Kenneth Lench is a partner in Kirkland’s Government & Internal Investigations Practice Group in the Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on representing, and conducting internal investigations for, financial services and public companies relating to matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other Federal, state and self-regulatory organizations (SROs). Ken handles matters in all of the major programmatic areas of the securities laws, including complex securities transactions, financial and accounting fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, frauds by broker-dealers, hedge fund advisers and other asset managers, insider trading, and market manipulations. Ken also represents boards of directors and associated committees, as well as senior executives and other employees, of these companies.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Ken served for 23 years in several positions at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In his last role at the SEC, Ken served as Chief of the Structured and New Products Unit of the Division of Enforcement, which was created in 2010 as a specialty group of more than 45 professionals nationwide focusing on abuses in markets for complex securities, including asset-backed securities and derivatives. In that role, he was responsible for building and managing the unit and supervised wide-reaching investigations into markets for collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities, resulting in $1.7 billion in recovered funds for investors in those products.
Ken previously held various senior positions at the SEC’s Enforcement Division including assistant director, assistant chief counsel, branch chief and senior counsel, during which time he supervised and conducted numerous complex and wide-reaching investigations into violations of the Federal securities laws. As an assistant director, Ken spearheaded the SEC’s major auction rate securities matters, which resulted in some of the largest settlements in SEC history and, in all, provided for more than $60 billion in liquidity to tens of thousands of investors.
Besides his extensive Enforcement Division experience, Ken served a stint in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, where he reviewed registration statements, proxy materials and periodic reports involving initial public offerings, secondary offerings, tender offers, mergers and acquisitions, going-private transactions, shelf offerings and proxy contests. Ken was in private practice prior to his arrival at the SEC.