The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that John W. Berry has been named Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the agency’s Los Angeles Regional Office.
Mr. Berry succeeds C. Dabney O’Riordan, who became Co-Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit in June 2016. In his new role, Mr. Berry will oversee the Los Angeles office’s enforcement efforts in southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii along with fellow Associate Regional Director Alka Patel.
Since 2011, Mr. Berry has led the Los Angeles office’s litigation program as its regional trial counsel, managing cases pending both in federal courts and administrative proceedings. The trial unit has nine senior trial attorneys.
As regional trial counsel, Mr. Berry has led or played an active role in dozens of litigated enforcement actions, including fraud charges and an asset freeze against a husband and wife charged with misusing two-thirds of the money they raised from EB-5 investors, Cyprus- and Israeli-based companies charged with illegally offering and selling binary options to investors across the U.S., and insider trading charges against the chairman and CEO of a Santa Ana, California-based computer storage device company. Mr. Berry also has been integral to a number of significant favorable rulings in numerous cases including rulings regarding the applicability of the Second Circuit’s holding in U.S. v. Newman (SEC v. One or More Unknown Traders in the Securities of Onyx Pharm.) and addressing the scope of SEC receiverships (SEC v. Schooler).
“John is a highly effective leader who is frequently sought out by his colleagues when dealing with difficult issues,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “His judgment is highly valued because he is a pragmatic and critical thinker, and he will be a valued addition to the Enforcement Division’s senior ranks.”
Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, added, “John is a highly accomplished lawyer whose keen intellect, judgment, work ethic, and leadership are widely respected both inside and outside the agency. I am so pleased to have him as a member of the senior team in Los Angeles.”
Mr. Berry said, “I am honored by this appointment, and I look forward to continuing to work with the talented enforcement and examination staff in the Los Angeles office in bringing enforcement actions to protect investors and the markets.”
Before joining the SEC staff, Mr. Berry was a partner in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s commercial litigation practice based in New York. Before entering the field of law, Mr. Berry was a field engineer for General Electric in Houston. Mr. Berry earned his joint law and business degree from the University of Virginia in 1998 and his bachelor of science in engineering and economics with honors from Duke University in 1992.