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Rating:The Enforcer Leaves FINRA Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 12, 2010

The Enforcer Leaves FINRA

Reported by Daniel Tovrov

Susan Merrill, the head of enforcement at Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has found a new home after news broke last month that she was leaving the watchdog group.

Merrill is joining international law firm Bingham McCutchen as a partner in the broker-dealer group, which is based in New York.

“Susan joining our practice is another step in enhancing our nationally renowned securities enforcement team,” said Neal Sullivan, head of the firm’s Broker-Dealer Group, in a release. “Her keen insight and depth of knowledge from both the private and public sectors will provide immediate value to our clients."

The broker-dealer group is comprised of 75 lawyers. FINRA was not available to comment on how Merrill's duties will be covered.

Company Press Release

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Susan Merrill, head of enforcement at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), will join Bingham McCutchen LLP as a partner in the Broker-Dealer Group in New York.

Merrill will lead Bingham’s enforcement practice and will advise financial industry clients on regulatory and securities enforcement matters. As FINRA’s executive vice president and chief of enforcement, she led the division that was responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of federal securities laws and FINRA rules governing securities firms.

“Susan is a recognized leader in the securities field,” said Bingham Chairman Jay S. Zimmerman. “Her arrival to Bingham exemplifies our investment and commitment to building the strongest securities team and advising clients in the most complex matters, nationally and globally.”

Neal Sullivan, head of Bingham’s Broker-Dealer Group and co-leader of the firm’s Financial Services Area, noted that Merrill brings a valuable perspective to clients facing an ever-changing landscape in securities law.

“Susan joining our practice is another step in enhancing our nationally renowned securities enforcement team,” said Sullivan. “Her keen insight and depth of knowledge from both the private and public sectors will provide immediate value to our clients. She’s a perfect fit.”

Recognized by Chambers USA as one of the leading securities enforcement practices in the United States, Bingham’s 75-lawyer broker-dealer group advises and defends on the full range of market, enforcement and regulatory issues, providing clients with a deep bench of legal knowledge and talent.

That roster of talent and the opportunity to practice securities law on Bingham’s global platform attracted Merrill to the firm.

“Bingham’s drive and strategic vision to continue to grow its securities practice impressed me,” said Merrill, noting its reputation among industry leaders and the camaraderie among its lawyers. “There’s an energy and enthusiasm here that is contagious, and I wanted to be part of it.”

In 2004, Merrill joined New York Stock Exchange Regulation as its enforcement chief. She continued in that role when much of NYSE Regulation merged with the National Association of Securities Dealers in 2007 to form FINRA. Prior to joining NYSE Regulation, Merrill was a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell for 10 years where she represented leading broker-dealers, investment advisers and Fortune 500 companies in investigations before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the NYSE and the NASD. She also conducted internal investigations and consulted on regulatory compliance matters.

She received her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Maryland and her law degree, summa cum laude, in 1986 from Brooklyn Law School, where she was the executive articles editor of the Law Review.

Merrill is the latest in a steady string of leaders to join Bingham from key regulatory agencies and the financial industry over the last 16 months. Most recently, Bingham added in March Lizzie Baird, who focuses on securities enforcement defense, internal investigations, and regulatory and corporate counseling, as a partner in Washington from O’Melveny & Meyers.

In addition to a strategy of building and strengthening its securities practice, Bingham has invested heavily in its New York office. In August 2009, Bingham combined with McKee Nelson, a leading 120-lawyer firm in New York and Washington, adding significant capital markets and securitization, litigation, and tax capabilities.

Bingham offers a broad range of market-leading practices focused on global financial services firms and Fortune 100 companies. The firm has 1,100 lawyers in 12 locations in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia.  

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