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Former Head of Market Regulation Enforcement and Enforcement Litigation at FINRA, Lara Thyagarajan, Joins Sidley

Sidley Austin LLP announced that Lara Thyagarajan has joined the firm as a partner in the Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice group in New York. Ms. Thyagarajan is a former member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Enforcement’s senior leadership team and most recently served as FINRA Enforcement’s Senior Vice President, Head of Market Regulation Enforcement and Litigation. Ms. Thyagarajan joins Sidley after 15 years at FINRA, providing her with first-hand insight into the current priorities, policies, and practices of financial services regulators including FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the exchanges, and state securities regulators.
In her most recent role, Ms. Thyagarajan oversaw the work of more than 70 attorneys and managers in FINRA Enforcement’s Market Regulation Enforcement program and in its trial unit.  In her role as Head of Market Regulation Enforcement, Lara led complex and high-profile cases involving exchange rule violations, best execution, payment for order flow arrangements, short-selling, market access, cybersecurity, systemic supervisory failures, market manipulation, and supervision of online trading and Fintech broker-dealers. Ms. Thyagarajan was previously counsel to a former Head of Enforcement and FINRA’s current Head of Enforcement. In that role, Ms. Thyagarajan oversaw the litigation program and ran FINRA Enforcement’s policy group which provided input into the Department of Enforcement’s highest profile and novel cases. She also worked closely with other U.S. and international regulators. Before joining the senior leadership team at FINRA Enforcement, she was the chief counsel for the New York region with responsibility for managing a team dedicated to investigating and prosecuting disciplinary matters involving broker-dealers based in New York City and Long Island. She first joined FINRA Enforcement in 2006 as an attorney its New York office.
Prior to her career at FINRA, Ms. Thyagarajan spent eight years at a Boston law firm where she was a partner in its Securities Enforcement Defense practice.

“With the SEC, FINRA and several exchanges entering an aggressive pro-enforcement business cycle with a particular emphasis on market conduct and market manipulation cases, Lara is a timely addition to Sidley’s practice,” said Neal Sullivan, global co-leader of Sidley’s Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice.  “Her unique skill set will not only support our work with current clients but also help us continue to expand our industry-leading practice.”
“Lara is a highly regarded enforcement professional that our partners have known for many years,” said Stephen Cohen, co-leader of the Regulatory and Enforcement group. “We are thrilled to welcome Lara, who is held in the highest esteem by senior members of the securities bar and at all levels of FINRA.”
Sidley’s Securities Enforcement and Regulatory group counsels and defends clients involved in all aspects of the global capital markets, from major Wall Street firms and leading public companies to prominent investment advisers and senior executives. The firm defends clients in investigations by the SEC, CFTC, DOJ, state attorneys general, the UK FCA, other federal and state civil regulators, and self-regulatory agencies such as FINRA and NYSE.
The addition of Ms. Thyagarajan follows the firm’s recent additions of partners Sonia Barros and Ranah Esmaili from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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