SEC's top Philly lawyer switches sides, will defend accused securities violators at Ballard

David L. Axelrod, former Supervisory Trial Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission office in Philadelphia and, before that, a federal prosecutor, has accepted a partnership at corporate law firm Ballard Spahr, where he will serve in the litigation department.

Axelrod, who trained national SEC staff to recognize and prosecute insider trading, also "directed strategy and tactics" for investment and accounting fraud and market manipulation cases. He was lead counsel for SEC v. Daryl M. Payton, "where a jury found two brokers liable for insider trading in advance of IBM’s acquisition of a data analytics company, " Ballard said in announcing the move.

As with other federal agencies, there is a well-worn track between the SEC and the private sector defense bar, where experienced partners can make several times their annual government salaries.

Before he was at the SEC, Axelrod was a federal criminal prosecutor in Philadelphia, working with the FBI, IRS, and SEC and in front of the Third Circuit appeals court. He was previously a litigator at  Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and clerked for federal Judge R. Barclay Surrick.