Senior SEC Trial Lawyer Michael Birnbaum Joins Morrison &…

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Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that Michael D. Birnbaum has joined the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Practice Group (SLEW) as a partner in New York. Coming from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Birnbaum follows numerous other senior government officials who have joined Morrison & Foerster over recent years. He will represent financial institutions, corporations, and individuals in regulatory enforcement proceedings, internal and government investigations, and civil securities litigation.

Mr. Birnbaum spent the last 11 years at the SEC, most recently as Senior Trial Counsel. He previously spent eight years in private practice.

“Michael’s extensive trial and investigations experience will further strengthen our already deep bench of securities and enforcement litigators,” said Jordan Eth, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s SLEW Group. “Michael brings up-to-the-minute SEC enforcement knowledge and an impressive investigative and enforcement background.”

Joel Haims, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s SLEW Group, added: “Michael is the latest in a series of high-profile additions that bring significant government experience to our white collar and investigations practice, particularly on the East Coast. We’re proud to have Michael join the ranks of our most recent former government lawyers, including former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Joshua Hill, Jr.; top FCPA prosecutors Chuck Duross and James Koukios; and risk, privacy and national security lawyers John P. Carlin and Robert S. Litt, from the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, respectively.”

At the SEC, Mr. Birnbaum was involved in matters regarding domestic and foreign financial companies, including commercial and investment banks, audit and accounting firms, investment advisers, and broker-dealers. He has a wide range of investigative experience, including insider trading, Investment Advisers and Investment Company Act violations, disclosure fraud, data breaches, and cryptocurrency matters.

Mr. Birnbaum has significant trial experience in cases facing the financial services industry, including allegations of fraudulent securities offerings and registration violations, and supervisory failures related to the sale of securities. Among his many successfully resolved cases, Mr. Birnbaum secured a settlement in one of the largest Customer Protection Rule matters in the SEC history to date and obtained unprecedented injunctive relief in the Reserve Fund litigation stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. Other representative matters include Reliance Financial Advisors LLC, et al., Donald Anthony, et al. (fraud case against McGinn, Smith & Co. brokers), and SEC v. Empire Development Group.

“Morrison & Foerster has a global reach and a reputation as a litigation powerhouse,” said Birnbaum. “I look forward to working with the firm’s growing ranks of former fellow government officials and the rest of my new colleagues. The firm offers a great fit for my practice and I’ve been consistently impressed by the firm’s culture and attorneys.”


Morrison & Foerster is a global firm with exceptional credentials. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, Fortune 100, and technology and life sciences companies. The Financial Times has named the firm to its lists of most innovative law firms in Northern America and Asia every year that it has published its Innovative Lawyers Reports in those regions. In the past few years, Chambers USA has honored MoFo’s Bankruptcy and IP teams with Firm of the Year awards, the Corporate/M&A team with a client service award, and the firm as a whole as Global USA Firm of the Year. Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger.

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