Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission General Counsel, International Affairs Chief Counsel and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Enforcement Chief Joins Sidley Austin LLP

Washington, D.C.  Sidley Austin LLP announced today that Geoffrey F. Aronow, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) general counsel and International Affairs chief counsel, who previously served as director of the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has joined the firm as a partner in its global Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory practice. Mr. Aronow will maintain residence in both the firm’s Washington, D.C. and New York offices. He will focus his practice on advising clients on SEC and CFTC enforcement matters and representing them before various federal agencies including the SEC, CFTC and other federal financial regulatory agencies, as well as advising on international regulatory matters.

As general counsel to the SEC, Mr. Aronow served as the chief legal officer of the Commission and headed the Office of the General Counsel, which provides legal advice and counseling concerning the federal securities laws, administrative laws, and other laws to the Commission. In the role of SEC chief counsel and senior policy advisor, Mr. Aronow’s responsibilities included providing legal and policy advice to the director of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and serving as legal advisor to the Office. Additionally, he oversaw the coordination of OIA input on international practices relevant to rulemakings as well as SEC and staff interpretive guidance and policy development. During his tenure at the SEC, Mr. Aronow also held the role of senior counsel to Chair Mary Jo White.

Previously Mr. Aronow served as CFTC director of enforcement, overseeing its 175-person division responsible for investigating and prosecuting civil and administrative violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and the regulations of the CFTC. In this role he was primarily responsible for all aspects of the CFTC’s enforcement program, including investigations, recommendations of action to the Commission, and administrative and federal court litigation and regulation.

“Geoff’s SEC and CFTC experience with both regulatory and enforcement issues makes him well-suited to advise our clients on a wide range of complex issues,” said Mark Hopson, managing partner of Sidley’s Washington, D.C. office. “Geoff is a well-known and highly regarded lawyer in the financial services defense bar and among the regulatory community, and we are excited to welcome him to our team.” 

Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Aronow was a partner with a global law firm where he represented parties in administrative matters, including investigations and adjudicatory proceedings before the SEC, CFTC, FTC, and other federal agencies, participation in rulemaking proceedings and other matters before administrative agencies in connection with policy issues and initiatives. He also advised clients on compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and represented clients facing litigation in federal courts under the federal securities and commodities laws. Mr. Aronow is experienced in the formulation and execution of strategy for legislative initiatives and advising clients in connection with Congressional investigations and oversight hearings.

“Geoff’s substantial knowledge of enforcement matters gained in leadership roles at both the SEC and CFTC will greatly benefit our clients,” said Neal Sullivan, a co-global coordinator of the firm’s Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory practice. “His experience complements that of our existing group of talented lawyers, many of whom have also held high-level positions at federal agencies, and will allow us to further enhance our ability to provide clients with comprehensive regulatory, enforcement and litigation solutions.”