The SEC announced yesterday (see here) that Christopher Conte, an Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement, plans to leave the SEC next month to rejoin his previous employer, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. As noted in the SEC’s release, during Conte’s tenure at the SEC he oversaw and conducted enforcement investigation involving, among other areas, illicit payments under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In a release (see here), Roger Warin, Chairman of Steptoe’s Executive Committee, noted that Conte’s “depth and breadth of experience leading a wide range of SEC enforcement investigations, together with his understanding of the SEC’s approach to enforcement and the agency’s key priorities, will be a valuable contribution to a number of our practices and the clients they serve.” As noted in the release, Conte will join Steptoe’s “top-ranked” FCPA practice, which includes, among others, Lucinda Low (see here).
Conte joins several other former SEC FCPA enforcement attorneys who have left the agency for a private practice career focused on the FCPA. Other examples include Fredric Firestone (former Associate Director of Enforcement Division – see here) and Richard Grime (former Assistant Director of the Enforcement Division – see here, see here for a prior related post).