David L. Axelrod—the former Supervisory Trial Counsel for the Philadelphia Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a former federal prosecutor—has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.
At the SEC, Mr. Axelrod supervised all aspects of litigation, advised on investigations of potential securities law violations, worked with U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country on coordinated investigations, and led nationwide insider trading training for SEC staff. He directed strategy and tactics for an active roster of cases involving insider trading, investment fraud, accounting fraud, and market manipulation. He also served as lead counsel in cases that went to trial, where he secured million-dollar judgments.
“The expansion of our white collar and securities litigation practices with very strong, experienced people is a priority for the firm,” Mr. Stewart said. “David is that caliber of litigator. He has a demonstrated ability to win high-profile federal cases and navigate complex investigations, and he shares our dedication to client service.”
Before joining the SEC, Mr. Axelrod served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He focused on investigating and prosecuting economic crimes, such as securities fraud, consumer fraud, public corruption, and tax evasion. Mr. Axelrod tried more than a dozen cases to verdict and argued appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
“David has significant, first chair trial experience in multiagency white collar cases, which makes him a valuable addition to a group that is already extremely strong,” said Geoffrey A. Kahn, Chair of Ballard Spahr’s Litigation Department. “He can hit the ground running and think strategically under pressure. He’s a great fit for the team.”
Mr. Axelrod will be a member of Ballard Spahr’s White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations Group and its Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation Group. He joins a recognized team of litigators who represent companies and individuals faced with government investigations, enforcement actions, and administrative proceedings.
“David is a skilled and tenacious litigator who knows firsthand how the federal government investigates white collar crimes, makes charging decisions, and strategizes cases,” said Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr., who leads the firm’s White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations Group. “These are sensitive, complex matters, and his perspective and experience will be invaluable to our clients.”
Prior to entering government service, Mr. Axelrod was a litigator at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He also served as a clerk to the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Ballard Spahr’s white collar and securities litigation practices, who have a national range and broad depth of experience,” Mr. Axelrod said. “They are among the best in the industry—smart, focused, and strategic—which is why major clients trust them with challenging, high-stakes issues.”