The hiring by Fenwick & West of Michael Dicke to join the firm’s securities litigation group in November was the subject of a feature piece in The Recorder. The publication described Fenwick’s hiring of Dicke, current associate regional director for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) enforcement division in San Francisco, as “a rare get.”
"All law firms claim their attorneys have unmatched experience,” The Recorder noted. “In the case of Michael Dicke, one of only two senior SEC enforcers to leave the agency's regional office in more than a decade, Fenwick has a good argument."
Having faced Dicke a number of times during his 17-year tenure at the SEC, Susan Muck, Fenwick litigation partner and chair of the securities enforcement group, said, "When Fenwick decided that it would be really valuable for our clients to bring in someone with deep SEC experience, Mike was the first person we thought of.”
Muck described Dicke as her “go-to” SEC contact when a client wanted to make a disclosure or self-report an impropriety.
For his part, Dicke said he was excited to work with Fenwick's particular client base of emerging tech companies.
"The more I thought about it, the more I started to get jazzed about that," Dicke said, adding that watching SEC investigations of emerging companies made him wish he could counsel new businesses from the get-go, to help them avoid problems down the road.
Another area ripe for client growth is the financial advising industry, he said, due to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act's overhaul of the regulatory market.
Muck seconded Dicke’s sentiments, noting that although Fenwick has not traditionally focused on such clients, it hopes to expand this area of the business.
"The SEC and [U.S. Department of Justice] have indicated that they believe that certain investment advisers may have taken advantage of the fact that they've not been subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as public companies, so we believe that there's a lot of pent-up demand to counsel those clients, and perhaps pent-up demand of the regulators against those kinds of businesses," Muck said.
The full article, "Fenwick Snares SEC Enforcement Lawyer," is available through The Recorder website (subscription required).