
making a professional change. But once the financial industry         group in New York, he focuses on white-collar and civil-fraud
reform passed, he started getting a couple of calls each week.        defense.

Michael Lord, managing director of Michael Lord & Co., an             In addition, the increase in demand will undoubtedly boost
attorney placement services firm, was quoted as saying:               the economy at large, as companies look to the future and
‘’We’ve definitely seen an uptick in hiring of securities and         begin to strategize about mergers and acquisitions, says David
white-collar attorneys, at both large firms and litigation            E. Brown Jr., a partner in the financial services and products
boutiques in Manhattan.’’ And, he estimated that the                  group at Alston & Bird.
number of requests at his firm for litigators with a securities
background is up about 30% from this time last year.                  No wonder some are touting Dodd-Frank as ‘’The Lawyers and
                                                                      Lobbyists Full Employment Act of 2010.’’


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