September 9, 2013 / 1:54 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. bailout watchdog Barofsky joins Chicago law firm

Sept 9 (Reuters) - Neil Barofsky, the former prosecutor who served as chief watchdog of fraud and corruption during the federal government’s 2008 bank bailout program, has joined Chicago law firm Jenner & Block as a partner, the firm announced on Monday.

Barofsky, 43, is expected to be a member of Jenner & Block’s practice groups in white collar defense and investigations, securities litigation and enforcement, and government controversies and public policy litigation, the firm said. He will be based in New York.

Barofsky was confirmed by the Senate in late 2008 to be the special United States Treasury Department inspector general, rooting out civil and criminal fraud and abuse linked to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. He resigned from that position in March 2011 and became a professor at New York University School of law.

“When you ask people about Jenner, it’s just a place that’s known for its level of professionalism and quality of lawyers,” Barofsky said in an interview.

Barofsky pointed out that Jenner, instead of rushing to represent many financial institutions during the financial crisis, wrote about the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 in the Valukas Report, which Barofsky said “exposed bad practices on Wall Street.”

“It just reflects not just the type of legal work that the firm does, but also where its stance is,” he said. “Lots of firms were racing during the financial crisis to cash in and represent a lot of the financial institutions. Jenner took the side of really getting to the truth of the matter.”

Barofsky, a Democrat, said he will advise corporate clients on regulatory compliance and investigations.

Jenner & Block, which has more than 450 lawyers, is known as a national litigation powerhouse and ranked among the top 50 firms in the country in profits per partner in 2012, according to legal magazine the American Lawyer. (Reporting by Casey Sullivan; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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