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Ex-Simpson Thacher Partner to Head SEC Division

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William Hinman, who recently retired as a partner in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Silicon Valley office, has been named the head of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Hinman will head up the division which reviews securities filings to monitor compliance with disclosure and accounting requirements.

Hinman’s appointment comes one week after former Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton, who represented some of the biggest names on Wall Street while in private practice, was confirmed by the Senate to head the SEC. In a press release announcing the appointment on Wednesday, Clayton said that Hinman “has spent the last 37 years working in our public and private markets, and he understands the SEC’s mission to promote capital formation while ensuring that investors have the information necessary to make informed decisions.”

Among Hinman’s notable assignments of the past few years, he helped lead the Simpson Thacher teams representing Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in its 2014 initial public offering, the largest IPO ever at $25 billion. The American Lawyer magazine gave Hinman and his Simpson Thacher partner Leiming Chen “Dealmaker of the Year” honors for their work on the Alibaba IPO. Hinman also represented the underwriters in Facebook Inc.’s 2012 initial offering.

Before joining Simpson Thacher in 2000, Hinman served as managing partner of Shearman & Sterling’s San Francisco and Menlo Park offices. Hinman, who holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a J.D. from Cornell University Law School, has taught international securities regulation at both Stanford Law School and UC-Berkeley.

“Bill has been a wonderful colleague and leader in our capital markets practice and in his field during his 17 years as a partner at the firm,” said Simpson Thacher partner William Dougherty, chairman of the firm’s executive committee. “His intellect, judgment and experience will be a tremendous asset to the SEC.”


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