Areas of Practice
Melanie Nussdorf is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe, where she is a member of the Tax and Employee Benefits groups.
Her practice spans the entire range of employee benefits, from the tax-based rules for qualified pension plans, to fiduciary issues, welfare benefits, and plan termination. Ms. Nussdorf's particular focus over the last several years has been fiduciary issues, including prohibited transaction exemption questions under ERISA, especially in connection with financial products and services. Ms. Nussdorf represents a number of financial institutions including major banks, investment advisers,brokerage firms, and insurance companies. In addition, she has particular experience in all aspects of the plan termination process, including issues of employer liability for poorly funded plans terminating in or outside of a bankruptcy proceeding. She has done substantial work on ERISA issues relating to hedge funds and private equity vehicles. She also has substantial experience with the exemption and advisory opinion process under ERISA and has worked extensively on legislative issues related to ERISA.
Ms. Nussdorf was counsel for age and sex discrimination at the Department of Labor prior to serving as Executive Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor from 1977-81. During this period, she had significant oversight responsibility for the department's legal work under ERISA. From 1981-84, she served as Special Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Select Seminars & Events
“Other Regulatory Regimes Affecting the Investment Management Industry,” PLI’s Investment Management Institute 2013
"Pension Plan Investment: Current Perspectives," Practising Law Institute's Conference, April 5, 2011
"ERISA Fiduciary Basics," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 23, 2011
"Investment Management Institute," Practising Law Institute's Conference, February 10, 2011
"CFTC’s Proposed Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers: Costs and Consequences to Swap Dealers and Plans," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, January 25, 2011
"DOL’s Proposed Significant Expansion of the Fiduciary Definition," Practising Law Institute's Teleconference, November 19, 2010
Expanded Roth Conversion Opportunity for Retirement Plan Participants
ERISA Advisory - $36.9 Million Awarded in ERISA Class Action Challenging Investment Selection and Compensation Paid to 401(k) Plan Recordkeeper
ERISA Advisory - Department of Labor Releases 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Regulations
ERISA Advisory - CFTC Announces New Swap Rules
ERISA Advisory - Labor Department Issues Final Regulations Addressing Provision of Investment Advice to Participants and Beneficiaries of Self-Directed Individual Account Plans and IRAs
ERISA Advisory - Proposed Regulation Redefining Fiduciary
ERISA Advisory - ERISA Advisory Council Makes Stable Value Fund Recommendations to Labor Department
Melanie Nussdorf Quoted in Pensions & Investments about Revamped Rules for Offering Investment Advice
Barry P. Barbash is a co-head of the firm’s Asset Management Group and has been a practitioner in the asset management area for over 35 years. He combines deep private practice experience with extensive knowledge of the regulation of the asset management business, having, among other things, served from September 1993 until October 1998, as the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management.
Mr. Barbash has a diverse practice covering all aspects of the asset management business. He regularly advises investment managers and fiduciaries, independent directors and trustees, and mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, hedge fund, private equity fund and venture capital fund clients on a variety of transactional, compliance and regulatory matters. His areas of expertise include investment adviser operations, compliance procedures and policies and fund governance matters. He regularly represents buyers and sellers in asset management merger and acquisition transactions and restructurings and advises asset managers of all types in connection with administrative and court actions brought by securities regulators. He has particular experience and expertise dealing with “status” issues arising under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has, in addition to serving as the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, held staff attorney positions with the Division of Investment Management and the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has responsibility for the administration of the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the U.S. federal employee benefit plans law. His practice has been focused on investment advisers, fiduciaries and securities regulation since 1978.
Mr. Barbash received a JD from Cornell Law School in 1978, and an AB (summa cum laude) from Bowdoin College in 1975.
Selected Significant Matters
Christopher D. Christian advises U.S. and European asset managers and investment funds and their boards of directors, including U.S. registered funds, funds organized under the European Union directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS), and funds organized in other jurisdictions offered on a private basis.
His practice has a significant international component. He advises offshore funds on compliance with U.S. regulatory requirements and routinely counsels European retail and institutional funds on organization, registration, corporate governance, and global distribution issues. He has assisted clients in coordinating offering advisory services and various types of investment funds in compliance with local law in jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin and South America.
Mr. Christian is also the architect of Dechert’s World Compass, an innovative marketing compliance subscription service that offers investment firms advice in more than 100 jurisdictions.
