Former SEC General Counsel and Founding PCAOB Member Daniel Goelzer Returns to Baker & McKenzie

24 January 2013

Washington, DC, USA, January 24, 2013 – Daniel Goelzer, a former general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a founding board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), has returned to Baker & McKenzie as a partner.

Mr. Goelzer will be assuming a strategic role in the firm’s global corporate, securities, and banking compliance practices, particularly with respect to the following:

  • corporate governance and best practice regulatory compliance matters for public companies, financial institutions, accounting firms, and institutional funds;
  • corporate, financial institution, and accounting firm representation in rule-making matters and enforcement actions, particularly involving the SEC and PCAOB;
  • public company accounting and financial reporting, internal controls, audit, investigations and restatement practices; and global custody, asset management and other financial services provided to institutional fund investors.

"Dan's impressive background in the regulatory sector has provided him with extraordinary insight on the array of reporting, compliance and enforcement issues facing our clients," said Philip F. Suse, Baker & McKenzie's North American Managing Partner. "He's a great addition to our capabilities in these areas, and we're very happy that he has returned to the Firm."

Based in the Firm’s Washington, DC office, Mr. Goelzer will work with the Firm’s well-regarded compliance and enforcement practice led by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. With hundreds of compliance lawyers globally, the practice advises clients on the full breadth of compliance issues, including compliance program design and implementation, risk assessments, regulatory compliance advice, internal investigations and government enforcement actions. That capability extends across an extensive array of compliance areas, ranging from anti-bribery, antitrust and securities to data security and privacy, trade, environment, employment and tax.

Mr. Goelzer’s experience at the SEC and PCAOB uniquely position him to advise boards, general counsel and chief compliance officers regarding complex governmental investigations, regulatory matters and enforcement actions, particularly in matters relating to securities, financial reporting and accounting issues.

Mr. Goelzer joins a growing compliance practice that recently added Jonathan Poling, a senior DOJ attorney with significant export control enforcement experience, especially with respect to financial institutions, and includes Kaoruko Suzuki in Tokyo, who recently worked as a securities investigator at Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission's Disclosure Statements Inspection Division, with responsibility for the investigation of misstatements in securities disclosures. The practice also includes Marc Litt, who was the lead prosecutor in the investigation of Bernard Madoff and a former member of the Southern District of New York's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.

Mr. Goelzer also adds significant and distinctive regulatory experience to the Firm’s existing capabilities representing public companies as they manage increasingly complex disclosure issues, seek to enhance and update internal controls, and address expanding regulatory requirements. In an environment of elevated compliance risk and stepped-up enforcement activity, Mr. Goelzer’s background as a senior official of both the SEC and PCAOB enables him to provide public company audit committees and CFOs with unique insight with respect to the evolving role of the audit committee and its interaction with a company’s external audit firm.

As the PCAOB continues to define the responsibilities of audit firms and pursues its auditor inspection program, Mr. Goelzer will be well positioned to advise public companies and their audit committees with respect to the implications of such regulatory activities on issues such as those arising in connection with restatements and assertions of material weaknesses in a company’s internal controls. Mr. Goelzer will also provide counsel to accounting firms in respect of best practices driven by PCAOB mandates and implementation of future regulatory proposals.

Mr. Goelzer joins the Firm at a time when banks and institutional funds also face a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape that is substantially increasing the responsibilities that they must assume in their global custody, asset management, and related financial services businesses. As new regulations are developed and implemented, Mr. Goelzer bolsters the Firm's capabilities to assist global clients on corporate governance and best practice compliance matters. In particular, he will represent clients in rule-making advocacy, implementing new regulations, undertaking internal investigations, and in remediating or defending against claims, particularly in cross-border contexts.

A partner at Baker & McKenzie from 1990 to 2002, Mr. Goelzer represented clients on a broad array of issues relating to the U.S. federal securities laws and took on a leadership role in Baker & McKenzie’s representation of large financial institutions, particularly global custodians, in connection with their cross-border asset management activities.

While at the PCAOB, Mr. Goelzer worked to establish auditing standards for the US accounting industry following the implementation of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. In his capacity as General Counsel to the SEC, Mr. Goelzer advised the Commission on a variety of issues ranging from rulemaking to litigation and enforcement matters.

"This is a critical time for public companies, financial institutions, and accounting firms facing unprecedented regulatory scrutiny," said Mr. Goelzer. "I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with clients as they seek to implement and manage compliance programs in the midst of the fast-changing regulatory regimes in the US and in other major global financial markets."

About Daniel Goelzer

Mr. Goelzer was appointed by the SEC as a founding member of the PCAOB in October 2002, and he served as Acting Chairman of the regulatory organization from August 2009 through January 2011. He left the Board in March 2012. From 1983 to 1990, Mr. Goelzer served as General Counsel of the SEC, and was the longest serving general counsel in the history of the SEC. Before his appointment as General Counsel, he held a variety of positions in the Office of the Commission's Chairman and in the Office of the General Counsel. Most recently, Mr. Goelzer served as Vice Chair of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, an international organization of the national audit oversight authorities in 38 countries.

During his previous tenure at Baker & McKenzie, Mr. Goelzer served as Co-Chair of the Firm's North America Banking, Finance & Major Projects Practice. He is a frequent author and speaker on issues related to securities law, corporate governance and regulatory matters. He has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School and as a trustee of the SEC Historical Society.

Last year, Mr. Goelzer was honored by the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni with the 2012 William O. Douglas Award, which is presented annually to an SEC alumnus who has "contributed to the development of the federal securities laws or served the financial and SEC community with distinction." He argued before the US Supreme Court on behalf of the SEC as amicus curiae in Gould v. Ruefenacht (1985), which established the proposition that the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws extend to stock sales that transfer a controlling interest in a business. In 2005, the University of Wisconsin’s School of Business recognized him with its Distinguished Accounting Alumnus award.

Mr. Goelzer received his B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Law. He received his L.L.M. from the National Law Center, George Washington University. Mr. Goelzer began his legal career as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Thomas E. Fairchild of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. From 1969 to 1970, he worked as an auditor in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Deloitte & Touche.

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