James J. Benjamin Jr., a leader of Akin Gump’s securities enforcement and litigation practice group, represents institutional and individual clients in a wide variety of government and regulatory investigations and litigation. He has served as lead counsel in numerous internal investigations and has conducted numerous jury trials. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of white-collar crime and government investigations. Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Mr. Benjamin previously served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and John Paul Stevens. He received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1987 from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he earned his J.D. with honors in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the research and projects editor of the Virginia Law Review.
Steven Peikin was named Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in June 2017.
Before serving at the Commission, Mr. Peikin was Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. His practice focused on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations.
From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Peikin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He was Chief of the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where he supervised some of the nation’s highest profile prosecutions of accounting fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, and abuses in the foreign exchange market. As a prosecutor, Mr. Peikin also personally investigated and tried a wide variety of cases involving securities and commodities fraud, as well as other crimes.
Mr. Peikin received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School, both magna cum laude. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard, United States Circuit Judge, Second Circuit, and the Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Jr., United States District Judge, Southern District of New York.
Mr. Peikin is Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU Law School. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Center For Hearing and Communication, a non-profit health and human services agency that serves the deaf and hard of hearing.