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Michael Stevenson, longtime Deputy General Counsel of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), has joined as a partner in the Whistleblower Representation Practice founded by Jordan Thomas.
Mr. Stevenson has more than two decades of enforcement and regulatory experience at the PCAOB and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most recently, Mr. Stevenson served for more than a decade as Deputy General Counsel of the PCAOB, where, as one of its earliest staff members, he played a key role in developing the PCAOB’s foundational rules, including those governing enforcement, adjudications, and inspections. Among other responsibilities, he advised on enforcement actions addressing securities law violations by public company auditors, and advised on inspection matters, including the evaluation of inspection information for indications of financial reporting and other violations to refer to the SEC.
“Christmas came early for us this year. Michael brings to our practice an unusual wealth and variety of experience dealing with federal securities violations, particularly in financial reporting and auditing,” said Thomas, chair of the practice. “Corporate whistleblowers face formidable adversaries and incredibly difficult decisions. Michael’s experience will be invaluable to them.”
Mr. Stevenson added, “I’m delighted to join the . . . team representing SEC whistleblowers. Providing first-rate legal representation to whistleblowers is critical to the success of the SEC’s program and its ultimate goal of protecting investors. The firm has a great track record of doing exactly that.”
With more former federal securities prosecutors than any other SEC whistleblower practice in the world, Thomas and his team have secured groundbreaking results, including: the largest whistleblower award in history for the successful $415 million enforcement action against Merrill Lynch; the first officer of a public company to win an award; the first SEC whistleblower to receive criminal immunity; and, the first SEC whistleblower to receive an award because of retaliation. Since the program’s inception, the SEC has recovered more than $2 billion in monetary sanctions and awarded over $387 million to 70 individuals.
Before joining the PCAOB, Mr. Stevenson spent nearly a decade with the Securities and Exchange Commission, first in the Division of Enforcement and later in the Legal Policy Group of the Office of General Counsel. In the Legal Policy Group, he reviewed and advised on a wide-range of enforcement actions throughout the country. He also played an instrumental role on the team that developed the rules adopted by the SEC in 2000 to modernize auditor independence requirements. While in the Legal Policy Group, he received the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence. Earlier, he was a litigation associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Mr. Stevenson began his legal career as law clerk to the late Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.