Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Major Frauds Section, Douglas A. Axel, Joins Sidley Austin (Los Angeles)

Sidley Austin LLP announced today that Douglas A. Axel, former Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California and Chief of the office’s Major Frauds Section, has joined Sidley as a partner, resident in the Los Angeles office.

“Handling high-stakes matters for significant clients is a mainstay of our litigation and white collar practices and we think Doug will be a tremendous addition.”

As Chief of the Major Frauds Section since October 2007, Axel was responsible for all federal white-collar crime prosecutions in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties involving public corruption, corporate fraud, investor fraud, mortgage fraud, procurement fraud, health care and other government program fraud and tax fraud. He coordinated criminal white-collar enforcement activities among the region’s investigative agencies including the FBI, Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, all federal Inspectors General, all Defense Department criminal investigative services (DCIS, NCIS, Army CID), Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission and others.

Since joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2001, Axel personally prosecuted dozens of white-collar cases involving charges of securities fraud, insider trading, investor fraud, bank fraud, government fraud and obstruction of justice. Among the cases Axel handled was United States v. Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP. He also was the lead prosecutor in a number of jury trials and argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to serving as Chief of the section, Axel served as a Deputy Chief for two years.

“Doug is a talented and well-known prosecutor with significant experience in some of the most important cases and investigations in California involving financial and securities crimes,” said Anne E. Rea, the member of Sidley’s Management Committee responsible for its West Coast offices. “Doug is an outstanding addition to Sidley’s white collar, SEC enforcement and litigation teams, and we are delighted that he is joining us.”

“Sidley has all of the attributes I was seeking in a law firm: a deep bench of talented lawyers, a culture of excellence, sound management and an outstanding client base,” said Axel. “I am thrilled to be joining the Sidley team.”

“Doug is joining a group of exceptional trial lawyers in the Los Angeles office, including Kim Dunne, who was the Chief of the Public Corruption and Government Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office prior to joining us, ” said Michael C. Kelley, managing partner of the Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He added, “Handling high-stakes matters for significant clients is a mainstay of our litigation and white collar practices and we think Doug will be a tremendous addition.”

Axel received his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of Law, where he was first in his class, graduating summa cum laude and Order of the Coif, and served as Senior Articles Editor of the Hastings Law Journal. He received his B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Axel clerked for the Honorable Melvyn Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable David V. Kenyon of the United States District Court, Central District of California. Axel was awarded a 2009 Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention.