Washington, D.C. – Sidley Austin LLP is pleased to announce that Sonia Barros has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office. Formerly the Chief Corporate Governance Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Barros will be a member of the firm’s Global Capital Markets group, where she will be the chair of the group’s newly formed Public Company Advisory subgroup focused on advising clients in corporate disclosures and governance matters.
As outgoing Chief Corporate Governance Counsel, Ms. Barros is a leading authority on corporate governance matters that involve the agency’s rules and regulations. In addition to forming the Division’s initial corporate governance function, Ms. Barros also served as the SEC’s representative to the Corporate Governance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“I am extremely pleased that out of all the firms Sonia could have joined that she’s chosen Sidley,” said Edward F. Petrosky, chair of the firm’s Global Capital Markets group. “It is critically important for us to serve our clients’ disclosure and governance needs at the highest level to have someone of Sonia’s talent leading the effort. With her recognized knowledge and experience, public presence, SEC relationships, and entrepreneurial spirit, I am confident that Sonia will be a huge success in chairing the group’s newly formed Public Company Advisory subgroup.”
“Practitioners with Sonia’s background, relationships, and know-how are hard to come by,” said Neal Sullivan, chair of Sidley’s Global Securities Regulatory and Enforcement group. “With 17 years of SEC experience, she is well-positioned to enhance our global SEC advisory practice, particularly when it comes to corporate disclosure and governance matters. Sonia’s first-hand understanding of recent and historical SEC practices and policies will provide unparalleled support for our clients as we continue to grow our public company and capital markets capabilities.”
“I have worked with many law firms over the years and Sidley has always stood out for its depth of experience and capabilities, and the collaborative nature of its lawyers,” said Ms. Barros. “The firm is well-known for its strength in many different practice areas, including capital markets, corporate governance, and regulatory and enforcement. I am delighted to be joining Sidley.”
Prior to her role as Chief Corporate Governance Counsel, Ms. Barros served as the Assistant Director in the SEC’s Office of Real Estate and Commodities, where she had oversight authority for thousands of transactions and reviews of corporate disclosures, including financial statements, under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In this capacity, Ms. Barros also led the SEC’s disclosure review of companies across numerous industries, including REITs, real estate-related finance, real estate marketplace lending, lodging, casinos, commodities, stock exchanges, consulting services, and cryptocurrencies. Her other roles during her tenure with the SEC included Legal Office Chief of the Division’s Office of Risk and Strategy, Special Counsel, Attorney-Advisor for the Office of Health Care and Insurance, and the Office of Chief Counsel’s Shareholder Proposal Task Force. Before joining the SEC, Ms. Barros spent nearly a decade in private practice, counseling clients on corporate governance and securities matters.
With 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices around the globe, Sidley is a premier legal adviser for clients across the spectrum of industries. Follow Sidley on Twitter @SidleyLaw.
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