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SEC chief counsel joins Clifford Chance

The former chief counsel to SEC chair Mary Jo White has been appointed as partner in the law firm’s litigation and dispute resolution practice.

After stepping down from his post at the US Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of February last year, Robert Rice has joined UK-headquartered law firm Clifford Chance as a partner in the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group. He will be based in the firm’s New York office.

Rice served as chief counsel to SEC chair Mary Jo White for nearly two years. During this time he provided advice on a broad range of regulatory matters across the SEC’s divisions and offices, focusing on enforcement actions, policy and strategy and examinations of SEC registrants, including broker-dealers and investment advisers.

Prior to this, Rice served as a senior in-house lawyer at Deutsche Bank, where he oversaw domestic and global regulatory, criminal enforcement, litigation and governance matters for nearly 10 years.

“Bob's experience working at the highest levels of the SEC and a top-tier global bank positions him to deliver the superior insight and counsel clients need when facing with an investigation by the US government or a foreign regulator,” said Evan Cohen, regional managing partner of the Americas in a statement.

Rice is the latest addition to Clifford Chance's expanding white collar and regulatory practice in the US. In March, the firm hired Dan Silver from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was deputy chief of the criminal division and chief of the national security and cybercrime section.

The SEC has lost a number of its officials to law firms in recent months. Paul Dudek, who served as chief of the office of international corporate finance in the regulator’s division of corporation finance, joined Latham & Watkins last month, K&L Gates hired former enforcement division senior counsel Leslie Hakala in March and co-chief of the asset management unit at the division of enforcement joined Debevoise in February.