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New York, NY (September 18, 2018) – Labaton Sucharow LLP today announced that Richard Levine, longtime Associate General Counsel for Legal Policy at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has joined as a Partner in its Whistleblower Representation Practice. Mr. Levine, one of the most senior SEC officials to ever join a plaintiff’s firm, worked with Jordan A. Thomas on the select team that crafted the SEC Whistleblower Program.
“With our phones ringing off the hook, Christmas has come early for us. As a principal architect of the SEC Whistleblower Program and legal adviser to the Office of the Whistleblower, Enforcement Division and Commission, Rich is the ultimate SEC insider,” said Mr. Thomas. “Nobody knows the securities laws, national enforcement program, and key players better than Rich. He is uniquely qualified to provide straight talk to senior executives and other wary whistleblowers about the realities of being an SEC whistleblower and what it really takes to be successful.”
The revolutionary investor protection program offers eligible whistleblowers employment protections, substantial monetary incentives and the ability to report possible securities violations anonymously. Since the program’s inception in 2011, the agency has recovered approximately $1.6 billion from resulting enforcement actions and awarded more than $322 million to 58 whistleblowers. Comprised of more former federal securities prosecutors than any other SEC whistleblower practice in the world, Labaton Sucharow has secured groundbreaking results, including: the largest whistleblower award in history for the successful $415 million enforcement action against Merrill Lynch; the first officer of a public company to win an award; the first SEC whistleblower to receive criminal immunity; and the first SEC whistleblower to receive an award because of retaliation.
“Labaton made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse—the opportunity to continue to work on behalf of investors by representing whistleblowers who courageously report wrongdoing to the SEC,” said Mr. Levine. “Having been deeply involved both in counseling SEC Enforcement staff and in developing the SEC Whistleblower Program, I know firsthand the enormous value that whistleblowers add to securities law enforcement.”
A practicing attorney for more than 35 years, Mr. Levine spent the majority of his career working in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel, where he was responsible for providing legal and policy advice to SEC Commissioners and senior staff regarding a wide-variety of enforcement matters. In addition to serving as a senior member of the team that drafted the proposed legislation and implementing rules for the SEC Whistleblower Program, for 20 years he led the legal team in the Office of General Counsel that reviewed and advised on virtually every proposed enforcement action that went before the Commission. He also participated in major enforcement-related legislative and rulemaking projects, including those involving insider trading and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Mr. Levine first joined the SEC as an appellate lawyer in 1984. In recognition of his exceptional performance and contributions to the agency, he has twice received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence, the Federal Bar Association’s Philip A. Loomis Award, the SEC’s Law and Policy Award, and the Distinguished Service Award.
An adjunct professor at Georgetown University from 1999-2005, Mr. Levine has frequently spoken on a broad range of securities enforcement issues. Before joining the SEC, he practiced commercial litigation at Cahill Gordon & Reindel.