Debevoise’s Mary Jo White picked by Obama to head the SEC

The head of Debevoise & Plimpton’s litigation practice Mary Jo White is expected to be named by President Barack Obama today as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

President Obama
President Obama

The news is not yet official and Debevoise is currently making no comment, but White House sources said today that Obama would announce White’s nomination this afternoon.

White is one of the highest-profile litigation and white-collar crime specialist lawyers in the US. She featured on partner Bruce Yannett’s team on Debevoise’s biggest-ever litigation matter, the years-long internal investigation into fraud at Siemens.

A US attorney for the Southern District of New York between 1993 to 2002, she also won convictions related to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Africa and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

White first worked at Debevoise between 1983 and 1990, rejoining in 2002 as chair of the firm’s 200-lawyer plus litigation department. While her exit from the US firm will be a blow it will also serve as confirmation of her, and her team’s, position as one of the leading investigations practices in the US.