A longtime legal professional and elected official, Christopher Cox is currently a Partner and member of the Corporate Practice Group in the international law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. He is also President of Bingham Consulting LLC, a global strategic consulting firm focused on the intersection of law, business, and public policy. Prior to a 23-year public service career in Washington, DC, he had been a Partner in the international law firm of Latham & Watkins, the head of the firm’s Corporate Department in Orange County, and a member of its national management.
During his four-year tenure as the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox significantly increased the agency’s international enforcement and regulatory activity. In addition to establishing enforcement and regulatory supervisory agreements with countries across Europe and Asia, Chairman Cox made key decisions that significantly advanced the efforts of accounting standard setters to align U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Christopher Cox was also noted for the SEC’s significant increase in enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and of cross-border insider trading. In one particularly noteworthy case, under his leadership the agency brought insider-trading charges within days against Hong Kong investors seeking to profit from inside information of the News Corporation takeover of Dow Jones. Other well-known enforcement activities undertaken by the Commission under Chairman Cox included municipal securities fraud, foreign corruption, and misconduct in subprime markets.
During the 2008 financial crisis, Christopher Cox led the SEC to impose sweeping new regulations of credit rating agencies, imposed a temporary emergency ban on short selling in financial stocks, and ended a four-year-old voluntary regulation program for investment bank holding companies. He resisted efforts to loosen accounting rules to permit banks and financial institutions to mask losses in subprime-related investments.