Mr. Christian has been recognized in Chambers USA as a leading lawyer for registered funds and in Chambers Global as a Foreign Expert in Ireland. He has also been recognized in The Legal 500 (U.S.) in the area of mutual/registered funds.
He is the former Chair of the International Bar Association's Investment Funds Committee and was recently selected as Chair of the Irish Funds North America Distribution Working Group. He has spent considerable time working in Dechert's London office and is a frequent conference speaker.
Mr. Christian is a graduate of Brandeis University (B.A.), The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (J.D., cum laude) and Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M., Securities and Financial Regulation).
Drew Bowden was appointed by Chair Mary Jo White as the Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) in June 2013. He joined the SEC in November 2011 and initially served as the National Associate for the Investment Adviser and Investment Company Examination Program. In September 2012, Mr. Bowden was named Deputy Director of OCIE.
Mr. Bowden began his career as a trial attorney and partner at a major Baltimore law firm, specializing in securities related litigation, arbitration, and regulatory matters. He later worked for seventeen years at Legg Mason in a variety of roles, including legal, compliance, operations, sales, service, marketing, and corporate governance. He has also served on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Investment Adviser Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Loyola University Maryland and a law degree, cum laude, from The University of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Krentzman serves as Deloitte’s U.S. mutual fund leader where she oversees national development and delivery of mutual fund strategies across audit, tax, financial advisory and consulting to mutual fund complexes, boards of directors and service providers.
Elizabeth has over 25 years of experience in the asset management industry, including as former General Counsel to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). During her tenure at the ICI, she was recognized by Compliance Reporter as “Lobbyist of the Year” in connection with her regulatory efforts. Before joining the ICI, Elizabeth spent seven years at Deloitte & Touche where she led the investment management regulatory services group for the Financial Regulatory Consulting practice. Elizabeth also formerly served as an Assistant Director in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, where she was responsible for rules involving investment company reporting and investment adviser registration and disclosure obligations. Elizabeth began her career with the law firm of Ropes & Gray, where she handled regulatory and compliance matters for investment companies, their advisers and directors.
Elizabeth serves on the editorial board of The Investment Lawyer, is a published author and speaks at numerous conferences in the United States and around the world. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the SEC Historical Society. Elizabeth is a member of the District of Columbia and Florida Bar Associations and is a former chair of the District of Columbia Bar Investment Management Subcommittee. She received her BA and JD degrees from the University of Florida and served on the University of Florida Law Review.
Julie M. Riewe is a litigation partner and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Her practice focuses on securities-related enforcement and compliance issues and internal investigations, and she has significant experience with matters involving private equity funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, business development companies, separately managed accounts and other asset managers. Ms. Riewe was recognized as a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2018.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Riewe was Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Ms. Riewe oversaw a nationwide program of investigations focusing on investment advisers, investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles managed by investment advisers. She co-led a team of nearly 80 attorneys, industry experts and other professionals in all 12 SEC offices, and was responsible for directing the SEC’s asset management-related enforcement efforts. In recognition of her leadership and integrity, she received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2015.
Before her appointment to Co-Chief, Ms. Riewe was Deputy Chief and Assistant Director of the Asset Management Unit in 2012 and 2010, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, she was Branch Chief in the Enforcement Division in Washington, D.C. Ms. Riewe joined the SEC in 2005 as a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division In 2007, she earned the Ellen B. Ross Award for her performance at the SEC.
From 2000 to 2004, Ms. Riewe was a litigation associate with a major international law firm, prior to which she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Diana E. Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 1999 to 2000.
Ms. Riewe earned her J.D. and M.P.P. from Duke University School of Law in 1999, where she was a member of the Duke Law Journal and Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. She received her A.B. from Duke University in 1993.
Lori A. Martin is partner in the Securities and Litigation/Controversy departments of WilmerHale, where she is resident in the New York office. She handles regulatory proceedings and litigation on behalf of investment advisers, open and closed-end investment companies, hedge funds, and broker dealers offering investment advisory services. She was selected as the “Mutual Funds Law Lawyer of the Year” in the New York area by The Best Lawyers in America® 2014. Prior to joining WilmerHale, she was First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.
