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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Giovanni Prezioso has been appointed general counsel at the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
He succeeds David Becker, who has served as general counsel since 1999. Prezioso, a partner in the firm's Washington DC office, joins the SEC in May. He said: "The SEC's critical role in sustaining confidence in the US and global securities markets has rarely been greater than it is today. I am honoured that the SEC has invited me to play a part in addressing the many major issues of national and international significance currently on its agenda." Prezioso added that he would be sorry to leave his Cleary Gottlieb colleagues. This sentiment was reiterated by the firm's managing partner, Peter Karasz. He said: "Giovanni has been an extraordinary lawyer in private practice and I'm confident that he will continue to be an extraordinary lawyer in public service. We will miss him." At Cleary Gottlieb, Prezioso has handled a number of legal and regulatory matters involving international securities and financial markets. He acted for a full range of clients, including securities brokers and dealers, banks, trade associations and other financial institutions. Prezioso has become the second Cleary Gottlieb partner to take on the role at the SEC. Ed Greene, now at Cleary's London office, held the same position from 1981 to 1982. Outgoing general counsel Becker has said that he will return to private practice. He has not disclosed which firm he will move to. Prior to joining the SEC Becker was a partner at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering.