LOS ANGELES—August 21, 2023—O’Melveny announced today that Michele Wein Layne, formerly the director of the Los Angeles Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as of counsel in its White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations Practice Group. She will represent and advise corporate clients and their boards, committees, officers, and directors on securities-related enforcement matters, internal and regulatory investigations, and governance and compliance issues.

During her more than 27 years of government service, Layne directed scores of high-profile enforcement actions in every major area of the SEC’s enforcement program, including financial reporting and disclosures, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, private equity funds, and investment advisers and broker-dealers. She has handled dozens of prominent cases involving financial and disclosure fraud, cyber, asset managers, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and investment fraud.

As the leader of the SEC’s office in Los Angeles, Layne managed its 180 attorneys, accountants, and staffers as they investigated and prosecuted federal securities law violations across Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and Guam. She also oversaw the office’s examination group, which conducted exams of regulated entities in the same region. She was one of the founding members of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Climate and ESG Task Force and worked closely with SEC leaders on guidance and examinations priorities.

Layne is one of the SEC’s longest-serving regional directors, having joined the SEC in 1995 as a staff attorney before rising to regional director in 2012. She is a recipient of the SEC’s highest honorary award, the Distinguished Service Award. Before entering government service, she spent more than a decade in private practice, handling complex federal and state court civil business litigation, multidistrict securities fraud actions, and jury trials.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Michele to our firm,” said Steve Olson, global co-chair of O’Melveny’s White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations Practice Group. “Her history of strong leadership at the SEC, vast knowledge of federal securities law, experience with enforcement matters, and insight into the SEC’s priorities make her an ideal addition to our team and an excellent resource for our clients.”

“Michele’s background and ability to provide proactive advice on compliance matters are huge assets for O’Melveny,” added Mark Racanelli, global co-chair of O’Melveny’s White Collar Defense & Corporate Investigations Practice Group. “She’s an excellent addition to our firm and will be a valued and trusted advisor to our clients.”

“I’m delighted to join O’Melveny and the firm’s renowned White Collar Practice Group,” Layne said. “O’Melveny has a sterling reputation for excellence, an impressive global platform, an unmatched culture, and a storied tradition of public service. I’m excited to be part of such an elite team.”

Layne further bolsters O’Melveny’s acclaimed roster of White Collar lawyers, which has recently welcomed several respected practitioners from the public sector, including:

·      Ron Klain, former White House Chief of Staff under President Biden, who joined the firm’s Washington, DC office in April 2023;

·      Rebecca Mermelstein, former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and co-chief of the General Crimes Unit, who joined the firm’s New York office in November 2022;

·      AnnaLou Tirol, former deputy director of the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), who joined the firm’s Washington, DC office in October 2022; and

·      Sid Mody, former federal prosecutor in the National Security, Cybercrime, and Money-Laundering Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, who joined the firm’s Dallas office in July 2022.

Layne earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

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