Brian Cartwright, a law school and, later, law firm colleague of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, was named general counsel at the regulator.
Cartwright, 58, a partner at Latham & Watkins will join the SEC on January 23. He will replace Giovanni Prezioso, 48, who announced in November that he would leave the agency.

Both Cox and Cartwright attended Harvard Law School and worked together at Latham. Cartwright has overseen Latham's public company practice in the United States.

In addition to representing the SEC in any court action, the general counsel evaluates the legality of any new rules proposed by the agency and also acts as an advisor to the SEC's five commissioners on any enforcement actions.

Cox still has four major vacancies to fill at the SEC: directors for the agencys market regulation and investment management divisions, the chief accountant, and the head of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

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