Michael Liftik.

Michael Liftik, senior legal advisor to former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, has joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP as a partner based in the firm’s Washington office.

Liftik focuses on government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement defense, securities litigation and cybersecurity.

As the SEC’s deputy chief of staff under White, Liftik advised White on all aspects of the SEC’s operations, including enforcement, regulatory policy, compliance exams, agency strategy and direction, as well as the day-to-day management of the agency.

He was also responsible for assisting White in developing the agency’s policies on cybersecurity for registered entities and public companies and led the SEC’s initial efforts to analyze areas where emerging financial technologies intersect with securities regulation. He also previously served as White’s senior advisor on enforcement.

“Our goal is to establish the top white-collar and investigations practices in the world,” said John Quinn, managing partner, in a statement. “A major part of that practice is dealing with and sometimes litigating against government regulators. Michael’s experience with the SEC will help make this goal a reality.”

Liftik, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said, has “extensive experience as a securities litigator, having worked on major securities regulatory crises, including market timing and late trading, stock options backdating and the financial crisis.”

During his 10 years at the SEC, Liftick served in the Division of Enforcement including as counsel to the division director and as acting chief of the Complex Financial Instruments Unit.

Earlier in his career, he was an enforcement attorney where he investigated and litigated a wide range of securities law violations.

Liftik received a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and an a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard College. 

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