Monday, July 20, 2009
Former SEC Chairman Cox Joins Bingham McCutchen’s O.C. Office
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Former U.S. Representative and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox has joined Bingham McCutchen LLP as a partner, based in Orange County, the firm said Friday.
Cox, who stepped down from the SEC in January, will be a member of the firm’s corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and securities practice and will also be a principal in the Bingham Consulting Group.
“Chris brings valuable insight, knowledge and relationships to Bingham in Orange County,” Bingham Chairman Jay S. Zimmerman said in a statement. “Chris’ deep roots in Southern California and his lengthy commitment to government service will be a great benefit to our clients.”
Cox, a graduate of Harvard Law School, said he joined the firm because it has “momentum, great lawyers, strong management and vision,” as well as its “considerable presence in Southern California and Washington, D.C., as well as its strength in the telecommunications, biotechnology and homeland security areas.”
Cox, a Republican, served as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security following Sept. 11, 2001. After working in the Reagan White House, he represented an Orange County house district from 1989 until 2005, when he was named chairman of the SEC by President Bush.
His relatively low-key chairmanship became suddenly controversial when then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain sought to blame Cox for last year’s financial meltdown and said he would fire him if elected president. Pundits pointed out that the president has no authority to fire the SEC chair, and Cox responded by noting that he already planned to resign with the change of administrations.
In its release, Bingham credited Cox with having “established new executive compensation rules calling for companies to explain clearly how executives are compensated, led the Plain English Initiative to eliminate legalese in investor communications, defended the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act and addressed the particular needs of senior investors” while at the SEC.
“I am excited about coming home to Orange County, getting back into the business community and helping Bingham expand its reach in Orange County, nationally and internationally. I also look forward to practicing corporate law again and working with Bingham lawyers and clients across the firm.”
Rick Welch, the firm’s managing partner for Southern California, noted that Cox is joining a couple of other well-known California Republicans, ex-Gov. Pete Wilson and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who are also affiliated with Bingham. Riordan’s former law firm, Riordan & McKinzie, merged with Bingham in 2003.
The firm also recently added Nathan Hochman, who headed the Justice Department’s Tax Division, to its Santa Monica office as a complex litigation partner.
“Southern California is a priority for Bingham,” Welch said, adding:
“There is more to come.”
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