SEC Names New General Counsel

Brian Cartwright worked briefly as an astrophysicist; he also clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor.
Stephen TaubJanuary 3, 2006

Brian G. Cartwright has been named General Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission. He succeeds Giovanni Prezioso, who announced on November 30 that he intends to return to the private sector early this year.

“As the top lawyer for the SEC — the investor’s advocate — the general counsel is also the nation’s foremost legal advocate for investors,” said chairman Christopher Cox, in a statement.

Cartwright is a partner in law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he has practiced since 1982, recently as global chairman of the firm’s practice representing public companies. According to the Latham website, his practice chiefly concerned securities matters for public companies and corporate finance matters for a wide variety of clients, including public offerings, private placements of debt and equity, and venture capital. As a member of the Latham’s executive committee, he was also one of five partners responsible for the management of the firm as a whole.

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Following his graduation from Yale University in 1967, Cartwright earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1971. From 1973 to 1977, he worked as an astrophysicist at University of California at Berkeley and published more 20 articles in scholarly publications including the Astrophysical Journal.

Cartwright began his legal career in 1980 after earning a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Law Review and winner of the Sears Prize. He served as law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey and later to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.