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

July 5, 2022

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.

*****************************************************

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.