* SEC's Sporkin, Kaplan going to law firms
* Sporkin to work for BuckleySandler LLP
* Kaplan to work for Debevoise & Plimpton
* Both were instrumental in enforcement overhaul
By Aruna Viswanatha and Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, May 31 Two senior U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission officials who helped implement a major
overhaul of the agency's enforcement division are departing for
Thomas Sporkin, head of the SEC's Office of Market
Intelligence, will be heading to BuckleySandler LLP, a financial
services law firm founded by a former Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher & Flom attorney, Andrew Sandler.
Robert Kaplan, the co-head of the enforcement division's
asset management unit, is taking a job with business law firm
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
The departure of Sporkin and Kaplan marks a major loss of
talent for the SEC's enforcement division. Under Director Robert
Khuzami the division has been trying to reform its operations
following the SEC's failure to detect Bernard Madoff's Ponzi
In response, the SEC created five new specialized units as
well as an Office of Market Intelligence, which serves as a
triage center for handling all of the tips, complaints and
referrals that come into the agency.
Sporkin, the son of former SEC Enforcement Director Stanley
Sporkin, helped oversee the creation and implementation of the
SEC's new tips, complaints and referrals database.
He was also instrumental in establishing a deal with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to be embedded
with his group to help improve cooperation at the
Recently, Sporkin also received the Irving Pollack Award, an
internal SEC award that honors significant accomplishments by
Kaplan, meanwhile, led the specialized asset management unit
along with co-director Bruce Karpati.
Under his leadership, the division has been developing
initiatives used to help get out ahead of high-risk areas for
hedge funds, private equity firms and mutual funds. Such past
initiatives have included looking into the aberrational
performance of hedge funds as well as the valuation of illiquid
portfolios, false performance claims and preferential
Sporkin said, "The challenge of going to a relatively young
and talented firm and being able to have an impact is an
opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Andrew Sandler, chairman of BuckleySandler, said Sporkin
brings significant experience on federal civil and criminal
enforcement and securities investigations to the firm.
At Debevoise, Kaplan will join a group of securities and
white-collar enforcement lawyers that include former SEC
associate director Paul Berger, and the former U.S. attorney for
Manhattan, Mary Jo White