Washington, D.C. – Sidley Austin LLP announced today that Thomas J. Kim, the Chief Counsel and Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance since 2007, is joining the firm as a partner.  He will be a member of Sidley’s Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory, Securities, and Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation practice teams, based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.


“Tom is an exceptional addition to our firm,” said Mark Hopson, managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. “His broad experience in both the private sector and at the SEC will be a great asset to our clients.”


As Chief Counsel of the Division of Corporation Finance, Mr. Kim managed a staff of more than a dozen senior lawyers, providing definitive legal advice on the federal securities laws administered by the Division, both informally and through the issuance of no-action, interpretive and exemptive letters. Under his leadership, the Chief Counsel’s Office updated all of the Division’s interpretations as Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations and issued several significant Staff Legal Bulletins. Mr. Kim also led a number of notable SEC rulemakings and policy initiatives, including, most recently, the SEC’s July 2013 rulemaking under the JOBS Act, which eliminated the prohibition against general solicitation in Rule 506 and Rule 144A offerings, and the revision to the stock exchange listing standards for compensation committees and compensation advisers, as well as the concept release on the U.S. proxy system and the interpretive release on the use of company websites. Mr. Kim also oversaw the Division’s Office of Enforcement Liaison, which refers matters to the Division of Enforcement and advises on offering and disclosure-related issues in enforcement cases.


“I have greatly enjoyed my years at the SEC and have tremendous respect for my colleagues there,” said Mr. Kim. “It has been challenging and rewarding to work on cutting edge issues with the Commission and the Commission’s talented staff. Now, I am excited to launch a new chapter in my career. Sidley provides an exceptional and global platform for building a practice and providing high-quality legal advice to clients.”


“Tom has played a leadership role in many important SEC initiatives and is respected throughout the legal community,” said Carter Phillips, the chair of the Executive Committee. “I’m extremely pleased that he is joining our firm.”


“Tom's experience, judgment and intellect will be an invaluable resource to our corporate and financial institutions clients throughout the firm," said Thomas A. Cole, a partner in Sidley's Chicago office who, in April 2013, stepped down after 15 years as chair of the Firm's Executive Committee.  “His joining Sidley as a partner is a continuation of our ongoing strategic growth plan aimed at providing clients with the best possible legal services in a wide range of practices.”


Mr. Kim previously served as Corporate and Securities Counsel for the General Electric Company in Fairfield, CT.  He joined the SEC in 2006, where he served in senior positions in the General Counsel’s Office and the Chairman’s Office before being named Chief Counsel and Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance. As a member of the ABA’s Committee on Corporate Laws, he edited several editions of the ABA’s Corporate Director’s Guidebook. He is a much sought-after speaker at many of the key securities law conferences, including the PLI Annual Securities Law Institute in New York and the Securities Regulation Institute in San Diego, as well as at National Association of Corporate Directors programs. 


Mr. Kim graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He formerly clerked for Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


With approximately 1,700 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide, Sidley has built a reputation as a premier legal advisor for global businesses and financial institutions. For the third consecutive year, Sidley received the most first-tier national rankings of any U.S. law firm in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, making it the only law firm to receive this recognition since the survey’s inception. Sidley was also named the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in both Commercial Litigation and Securities/Capital Markets Law in the 2013 survey. On Law360’s list of Global 20 Firms, Sidley was ranked among the top 10 law firms with the greatest global reach and expertise. To stay up-to-date with the latest Sidley news, please follow us on Twitter at @SidleyNewsroom <https://twitter.com/sidleynewsroom> .