Davis Polk Welcomes SEC Enforcement Partner Robert Cohen in Washington
8/20/2019

Washington DC, August 20, 2019 – Davis Polk today announced that Robert Cohen will join the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department in Washington DC. 

Mr. Cohen will be a member of the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group, where he will focus on representing companies and boards in regulatory matters and internal investigations. He joins Davis Polk from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he served for 15 years in the Division of Enforcement, most recently as Chief of the Cyber Unit. During his tenure at the agency, Mr. Cohen was involved in significant enforcement actions involving securities fraud, insider trading, market manipulation and abuse, financial fraud, cryptocurrency and cybersecurity. His wide-ranging experience at the SEC and extensive knowledge of the financial markets and the cryptocurrency and cybersecurity fields will add further depth and strength to the firm’s premier white collar practice. 

“Rob will be a tremendous resource for our clients. He brings a unique mix of top-level SEC experience in multiple core enforcement areas,” said Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s Managing Partner. “He will further extend our legacy of prominence in the SEC enforcement space and joins an extraordinary team of former government officials in our Washington office, including litigators who have held high-ranking positions with the SEC, DOJ, FTC, White House and FBI.” 

Davis Polk has a long history of its lawyers serving with distinction in senior roles at the SEC, including former SEC Commissioner Annette Nazareth, former Managing Executive for Policy Joseph Hall and former SEC Enforcement Directors Gary Lynch and Linda Chatman Thomsen.

As the first-ever Chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit, Mr. Cohen supervised investigations concerning initial coin offerings and other conduct involving cryptocurrency, cybersecurity events, controls and disclosures at broker-dealers, investment advisers, stock exchanges and public companies, and cyber-related market manipulations. 

From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Cohen served as Co-Chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit, supervising market structure and trading investigations, including violations by national securities exchanges, dark pools and large broker-dealers, complex insider trading, and large-scale manipulation. 

Mr. Cohen was an Assistant Director in the Enforcement Division from 2010 to 2013. He joined the SEC in 2004. 

“Rob brings deep, multidisciplinary SEC enforcement experience and is held in the highest regard for his judgment and integrity, both by senior SEC staff around the country and the white collar bar,” said Neil MacBride, co-chair of Davis Polk’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group. “Over his 15 years of public service, Rob’s enforcement actions ranged from securities fraud to insider trading to market manipulation to cybersecurity, all areas of importance to our clients.” 

Rob Cohen said, “I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve in government, and now I am thrilled to be joining Davis Polk. I have long respected and admired the firm, and look forward to working with the exceptional team in Washington to help clients navigate their most sensitive issues.” 

Mr. Cohen received a B.S. from Cornell University in 1994 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1997. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alexander Williams Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Widely recognized as having one of the world’s preeminent white collar criminal defense practices, Davis Polk represents corporations and individuals from around the world in high-profile and complex matters, including government, grand jury and internal investigations. The firm’s litigators include some of the most highly respected criminal defense lawyers in the country.