Corporate lawyer joins federal regulator

“I have been impressed by Bob's intelligence, wisdom, and insight for as long as I've known him," White, another former corporate lawyer, said in a statement. “I am delighted that he will be joining our talented SEC team.”

Before heading to Wall Street, Rice was a partner at McDermott‚ Will & Emery, representing corporations and their higher-ups in front of the U.S. Department of Justice and state and federal regulatory agencies.

He said in a release that he is “humbled” by his White’s choice to name him as her chief counsel and “thrilled to return to public service.”

From 1991 to 2000, Rice worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan, part of one of the most influential and powerful federal law enforcement districts, the Southern District of New York, where many Wall Street cases are tried. White served as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan from 1993 through 2002, known for prosecuting mobsters and terrorists.

“I look forward to the challenges ahead and to working with everyone at the commission to protect investors and maintain the integrity of our markets,” he said.

As a former corporate lawyer, White came under fire during her confirmation for following a similar path, with some wondering if she could regulate the firms she used to represent.

She vowed to lawmakers that she would be “unrelenting” to the firms the agency supervises and promised to quickly finish the rules from Dodd-Frank, many of which remain unimplemented.