Joseph K. Brenner, Former SEC Enforcement Division Chief Counsel, Rejoins WilmerHale

Joseph K. Brenner, Former SEC Enforcement Division Chief Counsel, Rejoins WilmerHale

Attorney News

WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Joseph K. Brenner, former Chief Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, has rejoined the firm as senior counsel in its Securities and Financial Services Department.

Brenner rejoins WilmerHale after serving more than ten years as the Division of Enforcement’s principal legal and policy advisor. In that role, he provided advice and guidance to the division’s leadership and staff across the country concerning its investigations and investigative practices, recommendations to the commission for settled and contested enforcement actions, and litigation. He also was responsible for legal and policy issues concerning congressional oversight and legislation and the division’s relationships with the US Department of Justice and other federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Before joining the SEC, Brenner was a WilmerHale partner for 20 years, with a practice that focused on securities enforcement, internal corporate investigations, and related civil and criminal litigation. He represented corporations, financial institutions, accounting and law firms, and individuals in investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the SEC, FINRA, and other self-regulatory organizations.

He also represented clients in federal criminal investigations and proceedings and private civil litigation involving allegations of securities and other financial misconduct. His internal investigation work included representing the special committee of the Enron Corp. Board of Directors that examined the company’s business dealings with its former Chief Financial Officer.

“Joe is a highly-regarded leader in both private practice and government service,” said Robert Novick, co-managing partner of the firm. “We’re glad to have him on our team again and we’re confident that clients will greatly appreciate his valuable counsel.”

“The expertise that Joe brings from the SEC, together with his years of experience advising clients in private practice, make him an incredible resource for the firm’s clients,” said Stephanie Avakian, chair, Securities and Financial Services Group. “I am thrilled he’s decided to return to WilmerHale and look forward to partnering with him again to advise clients on all manner of securities enforcement and related issues.”

“It’s great to be back at WilmerHale with so many friends from both my time at the SEC and the firm,” said Brenner. “They are some of the very best lawyers in this area of practice, and I look forward to working with them to help clients navigate a very challenging enforcement landscape.” 

In both government service and private practice, Brenner has been a leader, frequent speaker, and educator on securities enforcement, internal investigations, and corporate governance to professional and industry groups, corporate boards, and law school classes. He received his JD, cum laude, from Georgetown University and his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.