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WilmerHale Partner Stephanie Avakian Named as SEC Deputy Enforcement Director

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the addition of Stephanie Avakian, partner in the New York office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP to its senior ranks.  She will be the SEC’s Deputy Director of Enforcement, and is expected to take up position and begin work at SEC in late June.

SEC’s Enforcement Director Andrew J. Ceresney said, “Stephanie is widely respected because of her intelligence, her pragmatic approach and her excellent judgment. I am delighted that she is rejoining the agency and look forward to partnering with her to build on the many successes of our enforcement program.”

Avakian had earlier worked in the SEC Enforcement Division as a Branch Chief in the New York Regional Office. Following this she served as a Counsel to SEC Commissioner Paul Carey.  Hence she is familiar with the SEC turf and happy to return.

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In a statement to the media, Avakian said that she was honored and excited to return to the commission. She said, “I am looking forward to working with all of the dedicated staff in the division of enforcement to carry out the SEC’s mission to protect investors.”

At WilmerHale, Stephanie represented public companies, boards, and individuals in a broad range of investigations and other matters before the SEC and other agencies. She joins a long line of legal professionals who left WilmerHale to join SEC.

Joseph Brenner, Chief Counsel for SEC’s enforcement division, was also a WilmerHale Partner. The agency’s General Counsel, Anne K. Small, was a Partner in the firm’s litigation department. And Stephen Luparello, Director of SEC’s division of trading and markets, is another alumnus of the law firm reports New York Times.

Avakin did her JD magna cum laude from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.

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