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Top N.Y. State Insurance Regulator Moves to Private Law Firm

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Scott Fischer Scott Fischer.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has hired Scott Fischer, formerly the highest-ranking insurance regulatory official for New York state, as a partner in its finance team.

Fischer, 46, has been executive deputy superintendent for insurance at the New York State Department of Financial Services since 2016, leading a unit supervising 1,700 insurers. He was initially hired by Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo.

(Related: Fischer named Watchdog of N.Y. Insurers With $4 Trillion in Assets)

Joining Morgan Lewis on July 9,  Fischer will represent insurance companies in regulatory, transactional, bankruptcy and restructuring matters. Under ethical rules, Fischer, who left state government this month, is barred from representing a client before the Department of Financial Services for two years.

Fischer was previously special deputy superintendent at the New York Liquidation Bureau, where he managed a staff of about 200 employees overseeing the liquidation proceedings of more than 25 domestic insurers, handling claims eligible for New York insurance security fund coverage and distributing more than $500 million in claim payments and estate dividends. Earlier in his career, he was an associate at several law firms, including Paul Hastings; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; and Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle.

Fischer said he was seeking out private practice after serving the state government the last seven of 10 years. At the Department of Financial Services, Fischer has been paid about $172,000 annually, according to public compensation records.  At Morgan Lewis, average profits per partner stand at about $1.368 million, according to The American Lawyer.

While financial factors were a consideration in his move outside government service, he said he looked forward to being able to dive into cases after serving in a leadership role at the department where he oversaw many matters and personnel. “One of the things you miss as a lawyer is the ability to dig into things,” he said.

Fischer said he was initially drawn to Morgan Lewis through Harold Horwich, a well-known insurance practitioner whom he has known since 2008, and decided to join after speaking with other lawyers and learning of the firm’s business plan and practices.

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