Akin Gump Expands SEC Enforcement and Securities Litigation Practices in Washington

(Washington, D.C.) – Nicholas I. Porritt and William E. White have joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, D.C., as partners in the litigation practice, the firm announced today. Messrs. Porritt and White will advise clients on the full range of securities litigation issues, from government investigations and enforcement actions to civil litigation.

Thomas C. Goldstein, a co-leader of Akin Gump’s litigation practice, said, “Together, Nick and Bill bring extensive public- and private-sector experience in securities matters, which will be invaluable to clients as the pace and intensity of government investigations continue to increase. We are very pleased to welcome them to the firm.”

Mr. Porritt represents corporations and individuals in securities class actions and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement matters and in related derivative shareholder claims and M&A litigation. He also handles complex commercial litigation, including civil fraud, breach of contract, FCPA and professional malpractice matters and counsels clients on securities regulatory issues.

Mr. White represents investment banks, accounting firms, public companies and individuals in SEC enforcement and related criminal investigations, internal investigations and securities litigation. Before entering private practice, he served for eight years in the Enforcement Division of the SEC, where he led investigations and litigation involving accounting and financial fraud, insider trading, municipal securities, broker-dealer and investment adviser violations, and market manipulation.

Regarding his move, Mr. White said, “What differentiated Akin Gump was the clear integration and depth in all areas critical to my practice – in particular the stellar congressional investigations, funds and corporate practices.” Mr. Porritt added, “Akin Gump is the ideal firm for representing clients in compliance and enforcement matters in the current environment. Securities litigation and regulation has become increasingly complex and clients now routinely face risks not just from the SEC and the plaintiffs’ bar but also from criminal and congressional investigations. Akin Gump’s premier white collar and congressional investigation practices will allow me to offer clients the full range of advice that they require on all aspects of a case.”

Joining from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Mr. Porritt received his LL.B. with honors from Victoria University of Wellington and his LL.M. and J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago. Mr. White, joining from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, received his B.A. from Boston College and his J.D. cum laude from the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Anthony T. Pierce, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Washington office, said, “The addition of Nick and Bill builds on our ability to provide clients with holistic representation in an increasingly regulated environment. Our new partners will be of great help to our clients responding to increasingly aggressive regulatory criminal and civil securities actions.”

Mr. Porritt and Mr. White are the latest litigation partners in a recent string of partners with government-facing practices to join Akin Gump’s Washington office. They follow closely on the heels of Brady Dugan (Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice), Reed Russell (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and John Sopko (House Energy and Commerce Committee).

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With over 350 litigators worldwide, the firm’s litigation practice handles matters in both federal and state court at the trial and appellate levels as well as in arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. In 2008 the practice was recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top five in the United States.

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