Baker McKenzie adds former SEC enforcer Peter Chan

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Chicago-based multinational law firm Baker McKenzie is creating a new group fusing its regulation and enforcement practices, including a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer well-known to the muni market.

Over the past two weeks, the firm has added four new partners to its newly created Financial Regulation and Enforcement practice -- Amy Greer, Jennifer Klass, Valerie Mirko, and Peter Chan.

The practice was created due to the SEC enforcement and regulatory staff working symbiotically, especially in the public finance space, Chan said.

“It makes total sense from a practice standpoint in advising our clients that we also should be working together in the same team,” Chan said.

Chan spent two decades at the SEC in its Chicago Regional office where he was assistant regional director for enforcement and was known as a key "idea man" within the muni enforcement unit. He became particularly well-known among muni market participants as the architect of the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative, or MCDC. .

The makeup of the new team is diverse and connected, Chan said.

“If you look at our collective experience, it overlaps in enforcement, but also in the regulatory field,” Chan said. “Our goal is that particularly when our clients have complex regulatory and enforcement issues, that we can plug into the expertise of this regulatory and enforcement bank of knowledge,” Chan added.

Greer and Klass will co-chair the firm’s Financial Regulation and Enforcement group.

Klass was previously vice president and associate general counsel at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and is an experienced investment management lawyer with expertise in investment adviser regulation and a focus on converging investment advisory and brokerage services.

Greer was previously a trial lawyer in the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional office. Greer advises financial industry clients and SEC reporting companies in connection with regulatory enforcement actions and examinations, as well as internal investigations.

Mirko previously was in private practice in Washington D.C. and held legal and compliance roles at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. and Merrill Lynch, now BoA Securities. Mirko advised the North American Securities Administrators Association as its general counsel on federal securities law and their impact on state securities regulations.

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