Willkie Adds SEC Enforcement Leaders Kristina Littman and Adam Aderton as Partners

New York, NY, July 5, 2022 --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced that Kristina Littman and Adam Aderton will join the Firm as partners in the Litigation Department, where they will be members of the Securities Litigation & Enforcement Practice Group. They will be based in Willkie’s Washington, DC office.

Kristy and Adam have over 25 years of combined experience at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and each most recently held a leadership position in the Division of Enforcement. Kristy served as Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, where she led a group of attorneys and specialists across the nation responsible for investigating and litigating violations of the federal securities laws relating to digital assets, cybersecurity, and cyber-related trading violations. Adam served as Co-Chief of the Asset Management Unit, where he led Enforcement’s engagement with the asset management industry and directed investigative teams across the country responsible for investigating and litigating actions involving private funds, registered funds, and separately managed accounts. Together, Kristy and Adam have extensive and complementary experience addressing the most important issues on the SEC’s agenda.

“Kristy and Adam are respected SEC leaders whose deep knowledge of the SEC’s enforcement practices and priorities will strengthen our ability to advise clients in the most critical and evolving sectors, including cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, and asset management,” said David Mortlock, Managing Partner of Willkie’s Washington, DC office. “Their additions enhance our ability to provide unparalleled regulatory advice and litigation counsel.”

Elizabeth Gray, Co-Chair of Willkie’s Securities Enforcement Practice Group, who previously spent 12 years at the SEC, commented: “We’re thrilled to welcome Kristy and Adam to Willkie. Their government experience will be invaluable to deepening our talented bench of white collar defense and securities enforcement and litigation practitioners. Their particular experience aligns with our strengths in asset management, digital currency and elsewhere, which will be critical in helping our clients navigate the current environment of increased regulatory scrutiny.”

Kristy served as the Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit since 2019. She joined the SEC in 2010 and has held various senior attorney and leadership roles, including serving as Senior Advisor to then SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on enforcement matters and regulatory and policy matters pertaining to digital assets, cybersecurity, and Trading and Markets. During her more than ten years at the SEC, she has led a number of significant enforcement investigations and litigations. As Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, Kristy spearheaded the institution of novel actions relating to crypto exchanges, crypto lending platforms, multi-billion-dollar token issuances, crypto trading funds, touting, and unregistered broker-dealers. Kristy also led charges against issuers, investment advisers and broker-dealers for cybersecurity disclosure and safeguards violations. In the Trial Unit and Market Abuse Unit Kristy led investigations relating to fraudulent compensation schemes at broker-dealers, policy and procedures failures at investment advisers, and multiple litigated insider trading actions. Prior to joining the SEC, Kristy spent time in private practice at an international law firm.

Adam joined the SEC in 2008 and the Asset Management Unit at its inception in 2010. He served as Co-Chief of the Asset Management unit since 2019 and was a member of Enforcement’s Climate and ESG Task Force. As Co-Chief, Adam led investigations resulting in many of the most significant SEC asset management enforcement actions in recent years, including actions involving undisclosed conflicts of interest at one of the world’s largest hedge funds, allegations of a billion-dollar fraudulent fund valuation scheme, and the SEC’s first action in more than a decade charging an investment adviser with misleading disclosures regarding ESG investing. Adam also led Enforcement’s coordination with the Division of Examinations and represented Enforcement on significant rulemakings involving the asset management industry, including Regulation Best Interest, the Proposed Private Fund Adviser Rule, and the Proposed ESG Disclosure Rule for Investment Advisers and Investment Companies. Before joining the SEC, Adam was in private practice at an international law firm.

Kristy commented: “Willkie is widely known for its deep bench of talent in the enforcement and regulatory areas, including accomplished litigators, providing an ideal platform for the next stage of my practice. I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues in the Securities Enforcement practice, as well as those in the Willkie Digital Works team, who are advising on the most cutting edge matters impacting digital assets.”

Adam said: “I was drawn to Willkie’s unique combination of an outstanding Asset Management practice and a top-notch Enforcement practice and to its collaborative culture. I am excited to use my experience to advise Willkie’s premier clients across asset management, private equity and registered funds in responding to the intense focus of the SEC and other regulators.”

Willkie’s highly experienced practitioners include many former senior government officials, including several who previously served in leadership roles at the SEC as well as at the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of State, the White House National Security Council, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and more. In addition to Elizabeth Gray, Willkie lawyers who previously served in the SEC include Robert Stebbins, Amelia Cottrell, William Stellmach, James Burns, James Anderson and Barry Barbash.

Willkie’s Litigation Department includes approximately 250 lawyers worldwide who represent major U.S. and non-U.S. financial services companies, accounting firms, insurance and reinsurance companies and brokers, media companies, and individuals in complex commercial and class-action litigation. The Department has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations and internal corporate matters. In addition, the team regularly represents companies and individuals in investigative and enforcement proceedings brought by federal and state regulatory agencies.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1,000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue.

