A top litigation counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission will step down in August to become head of regulatory affairs for Merrill Lynch in New York.

David L. Kornblau, chief litigation counsel of the Division of Enforcement, joins other high-ranking regulators who have recently left the SEC. Kornblau led the nationwide litigation program during a period of numerous corporate scandals and heightened enforcement activity at the commission.

President Bush formally nominated Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif. earlier this week to replace Chairman William Donaldson, who stepped down June 30. Both Donaldson and former enforcement chief Stephen Cutler, who left in May, will also return to the private sector. Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid will leave the SEC later this summer to teach at Columbia Law School.

As chief litigation counsel, Kornblau led the enforcement division in cases against Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, Wall Street research analysts, KPMG, Ernst & Young and various mutual funds. He handled special assignments in cases against Halliburton, Hollinger International, HealthSouth and Martha Stewart. Kornblau also expanded the Washington trial unit by over 50 percent and created a new collections unit, which has improved the tracking, collection and distribution of SEC monetary recoveries.Kornblau joined the enforcement division as a trial attorney in 1995, and has served as chief litigation counsel since 2000. At Merrill Lynch, he will oversee the company's response to inquiries by securities regulators and law enforcement authorities worldwide.

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