Her publications include: “Litigation Under the Investment Company Act of 1940,” Vol. 2, Chapter 26 Mutual Fund Regulation (Practicing Law Institute, 2017) (Clifford E. Kirsch, ed.); “Supreme Court Endorses Gartenberg, But It's Not the Same Old Standard,” WilmerHale Client Alert (April 5, 2010) (with Matthew A. Chambers); “Enforcement Trends and Themes,” Investment Management Institute (Practicing Law Institute, 2007-2012); “State Regulators and the Mutual Fund Industry,” 39 The Review o/Securities & Commodities Regulation 219 (Nov. 15, 2006) (with Cristina Alger); and “Emails and the Recordkeeping Obligations of Investment Advisers,” 12 The Investment Lawyer 16 (February 2005).
Ms. Martin's recent speeches include: “Excessive Fee Litigation, Contract Renewal and Share Class Developments,” panel presentation at the PLI Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies 2018 conference (New York, New York) (May 14, 2018); “Investment Management: Enforcement and Litigation Trends,” panel presentation at the PLI Investment Management Institute 2018 conference (New York, New York) (April 30, 2018); “Key Legal and Regulatory Issues: Asset Management,” panel presentation at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Regional Seminar (Boston, Massachusetts) (June 7, 2017); and “Valuation Issues, SEC Examinations & Enforcement Actions,” panel presentation on a webinar co-sponsored by Deloitte & WilmerHale (June 19, 2013).
Ms. Martin graduated with honors from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1988, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1985.
Paul F. Roye is a senior vice president and senior counsel of the Fund Business Management Group of Capital Research and Management Company ("Capital Research"); director of Capital Research; member of Capital Research Executive Committee; vice chairman and trustee of the Capital Group Private Client Services Funds, Capital Group Emerging Markets Total Opportunities Fund and Emerging Markets Growth Fund, Inc.; executive vice president, principal executive officer and trustee of Washington Mutual Investors Fund; executive vice president and principal executive officer of Growth Fund of America, American Funds Fundamental Investors and SMALLCAP World Fund; and senior vice president of American Balanced Fund, The Income Fund of America and Investment Company of America.
Prior to joining Capital Research in 2005, he was Director of the Division of lnvestment Management for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he worked for three SEC Chairman and was among the most senior financial services regulators in the United States, with principal oversight for the investment management industry and public utility holding companies. During his tenure, he received the Chairman's Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an SEC staff member. Prior to becoming director, he was a member of the Washington office of the law firm of Dechert, where he was a partner in the firm's Financial Services, lnvestment Management and Corporate Securities Practice Group, specializing in the area of institutional investor law. His practice involved providing advice and assistance to a wide variety of domestic and foreign investment companies, as well as investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies.
Paul holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He also holds an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Paul serves on the Investor Issues Committee of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni and Friends of the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association.
Paul is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Sean M. Murphy is a partner in the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group. Prior to joining Milbank in 2004, Mr. Murphy was a partner in the New York office of Clifford Chance LLP, where he was a member of that firm’s Securities Litigation practice group.
Mr. Murphy’s practice focuses on complex securities matters. He has defended dozens of companies and financial institutions in multi-jurisdictional class action and derivative litigation under state and federal securities laws, including claims under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. He has extensive experience representing investment advisers and mutual fund boards in litigation and regulatory investigations involving management fees, revenue sharing, conflicts of interest, prospectus disclosure, distribution and trading, ERISA prohibited transactions, portfolio mismanagement, Rule 12b-1, board oversight and fiduciary duty litigation. He represents clients in regulatory and enforcement proceedings before the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and state regulators.
Mr. Murphy has represented some of the largest financial institutions in the country and has extensive experience trying securities cases, including multi-billion dollar cases.
Mr. Murphy has spoken on dozens of panels about complex litigation and regulatory issues, and has written a number of articles. He also co-authored portions of the textbooks titled Practice Before the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation and Litigating Securities Class Actions. Mr. Murphy received his B.A. from St. Lawrence University, and his J.D. from Albany Law School-Union University.
Stephanie R. Breslow is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where she is co-head of the Investment Management Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Operating Committee. Currently, Stephanie actively represents more than 50 fund complexes, and her practice includes investment management, partnerships and securities, with a focus on the formation of liquid-securities funds (including hedge funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and activist funds), private equity funds (including LBO, mezzanine, distressed, real estate and venture) as well as providing regulatory advice to investment managers. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with seed-capital investments in fund managers and acquisitions of interests in investment-management businesses and funds of funds and other institutional investors in connection with their investment activities, including blockchain technology and virtual currency offerings and transactions.
