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News May 30, 2011 Issue

Obama To Nominate Gallagher As SEC Commissioner

In a May 19 announcement, the White House said President Barack Obama plans to nominate Republican Daniel Gallagher to replace outgoing Commissioner Kathleen Casey. Democrat Luis Aguilar also will be nominated to continue in a second term at the SEC. Both nominations will require Senate confirmation.

Gallagher is a partner at WilmerHale and a veteran of the SEC, having served first as counsel to former Republican Commissioner Paul Atkins and then as counsel to former Chairman Christopher Cox from 2006 through 2010. During that tenure Gallagher covered the waterfront of the financial crisis, from its run-up through its aftermath and the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. His WilmerHale biography notes he played a "critical" role in the SECís response to the crisis, working closely with leading domestic and international regulators.

He has been described by various industry lawyers as well-liked and "clearly well qualified for the job."

Prior to working at the SEC, Gallagher had been a senior associate with WilmerHale. He left in 2004 to serve as general counsel of Fiserv Securities, and returned to WilmerHale as counsel before accepting the post in Atkinsí office.

Aguilar has served as an SEC commissioner since 2008. Although his two-year term expired last year, he has continued serving in that position. Commissioners often serve for periods past the expiration of their terms until a successor is named or they are re-nominated.

Reuters observed that with these nominations, the Obama administration signaled it was looking for "seasoned securities experts who will be well-equipped to handle the massive undertaking of implementing nearly 100 new rules under the Dodd-Frank Act."