John H. Walsh, a partner of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, joined the firm in October 2011 as 23-year veteran of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With his deep, insider’s experience and perspective of the SEC, he now represents broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment advisers and other securities firms in compliance and regulatory issues involving the agency. He counsels clients on the full spectrum of securities issues from development and compliance to cooperation in examinations and defense in enforcement proceedings.
At the SEC, he played a key role in creating the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), which administers examinations of U.S. registered securities entities. He designed and implemented the SEC’s securities compliance examination practices, first as a senior advisor for compliance policy and then, most recently, as associate director-chief counsel. In 2009, he served as OCIE’s acting director and led a massive retraining of examination staff on antifraud techniques.
Prior to his tenure at OCIE, Mr. Walsh was special counsel to former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt from 1993 to 1995. From 1990 to 1993, he worked in the SEC Division of Enforcement, serving first as senior counsel and then as chief of the branch of regional office assistance, where he regularly appeared before the Commission’s closed meetings to present and discuss regional office enforcement cases. He also advised the commissioners and staff on securities laws and agency policy. He began his career with the SEC in 1988 as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel.