Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has snagged Randall Lee, the former Los Angeles regional director for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the lead partner for its first office in Los Angeles, The Recorder reports.

William Perlstein, co-chairman of Wilmer Cutler’s management committee, said the firm was waiting to hire the right people before opening a Los Angeles office. “Randall is one of the leading, if not the leading, enforcement lawyer on the West Coast,” Perlstein said.

Since Lee left the SEC in July, more than 35 firms expressed interest in hiring him, according to a recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Lee said he decided to work for Wilmer Cutler because of its pre-eminent securities practice and large number of attorneys, 140 in all, who have worked for the government.

Before joining the SEC, Lee was an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2001.

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