Stephanie has received the highest industry honors. Among many other recent accomplishments, Stephanie was named to the inaugural Legal 500 Hall of Fame in the category of “Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.” The Legal 500 Hall of Fame singled out Stephanie as among the select “individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.” Launched in 2017, the Hall of Fame highlights “the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession.”
Stephanie is also listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (which ranked her one of the world’s “Top Ten Private Equity Lawyers”), Who’s Who Legal’s “Thought Leaders,” Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers (which ranked her at the top of the world’s “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” list), Expert Guide to the Best of the Best USA, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Law Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law and PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook, among other leading directories. Stephanie was named the “Private Funds Lawyer of the Year” at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2014 and the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s “Best in Investment Funds” at the inaugural Americas Women in Business Law Awards. Stephanie is also recognized as one of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds.
Recently serving as chair of the Private Investment Funds Subcommittee of the International Bar Association, Stephanie is a founding member and former chair of the Private Investment Fund Forum. Stephanie is highly sought-after speaker on fund formation and operation and compliance issues, and she regularly publishes articles on the latest trends in these areas.
Stephanie co-authored Private Equity Funds: Formation and Operation (Practising Law Institute) and Hedge Funds: Formation, Operation and Regulation (ALM Law Journal Press). She contributed a chapter on “Hedge Fund Investment in Private Equity” for inclusion in PLC Cross-border Private Equity Handbook 2005/06 (Practical Law Company), contributed a chapter on “Advisers to Private Equity Funds — Practical Compliance Considerations” for Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds Regulation, Volume 2 (Practising Law Institute), and wrote New York and Delaware Business Entities: Choice, Formation, Operation, Financing and Acquisitions (West) and New York Limited Liability Companies: A Guide to Law and Practice (West).
Stephanie earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and her B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University.
Susan Schroeder is the Executive Vice President and Head of FINRA Enforcement, responsible for FINRA’s disciplinary actions across the country. After a recent combination resulting from FINRA360, the organization’s ongoing comprehensive self-evaluation and improvement initiative, FINRA Enforcement is a unified group that handles disciplinary actions related to trading-based matters found through Market Surveillance’s surveillance and examination programs, as well as and other cases referred from other regulatory oversight divisions including Member Regulation, Corporate Financing, the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, and Advertising Regulation.
Prior to becoming the Head of Enforcement in 2017, Susan was Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief of Enforcement at FINRA for six years. Before joining FINRA, she was a partner in WilmerHale’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice, where she specialized in SEC, FINRA, and state investigations and enforcement actions involving all aspects of securities law. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis, specializing in securities litigation. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, her M.A. from the University of California at Davis, and her B.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the New York bar.
Thomas M. Selman is Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy, and Legal Compliance Officer of FINRA. He oversees the departments of Corporate Financing, Advertising Regulation, Regulatory Policy, the Legal Compliance Office, and the Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues. Tom joined the organization in 1996.
Mr. Selman also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst ® designation.
From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Selman was Associate Counsel at the Investment Company Institute, a trade association for the mutual fund industry. Prior to that time, he served as Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a position he held beginning in 1987. Tom was an Attorney-Advisor to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, from 1986 to 1987. In addition to his career accomplishments, Mr. Selman has authored articles that were published in Investment Lawyer, The International Lawyer and Insights.
Mr. Selman received bachelor's degrees in economics and history from Rice University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review.
Norm Champ is a partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Norm is a member of the Investment Funds Group. Previously, Norm was the director of the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Norm’s book, Going Public, about his experiences at the SEC is due out from McGraw-Hill in 2017.
While at the SEC, Norm played a key role in the SEC’s completion of landmark reforms in 2014 to strengthen the $3 trillion money market fund industry, and led important structural and policy changes. He was the leader of interactions with the Financial Stability Oversight Council as the Council turned its attention to whether asset management firms are “systemically important.” He also worked on crisis management efforts at securities firms to protect customers of those firms. Norm also headed the creation of Guidance Updates and Senior Level Engagement initiatives created to provide transparency to the industry and to engage with boards and senior management of asset management firms.
