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SEC Chair Nominee Considering Top Defense Attorneys for Enforcement Chief, Report Says

The Wall Street Journal reports that SEC Chairman Nominee Jay Clayton is currently considering candidates for leadership positions at the agency. The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Clayton in a vote in early May. Clayton is reportedly considering well-known defense attorneys for director of enforcement, including: Steven Peikin, a former prosecutor now a partner with Clayton’s law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Matthew Martens, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and  former SEC trial attorney; and SEC acting director of enforcement, Stephanie Avakian. Clayton will join the SEC in a time of budgetary and regulatory uncertainty. Bloomberg reports that the agency has recently cut dozens of contractors the SEC relies on to assist with investigations, among other things. According to Bloomberg, the recently eliminated positions include data-entry staff and paralegals.