Mr. Atkins leads client work for financial services firms regarding an array of matters, including Dodd-Frank Act compliance, domestic regulatory issues, European regulatory advice, and corporate governance. Mr. Atkins regularly serves as an independent compliance consultant and a court-appointed monitor in settlements involving federal agencies and regulators. His expert witness engagements include federal, state, and foreign litigation, as well as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission matters.
Since 2017, Mr. Atkins has led industry efforts to develop best practices for digital asset issuances and trading platforms as co-chair of the Token Alliance. From 2012 to 2015, he served as an independent director and non-executive Chairman of the Board of BATS Global Markets, Inc., a leading operator of electronic U.S. and European securities markets trading listed cash equity securities and equity options (since acquired by Cboe).
Prior to founding Patomak, Mr. Atkins served as an SEC Commissioner from 2002 to 2008 where he advocated for transparency, consistency, and the use of cost-benefit analysis at the agency. He represented the SEC at meetings of the U.S.-E.U. Transatlantic Economic Council, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the World Economic Forum, and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. From 2009 to 2010, he was appointed a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Earlier in his career, he served on the staffs of SEC Chairmen Richard C. Breeden and Arthur Levitt as chief of staff and counselor, respectively.
In private practice, Mr. Atkins was a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firm, Coopers & Lybrand. He began his career as a lawyer in New York with Davis Polk & Wardwell and was resident for two and a half years in the firm’s Paris office. He was admitted as conseil juridique in France in 1988.
Mr. Atkins received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was Senior Student Writing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and his A.B. from Wofford College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the American Council on Germany.
- Proposed FSOC Guidance Could Lead to Bank-like Regulation for Asset Managers, Private Funds, and Non-bank Mortgage Companies – as well as New Federal Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Assets and Payment Activities
- Bloomberg TV: Former SEC Commissioner Atkins on Short Selling
- ABC News: Justice Department, SEC probing collapse of Silicon Valley Bank: Sources
- Newsweek: Activist Investment Puts Millions of Retirees at Risk | Opinion
- Our Op-Ed in the American Banker: An Unworkable Compromise on Stablecoins
- Paul Atkins and Paul Ray discuss the SEC’s Climate Rule in the Wall Street Journal
- Paul Atkins on Fox Business to Discuss Risk of Investing in Chinese Companies
- Cryptocurrency Investments Expand to 401(k) Accounts
- Paul Atkins says new SEC Crypto Accounting Bulletin is Proof Agency has more Work to Do
- SEC Proposes Rules on Climate Disclosures