Kirkland & Ellis Bags Former SEC Honcho Robert Khuzami
Corporate law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP has announced that Robert Khuzami, former Enforcement Director of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has joined them as a partner in the global Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group. Khuzami has joined the law firm after serving at the SEC for four years. He will work from the law firm's Washington, D.C. and New York offices.
Khuzami's experience as an Enforcement Chief at the SEC and as a terrorism prosecutor had been something that every big law firm or financial company wanted on their side. Many companies like Visa Inc., Bridgewater Associates, LP and WilmerHale were interested in getting him onboard. Considering this, hiring Khuzami has definitely been a coup for Kirkland & Ellis. According to a national newspaper report, Khuzami has made a deal with the law firm for more than $5 million annually. His compensation package is known to be safe for the next two years.
While the money and the law firm's stellar practice and reputation in the legal world played a major factor in Khuzami's joining, another reason assumed to have furthered the association has been Khuzami's chance to work from both New York and Washington offices. Since his main work is Wall Street - related, Khuzami needs to be there, but as his family is based in Washington, the option to work from the alternative office provides him the opportunity to attain better work-life balance.
Many have criticized Khuzami's move to join private practice considering his former responsibilities as Director of Enforcement at the SEC. But it seems that it is a common practice for government lawyers and legal experts to join the ranks of those whom they had previously prosecuted. Nevertheless, Khuzami has defended his move in an interview saying that "It's both aggressive enforcement and vigorous defense that are critical to justice and fairness."
Speaking on the occasion, Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland & Ellis's Global Management Executive Committee said, "Rob is one of the most respected and experienced attorneys within global enforcement and brings invaluable public and private sector experience to our growing government regulatory and investigations practice." Moreover, he informed that the Senior SEC official Kenneth Lench will join the law firm as a partner in the global Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations practice in the near future. "Rob and Ken joining our existing team of talented lawyers furthers our ability to provide our clients with the highest level of resources, advice and counsel globally," he added.
Khuzami indicated that his decision to join Kirkland was taken in consultation with Kenneth Lench and expressed their excitement to join a truly dedicated team of attorneys. Khuzami will be commencing work at Kirkland from Labor Day.