Robert B Kaplan, Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, is to join Debevoise & Plimpton as a litigation partner resident in the firm’s Washington, DC office.
In his role at the Asset Management Unit, Kaplan co-led a team of 75 lawyers and industry experts focused on investigations related to potential violations of securities laws by advisers to hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds and separately managed accounts. He partnered with senior leadership in other divisions of the SEC to establish law enforcement priorities in the asset management industry and developed cross-agency initiatives to proactively detect violations in emerging risk areas.
Kaplan will advise Debevoise clients in a broad range of securities-related enforcement and compliance issues, but especially those involving requirements affecting SEC-registered investment advisers affiliated with hedge funds, private equity funds, investment companies, mutual funds and separately managed funds.
“Rob Kaplan is a talented lawyer whose decades of experience with federal securities laws, and most recently with those related to private funds and other asset management firms, make him an ideal fit for Debevoise,” says Michael W Blair, Presiding Partner of Debevoise. “As a leader in the representation of private investment firms, Debevoise is particularly excited to bring to our clients Rob’s deep understanding of the securities compliance and enforcement issues facing private equity and hedge funds, as well as other alternative investment funds.”
Mary Jo White, Chair of the Litigation Department at Debevoise says: “We welcome Rob to the firm and to one of the strongest and most diverse litigation practices in the country. His wealth of experience at the SEC and his leadership in the Asset Management Unit will be a tremendous asset to our clients. He joins a stellar group of litigators in our Washington office who focus on securities litigation, enforcement and white collar criminal defense matters.”
“Debevoise is one of the world’s leading law firms and its securities enforcement practice is second-to-none. It is an honor and a privilege to join their ranks and become part of the talented team in Washington,” says Kaplan. “I look forward to working with the firm’s tremendous roster of clients and extremely talented lawyers, many of whom I have come to know and admire over the years.”
Kaplan joined the Division of Enforcement in 1995 initially serving as a staff attorney, and then as Senior Counsel. He served for five years as an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division’s Trial Unit, and six years as an Assistant Director of the Division of Enforcement, prior to becoming the Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit. He has won several prestigious awards for his service in the Division of Enforcement, including the Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Arthur F Matthews Award.
Prior to joining the SEC, Kaplan was a litigation associate at the New York office of a Philadelphia law firm, where he worked on a variety of securities litigation and enforcement matters, including SEC and SRO investigations as well as complex commercial litigation. Kaplan received his JD from New York University and his A.B. from Columbia University.
Debevoise’s market-leading White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement Practice represents clients in the US and abroad in all types of securities and corporate governance disputes, from straightforward securities class action litigation to the most complex matters involving overlapping civil litigation, federal and state enforcement actions and related legislative inquiries. The practice includes one former United States Attorney, and 10 former Assistant US Attorneys. Debevoise is the only law firm to have among its partners both former US and UK Attorneys General.
The Washington, DC office of Debevoise provides client services in a variety of areas, including securities litigation and enforcement, corporate governance, white collar criminal defence, regulatory and transactional work for investment companies and other financial institutions, international telecommunications and intellectual property matters.