Mary Jo White, who served from April 2013 to January 2017 as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will return to legal practice at Debevoise and serve as senior chair of the firm.
White previously was chair of Debevoise’s litigation department from 2002 to 2013, prior to which she served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nearly nine years. White’s practice will focus on counseling boards of directors and representing clients on significant and sensitive matters, including companies facing crises involving multi-faceted government investigations and cases.
Her arrival follows the announcement that Andrew Ceresney will also rejoin Debevoise after serving under White as the Director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC.
White, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama to lead the SEC, was one of the Commission’s longest-serving Chairs. Under White’s leadership, the Commission strengthened protections for investors and the markets through transformative rulemakings that addressed major issues raised by the financial crisis, and created the framework for the future regulation of the asset management industry, enhancement of equity market structure and disclosure effectiveness. The Commission also instituted changes to enforcement that resulted in greater accountability and record levels of actions and monetary remedies ordered.
White’s groundbreaking career has included being the only woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the more than 200-year history of that office. White also served as the chair of Attorney General Janet Reno’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys. Prior to becoming the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, White served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Acting U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1990 to 1993.