News & Insights

Former Associate Director of SEC Enforcement Division Stephen L. Cohen Joins Sidley in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Sidley Austin LLP is pleased to announce that Stephen L. Cohen, former Associate Director in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement, has joined the firm. He will be a member of Sidley’s nationally recognized Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory practice. Mr. Cohen will add immediate value to Sidley’s efforts to help clients with government and internal investigations, enforcement-related litigation, whistleblower complaints, congressional issues and those seeking to establish or strengthen compliance programs. 

“Steve is one of the top regulatory enforcement lawyers in the country and we couldn’t be more pleased that he chose Sidley as having the best platform for his practice,” said Neal Sullivan, partner and co-leader of Sidley’s Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory practice. “His excellent reputation and demonstrated experience with federal securities law makes him a perfect addition to our team. Our clients expect us to deliver a comprehensive approach to their matters, and having Steve on board will significantly augment our ability to guide them through all aspects of their most complex regulatory and enforcement challenges.”

Mr. Cohen has an illustrious track record of leading complex and high-profile cases involving market participants and public companies across a broad spectrum of industries. During his tenure with the SEC, Mr. Cohen oversaw domestic and international enforcement activities involving accounting and disclosure fraud, auditor misconduct, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, insider trading, registered and unregistered securities offerings, market abuses, broker-dealers, investment advisers and other regulated entities. In various different contexts, he worked closely with individuals in many federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies, including providing advice and training on enforcement and investigations issues to regulators around the world. 

Throughout Mr. Cohen’s distinguished tenure with the SEC, he held numerous high-level positions and roles. While in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, he chaired a nationwide enforcement advisory committee made up of senior SEC officers who met regularly to help the Enforcement Director develop policies and improve the division. Additionally, he served on an inter-agency task force on cybersecurity issues. 

“I was attracted to Sidley in large part due to its extensive regulatory expertise and strong international footprint,” said Mr. Cohen. “I am excited to join the amazing professionals at Sidley who have an exceptional reputation for providing the highest level of service to clients.”

Prior to serving as Associate Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, he served as Senior Adviser to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, advising on policy and administrative matters focused mostly on enforcement and compliance issues, legislative matters and congressional hearings. In addition, Mr. Cohen was responsible for overseeing the establishment of the SEC’s Whistleblower program and other initiatives such as rulemakings. Previously, he served in the division’s Trial Unit as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel. 

Mr. Cohen started his career as a federal district court law clerk before joining the Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Attorney General’s Honors Program. He also handled litigation matters and government investigations at a national law firm. 

With 1,900 lawyers in 20 offices around the globe, Sidley is a premier legal adviser for clients across the spectrum of industries. Follow Sidley on Twitter @SidleyLaw.

Kellie Mullins, Associate Director, Public Relations, +1 312 456 8716

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