Prior to becoming the Director of the Division of Investment Management, he was the Deputy Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and the Associate Regional Director for Examinations in the SEC’s New York Regional Office. In these capacities he supervised SEC examinations of investment advisors, investment companies, broker-dealers, national securities exchanges, credit rating agencies, clearing firms and other market participants.
Norm is one of several members of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management who have recently joined Kirkland’s Investment Funds Group Regulatory Practice. Jamie Walter served as senior counsel in the Private Funds Branch of the Division’s Rulemaking Office. Aaron Schlaphoff was an attorney fellow in the Division’s Rulemaking Office.
Norm is a frequent and seasoned speaker having presented on securities law topics at SEC programs, Princeton University’s Bendheim Center for Finance, the Practicing Law Institute, ICI, SIFMA, MFA, the Saudi Central Bank, the New York City Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the ACA Compliance Group, Financial Times, and others.
He is also a lecturer on investment management law at Harvard Law School.
Mr. Champ has an A.B. in History from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was a Fulbright Scholar at King’s College in London where he received his M.A. in War Studies.
Jennifer S. Choi is Senior Associate Counsel at the Investment Company Institute. She also serves as an adjunct professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law teaching regulation of mutual funds and investment advisers. Previously, Ms. Choi was associate general counsel at the Investment Adviser Association. From 1995 to 1999, she held various positions at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, rising to assistant director in the Division of Investment Management. At the SEC, she also received the Martha Platt Award for dedication, excellence, and integrity. Ms. Choi graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics, cum laude, and from the National Law Center at George Washington University, with highest honors.
Michael Sackheim is senior counsel in the New York office of Sidley Austin LLP where he concentrates on derivatives regulatory, transactional and enforcement matters. Michael is a past Chair of the New York City Bar Derivatives Regulation Committee, and he is the managing editor of Futures & Derivatives Law Report (Thomson Reuters, publ.). Michael is also the co-editor of a new legal treatise, The Virtual Currency Regulation Review (November 2018, Law Business Research Ltd).
Philip L. Kirstein was the Independent Compliance Officer and Senior Officer to the Boards of the AllianceBernstein U.S. registered investment companies from October 2003 until December 31, 2017. Previously, he was the General Counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, LP (formerly Merrill Lynch Asset Management) from May 1984 through March 2003 and was Of Counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP from October 2003 until October 2004.
Mr. Kirstein is a member of the New York City Bar Committee on the Investment of Funds and a past Chair of the New York City Bar Committee on Investment Management Regulation. He is also a former member of the American Bar Association Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers; and a former member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ICI Mutual Insurance Company and the Planning Committee of the Investment Company Institute/Federal Bar Association Mutual Fund Conference.
Mr. Kirstein was a member of the Independent Directors Council Task Force that prepared the Board Oversight of Fund Compliance Report. He is a frequent panelist at conferences regarding investment company legal, compliance and regulatory issues.
Mr. Kirstein is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), College of Law, Syracuse University and School of Law, New York University.
Mr. Kirstein is a former member of the Board of Directors of Cancer Care of New Jersey and a former member of the board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Central and South Jersey affiliate. He is currently on the Investment Committee of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc. He retired as a Captain of the United States Naval Reserve.
Susan Chadwick Ervin is a member of the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Her practice specializes in advising financial institutions, investment managers, end users and other market participants concerning derivatives transactions. Prior to joining Davis Polk, Ms. Ervin served as a Senior Derivatives Adviser and Attorney Fellow at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she helped develop new regulatory approaches to the derivatives markets and participated in the agency’s development of an implementation program for the Dodd Frank Act. Previously, Ms. Ervin led the derivatives practice at a major international law firm and served for more than ten years as Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Division of Trading and Markets of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She is the co-author of Derivatives Regulation, a leading treatise on the subject, has written extensively on derivatives regulatory issues and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs. She is a former chair of the Derivatives and Futures Committee of the American Bar Association and the Futures Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
W. Danforth Townley is an Attorney Fellow in the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in New York and Washington, D.C. Mr. Townley participates in rulemaking activities of the Division and provides advice on policy initiatives affecting the asset management industry. Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Townley was a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, advising clients on the structuring and offering of hedge funds, private equity funds and other investment vehicles and advising on regulatory compliance with the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisers Act. Mr. Townley has been practicing in New York City for most of his career; he also worked for several years in the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices of Davis Polk. Mr. Townley received his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1985 and graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in History in 1979. He clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet from 1985-86.