Willkie To Add Leading Private Equity Finance Lawyer Daniel Gendron As Partner in London

New York, NY June 30, 2022 --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced that it will add prominent leveraged finance lawyer Daniel Gendron as a partner, based in the Firm’s London office. Daniel will join the Firm’s Finance Practice Group from Linklaters where he is a partner. Prior to joining Linklaters in 2008, Daniel began his career at Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal, Canada. He is the third lateral partner to join Willkie’s London office this year and the sixth lateral to join Willkie’s multidisciplinary private equity platform in this same time period, with others joining in Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  

A well-established leader in the market, Daniel’s hire will further strengthen Willkie’s private equity and leveraged finance credentials in London and enhances Willkie’s reputation as a go-to firm for financing advice for sponsors, pension plans and special situations investors.

“Our global platform continues to prove itself as a destination for talented practitioners across the U.S. and Europe, and today’s announcement is the latest demonstration of that,” said Willkie Chairman Thomas Cerabino.  “Dan’s extensive leveraged finance experience and work with private equity clients in particular will further expand our global private equity capabilities and complement our strong and growing team in London.”

Gavin Gordon, private equity partner in London commented: “Willkie’s private equity practice in London is already a major player in the UK and Dan’s arrival reflects our commitment to continuing to grow our market share in London and beyond. Dan’s reputation and profile in the market and impressive experience acting on high profile deals will deepen our finance capabilities further and will add significant value to our private equity and special situation clients.” 

Ashley Young, co-head of Willkie’s European Finance practice added: “With extensive experience in leveraged finance and extensive private equity sector credentials, Dan is a top-tier practitioner who understands the complex financing challenges sponsors face in today’s market. His proven deal experience and client base represents a perfect fit for our European finance practice and complements our already strong London leveraged finance team.”

Daniel has more than two decades of experience advising clients on market-leading leveraged finance transactions, special situations and financial restructurings and is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by third party publications including The Legal 500. He has strong relationships with many high-profile sponsors and borrowers including private equity firms, portfolio companies, credit opportunities investors, Canadian pension funds and a significant number of private capital providers at all levels of the capital structure.

Daniel commented: “I am thrilled to be joining Willkie. Given the Firm’s strong credentials in the private equity sector both in Europe and the U.S., and its keen ambition to grow the London and global private equity offering even further, I am excited about the value I can bring to Willkie’s truly world class international private equity and leveraged finance platform.”

Daniel’s arrival is the latest high profile lateral in London following the additions of Insurance Transactional and Regulatory partners Melanie James and Timothy Baumgartner in January, bringing Willkie’s partner cohort in London to 35. Willkie was recently ranked the fastest growing US law firm in London by The Lawyer.

Willkie’s global finance practice complements the firm’s private equity, M&A, restructuring, capital markets, structured finance, real estate and tax groups to provide clients with comprehensive tools needed to achieve their goals. Our London finance team advises borrowers, direct lenders, lending institutions and other traditional and non-traditional capital providers in a wide variety of transactions including private equity and acquisition financings, cross-border financings, unitranche, second lien and junior financings. The team recently advised Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in its investment in Global Loan Agency Services (GLAS), CVC Capital Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in Cooper Consumer Health and Bain Capital Credit in its acquisition of GAIL’s Bakery.

Willkie is a  preeminent advisor to private equity clients, having counseled sponsors and private equity targets for more than 50 years. Our lawyers, approximately 600 of whom regularly advise clients in this industry, have the knowledge and skills to handle private equity matters worldwide and unparalleled cross-border capabilities across North America and Europe. Willkie has developed a 360° platform to provide comprehensive advice to private equity sponsors and portfolio companies, advising on everything from fund formations, platform acquisitions, tuck-in acquisitions and joint ventures, to bank credit and other debt financings, IPOs, follow-on offerings, SPACs, PIPEs and ultimate exits. Because of this approach, clients regularly grow with Willkie over time. Our Private Equity Practice Group handles transactions and cross-border matters worldwide, with attorneys practicing in 13 key market centers across the United States and Europe.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.

Willkie Continues to Defend Reproductive Rights Through Pro Bono Commitment

Our work in this area has included serving as counsel for amici on a brief submitted by organizations of women lawyers defending women’s constitutional abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the decision for which was announced today.

Earlier this month, we announced our joining of the Legal Alliance for Reproductive Rights, a coalition of more than 20 prominent law firms with San Francisco offices formed through the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice and Diversity Center. Led by San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu, the alliance will provide pro bono legal services to pregnant individuals and medical providers facing civil suits and criminal charges related to seeking or providing abortions across the country. Willkie’s participation is being led by San Francisco partner Simona Agnolucci, who serves on the board of BASF and will be on the steering committee of the alliance.

We are proud to be part of this coalition and will continue to devote pro bono resources to support protection of reproductive rights.

Read more about the Legal Alliance for Reproductive Rights here.