The chief counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investment management division is joining a law firm that is expanding its industry practice.

Jack W. Murphy is leaving the SEC after two-and-a-half years to become a partner in the Washington office of Dechert Price & Rhodes on April 1. As associate director in the SEC's investment management division, Mr. Murphy worked on many issues affecting banks, including the SEC's role in Glass- Steagall reform.

"I hope to continue dealing with cutting-edge issues, and looked for a firm that had a client base" that would allow for that, Mr. Murphy said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Murphy's investment business experience includes two stints at the SEC, as well as several years as an in-house and outside attorney for Paine Webber/Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management Group.

At the SEC, Mr. Murphy helped to hammer out a rule allowing wrap accounts to avoid being classified as unregistered mutual funds. He was also actively involved in the agreement between the SEC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to jointly inspect banks.

Also joining Dechert Price's investment management practice in Washington are Cynthia M. Fornelli, who will work on compliance issues, and David A. Vaughan, who will focus on insurance products and investment funds, including those registered offshore.

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