Press Release

Kirkland Expands Investment Funds Regulatory Platform with Addition of Former SEC Officials

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Erica Williams and Marian Fowler have joined the Firm’s Washington, D.C., office as partners. Ms. Williams joins the Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group and Ms. Fowler joins the Investment Funds Group.

“Erica and Marian are extraordinarily talented lawyers who possess deep institutional knowledge about the SEC and have been leaders in shaping the agency’s work over the past several years, both in the Chairman’s Office and in the Division of Investment Management,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “They will significantly expand the breadth and depth of the regulatory service available to clients on our rapidly growing investment funds platform.”

Ms. Williams joins Kirkland after serving as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to President Barack Obama. She advised the president and his senior advisors on legal and constitutional issues involving economic policy, financial regulation and reform, financial technology, trade, intellectual property and data protection and privacy. Before that, Ms. Williams spent 11 years at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff under Chairs Mary Jo White, Elisse Walter and Mary Schapiro, and Enforcement Counsel to Chair Schapiro. Earlier in her career, Ms. Williams served as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Trial Unit where she led a number of successful prosecutions, including cases involving insider trading, accounting fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and financial reporting. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Williams worked as an associate in the litigation practice group at Arnold & Porter LLP. Ms. Williams holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Ms. Fowler served as Senior Special Counsel to the Director of the Division of Investment Management at the SEC in Washington, D.C., and worked in the Office of the Director for the last three years. Ms. Fowler was a key adviser to the division director — including Kirkland partner Norm Champ, who held the post from 2012-2015 — on all division projects and priorities and also served as the primary liaison between the division and the chairman’s office and commissioners’ offices. Previously, Ms. Fowler was Senior Counsel in the Investment Company Rulemaking Office. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Fowler spent five years as an associate in the investment management group at Ropes & Gray LLP. Ms. Fowler earned a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center, a master’s of public policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon.

“Adding Erica and Marian builds upon our already exceptional investment funds regulatory group, which has several former SEC regulators including former Director of Enforcement Rob Khuzami, former Director of Investment Management Norm Champ, as well as partners Ken Lench, Bob Pommer, Aaron Schlaphoff and Jamie Walter. Our team is able to provide unique insights into the regulatory process and leverage our premier government investigations and enforcement group in collaboration with our funds platform,” said Mark Filip, partner in the Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group and a member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee. “It’s a very compelling combination for our clients.”

“The regulatory funds group at Kirkland is pleased to have Erica and Marian join our practice and further strengthen our world class funds regulatory practice. Their superb legal skills will assist our clients in navigating the regulatory environment in the United States,” said Norm Champ, partner in the Investment Funds Group.

Kirkland’s investment funds regulatory practice is focused on advising clients on the most sophisticated and complex fund formation and operations issues, preparing clients for and advising clients regarding examinations by the SEC, FINRA and other regulators, and providing advice on novel issues arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940.  

Kirkland is a global leader in providing sophisticated advice to investment fund sponsors, institutional investors and other market participants in the alternative investment fund space. Kirkland offers clients the unsurpassed resources of a large, integrated, multidisciplinary, global team located across offices in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. With more than 170 dedicated investment funds attorneys, including 65 partners, no other law firm matches the breadth, depth and scope of Kirkland’s experience in investment funds legal services.