Dan Gallagher, deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s trading and markets division, plans to leave at the end of the week to become a partner at WilmerHale here.

He is stepping down as co-acting director of the division, a role he assumed last April along with James ­Brigagliano, after Erik Sirri, who led the unit, left the SECto return to academia.

In November, the commission  named Robert Cook, a former partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, to succeed Sirri as head of the division. Cook started working at the SEC about a month ago.

Since joining the unit in 2008, Gallagher has played an integral role in the SEC’s response to the financial crisis and other key initiatives, such as overseeing issues arising from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the drafting of rules to address credit rating agency issues, and efforts to facilitate the central clearing of credit default swaps, the commission said in a statement.

Gallagher also worked closely with other federal regulators, including officials at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and various international bodies.

While the SEC proposed improvements to municipal disclosure during Gallagher’s term, those efforts were led by staff attorneys in the division’s office of municipal securities, who in turn report to associate director ­David ­Shillman and Brigagliano, sources said.

Gallagher received his law degree from the Catholic University of America and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

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