The Securities and Exchange Commission today named commission veteran Michele Wein Layne as regional director of its Los Angeles regional office. She takes over immediately.

Layne has been an associate regional director for enforcement in the L.A. office since 2005. She began her SEC career 17 years ago as a staff attorney in the enforcement division and has worked her way up the ranks into the office's most senior position. Layne has been serving as the co-acting regional director since the departure of previous office director Rosalind Tyson earlier this year.

As regional director, Layne will manage the examination and enforcement programs that operate out of the Los Angeles office, which has a staff of more than 120. The office primarily covers the SEC's examination and enforcement efforts in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam.

During her SEC career, Layne has worked on many significant enforcement cases involving a wide variety of securities law violations. Among the cases in which she has played a leadership role are the enforcement action against Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, which resulted in the largest SEC penalty ever paid by a public company's senior executive, and an action against CSK Auto Corp., which marked the SEC's first-ever Sarbanes-Oxley Act "clawback" case against an individual who was required to return bonuses and stock profits even though he had not personally been charged for the company's misconduct.

"Michele has devoted her professional life to the high calling of protecting the nation's investors and its financial markets," said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's enforcement division. "The leadership, judgment and deep substantive knowledge she exercised while supervising some of the SEC's most challenging enforcement actions makes her the perfect choice to lead the Los Angeles regional office into the future."

Before joining the SEC staff in 1995, Layne worked in private practice for 11 years at the law firms of Dewey & LeBoeuf and Buchalter Nemer. Her practice concentrated on complex business litigation.

--Jim McConville