Stephen M. Cutler, a former general counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a former top federal securities enforcer, is joining Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, the firm announced today.

Cutler is a vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase, and is joining the firm as a litigation partner in April. He will advise companies, boards and senior executives on government and internal investigations, corporate governance and regulatory matters, and major litigation.

Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Cutler was director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission where he had crucial roles in the investigations of Enron and WorldCom before leaving in 2005.

Stephen Cutler spoke at the 2017 Big Law Business Summit. 

He worked at the Washington office of Wilmer Hale as a partner and head of the law firm’s securities department. He was at the firm before and immediately following his government role. He joined JP Morgan Chase in early 2007.

During 11 years there, most of it as general counsel, he helped deal with the bank’s response to the government’s investigations into the sector’s role in the financial crisis.

In the bank’s top legal post, he helped broker a $13 billion settlement involving mortgage securities and settled civil litigation over a $6 billion loss for JP Morgan Chase. Called the “London Whale” case, the loss was incurred in 2012 in the bank’s London branch when a trader took outsized positions in the market.

Cutler reported to Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon until January 2016 when he became vice chairman, examining emerging legal issues and how the bank might deal with them.

The Yale Law School graduate is heading to a firm known as a leading adviser to the financial services sector.

“I am delighted to return to private practice at Simpson Thacher,” said Cutler. “It is an outstanding firm with which I have worked closely for many years. I look forward to partnering with wonderful colleagues and advising clients on some of their most important matters.”

Cutler said he wanted to make a change because, “I like lawyering. I like counseling clients and thinking about legal problems and how to resolve them.”

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, founded in 1884, has more than 900 lawyers in offices around the world. The firm, headquartered in New York, provides legal advice, handles litigation and also government and internal investigations, arbitrations and cross-border disputes in North and South America, Asia and Europe.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steve to Simpson Thacher,” said Bill Dougherty, chairman of the firm’s executive committee. “He is one of the leading lawyers of his generation, highly respected for his leadership and distinguished service in both the public and private sectors. Our clients will benefit from his unparalleled experience and insight as they navigate their most complex and challenging issues.”

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