Former SEC Commish Joins David Polk

Annette Nazareth, former SEC Commissioner, has joined Davis Polk & Wardwell as a partner in the law firm’s financial institutions group. She will work out of Washington DC.




Davis Polk & Wardwell today announced that former US Securities and Exchange Commissioner Annette Nazareth has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington, DC office. Ms. Nazareth will practice in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group, advising clients across a broad range of complex regulatory matters and transactions. She also will work closely with Davis Polk’s SEC enforcement practice, counseling non-financial sector corporations that are subject to government regulatory and enforcement actions.


Ms. Nazareth has been a key financial services policymaker for more than a decade. She joined the SEC Staff in 1998 as a Senior Counsel to Chairman Arthur Levitt and then served as Interim Director of the Division of Investment Management and, beginning in 1999, as Director of the Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets), a position in which she oversaw the regulation of broker-dealers, exchanges, clearing agencies, transfer agents and securities information processors. In 2005, Ms. Nazareth was appointed an SEC Commissioner by President Bush. As a Commissioner, Ms. Nazareth worked on numerous groundbreaking initiatives, including execution quality disclosure rules, implementation of equities decimal pricing, short sale reforms, implementation of a voluntary regime for consolidated supervision of broker-dealer holding companies and modernization of the national market system rules. Ms. Nazareth also served as the Commission’s representative on the Financial Stability Forum from 1999 to 2008.


Since leaving the SEC in January of this year, Ms. Nazareth has served as the Rapporteur for the Group of 30 (G30) report entitled, “The Structure of Financial Supervision—Approaches and Challenges in a Global Marketplace,” which will be released on October 6. The G30 is an international body composed of the world’s leading public and private sector experts on financial regulatory systems. Earlier in her career, Ms. Nazareth held a number of senior legal positions at several investment banks. She was a Davis Polk associate from 1981 to 1986.


“We are delighted to welcome Annette, one of the nation’s foremost experts on financial regulation, back to the firm,” said John R. Ettinger, Managing Partner of Davis Polk & Wardwell. “In light of the recent unprecedented events within the financial services industry, as well as the broad, bipartisan consensus that the US financial regulatory system is in dire need of overhaul, Annette’s arrival is particularly important. She greatly bolsters our already significant financial regulatory practice as we work to help our clients navigate this most tumultuous economic environment.”


“I am so pleased to be joining Davis Polk & Wardwell at this momentous time in the financial markets. I can think of no firm that has a more talented group of lawyers or a more illustrious client base. Davis Polk & Wardwell provides the perfect platform to respond to the needs of the financial community in this volatile period.”


Davis Polk regularly advises the world’s leading financial institutions across a broad range of corporate, regulatory and litigation issues. Several current significant representations include the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the $85 billion financing package for AIG; Freddie Mac in the US government’s take over and conservatorship of the company and its commitment to provide Freddie Mac with up to $100 billion in direct financial assistance; and Citi in matters pertaining to Lehman’s bankruptcy filing, including serving as one of the principal architects of the $77 billion bank liquidity facility.


Ms. Nazareth joins several other Davis Polk lawyers who have returned to the firm after a period of government service. Other recent examples include Charles Duggan, who served as Associate White House Counsel; Joseph Hall, who was the SEC’s Managing Executive for Policy under Chairman William H. Donaldson; Scott Muller, who served as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Jennifer Newstead, whose positions included General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, Associate White House Counsel, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice.


About Davis Polk & Wardwell


Davis Polk & Wardwell is a global law firm based in New York City. For nearly 160 years, its lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis Polk ranks among the world’s preeminent law firms across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, private equity, tax, investment management, insolvency and restructuring, executive compensation, intellectual property, real estate and trusts and estates. The firm has approximately 700 lawyers in offices in New York, Menlo Park, CA, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. For more information, please visit