James Brigagliano has become the second senior official at the Securities and Exchange Commission in a week to quit the US regulator in favour of private law firms that need expertise on the sweeping financial reforms that are coming into effect.

Mr Brigagliano, who ends a 25-year career at the SEC, was the deputy director of the exchange and markets trading division and news of his departure comes only days after John H. Walsh, another SEC veteran, announced he was joining Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, a private law firm. Mr Brigagliano will join Sidley Austin as a partner in the securities and futures regulatory practice.

Mr Brigagliano spent the last 13 years in the exchange and markets trading division managing oversight of trading practices, market structure reforms and implementation of the Dodd-Frank act, which were passed in response to the financial crisis. The reforms give US authorities strengthened powers and are due to be fully enacted by the end of the year.

However the weight and complexity of the reforms have seen several high-profile regulators on both sides of the Atlantic switch to advising private companies. Last year Getco, an electronic market-making firm, hired Jennifer Boneham from the UK Financial Services Authority as part of its European team focused on compliance, regulatory and market structure issues.

“I look forward to assisting clients in navigating the ever-changing regulatory landscape and joining former colleagues from the SEC,” said Mr Brigagliano.

Mr Brigagliano previously worked in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel for a dozen years representing the Commission in a wide range of litigation in federal district and appellate courts. He joined the SEC in 1986 and has a postgraduate law degree from Georgetown University and undergraduate degree from Amherst College.

“Jamie’s commitment to protecting investors and promoting fair and efficient markets has served this agency well during challenging times,” said Mary Schapiro, SEC chairman. “He has led initiatives to strengthen regulation of initial public offerings, research, short selling, issuer repurchases, broker-dealer conduct, market structure and most recently over-the-counter derivatives under Dodd-Frank.”

Mr Walsh had helped create the SEC’s office of compliance inspections and examinations, which monitors brokers, dealers, investment managers, and clearing houses. He will join Sutherland Asbill & Brennan’s financial services group and securities enforcement and litigation business, which is based in Washington, DC.

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