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January 30, 2014

A Former Regulator Returns to Private Practice

“Before David Meister was butting heads with Wall Street’s top defense lawyers, he was one of them.

“And now, after spending nearly three years as a federal regulator, Mr. Meister is returning to his defense lawyer past.

“Mr. Meister, who left Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to run the enforcement unit of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is rejoining the law firm as a partner in New York.

“His arrival next month will prompt a modest reshuffling at Skadden. Mr. Meister, who left the C.F.T.C. in October, will lead the white-collar group in Skadden’s New York office, taking over for David M. Zornow, who founded the group in 1989.”


“His return, however, could reignite concerns about hopping between Washington and Wall Street. Even though Mr. Meister cannot contact the C.F.T.C. about official business for one year — and is forever banned from defending cases he had a role in investigating — his relationships in Washington could give him a leg up with clients.

“You have to worry about conflicts of interest,” said Dennis Kelleher, a former Skadden partner who is now the head of Better Markets, an advocacy group. “But Meister went after the industry without fear or favor. Assuming he does not now capitalize on the influence he gained at the C.F.T.C., I don’t see a problem.”


Read full NY Times article here

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