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(LOS ANGELES) July 25, 2011 – A six-member team of securities litigation and insurance attorneys led by well-respected former Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) official Michael F. Perlis has joined Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell’s Los Angeles Office. The hiring of these attorneys – from the Stroock law firm’s Los Angeles office – supports Locke Lord’s commitment to continue growing its California presence and marks the Firm’s second major expansion in California this year. In March, Locke Lord added 13 California attorneys – 12 in the Firm’s Sacramento Office and one in San Francisco. The Los Angeles Office now has 39 attorneys.
Perlis worked as assistant director for the enforcement division of the SEC for many years before going into private practice. As a Partner in Locke Lord’s Securities Litigation and Insurance Practices, he will continue his national defense work in class actions, derivative actions and SEC investigations and proceedings, representing directors, officers, corporations, and accountants. He also will continue his practice in the representation of directors and officers (D&O), employment practices, fiduciary, fidelity and professional liability insurance carriers. Perlis’ addition also enhances the Firm’s strong White Collar/Internal Investigations Practice.
His team’s background and experience in securities and insurance will significantly expand Locke Lord’s platform and depth in these practice areas, both in California and nationwide.
“Mike and his team offer a unique opportunity to enhance Locke Lord’s litigation, securities and insurance network, not only in Los Angeles and in California but around the country,” said Firm Chair Jerry Clements. “We are thrilled to welcome this high caliber group of lawyers as a part of our ongoing pledge to build our Los Angeles Office. Mike is well-established and well-respected, and he and his team have hit the ground running. We look forward to the synergistic and strategic relationships they will build with their colleagues and clients.”
Perlis worked for the SEC for over six years, where he investigated and prosecuted cases of insider trading, foreign payments, financial fraud and organized crime. He helped investigate New York City’s financial affairs and helped prepare the ensuing comprehensive report. In addition, he was one of the drafters of a congressional report which ultimately led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He has written numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics, including D&O liability, federal securities laws, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the FCPA and more. Before joining Stroock, Perlis spent nine years as a partner with Petit & Martin. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and is involved with the Southern California Counseling Center.
“It is so gratifying to watch this office grow with the addition of Mike’s team – I am excited not only by the opportunities they present but about our plans for future growth,” said Los Angeles Managing Partner Mitch Popham. “Mike has a wealth of experience that meshes well with several practice areas and client needs, and his team-oriented approach is a perfect fit for Locke Lord’s culture and mission. This is a great move for our Los Angeles Office and for our Firm.”
Also joining Locke Lord as part of Perlis’ team are:
- Wrenn E. Chais, Of Counsel, is experienced in Capital Markets/Securities Litigation, with a focus on D&O liability and insurance coverage issues, accountant liability and white collar crime. She has defended numerous class actions, derivative actions and SEC investigations.
- Cary J. Economou, Senior Counsel, acts as coverage and litigation counsel to international and domestic insurance carriers. Her insurance background includes a focus on professional liability coverage, including D&O, Errors & Omissions and Employment Practices Liability.
- Richard R. Johnson, Senior Counsel, focuses his practice on Insurance Litigation and Arbitration as well as Capital Markets/Securities Litigation. He is Vice Chair of the Professionals’ Officers’ & Directors’ Liability Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP consistently ranks among American Lawyer’s top 100 U.S. law firms. Our 30-plus practice areas serve national and international clients from offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. We have built a solid reputation in complex litigation, regulatory and transactional work, and our nearly 650 attorneys build collaborative relationships and craft creative solutions – all designed and executed to meet clients’ long-term strategic goals. At the end of each year, we want our Firm to be better, stronger and more highly regarded than it was at the beginning.