Law Firm Hires Two to Start New Securities Practice

July 6, 2011 ( - Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC has announced that Suzanne M. Dugan and Luke Bierman are joining the firm as head of the firm's new Fiduciary and Ethics Consulting Practice and Of Counsel, respectively.

Dugan and Bierman are expected to use their experience at one of the largest public pension funds in the country to establish an advisory-based securities practice at Cohen Milstein. They will advise and counsel pension fund managers on issues and challenges regarding the management of their investment portfolios including, fiduciary responsibility, ethical duties, strategic governance, compliance and related organizational mandates. They will assist funds in conducting internal investigations and with the structuring of their recommendations, and will work in collaboration with Cohen Milstein’s securities litigation team to help counsel funds on litigation matters, opt-outs, and lead plaintiff roles.

Dugan, the Special Counsel for Ethics to the New York State Comptroller from 2007-2011, will lead the new practice that aims to counsel pension funds on fiduciary, ethics, governance and compliance issues.  

According to the announcement, Dugan comes to the firm with more than two decades of legal experience; as Special Counsel she advised the State Comptroller and oversaw the Ethics Unit and program. She previously served as Acting Executive Director and Counsel to the New York State Ethics Commission where she was an attorney for 14 years. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  

Bierman, who served as General Counsel to the New York State Comptroller from 2007-2010, brings almost three decades of legal experience to Cohen Milstein. As General Counsel, the press release claimed, Bierman oversaw a legal staff of 85, including 55 attorneys who provided legal advice and counsel on all matters relating to the Comptroller’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities.  

Bierman recently was appointed Associate Dean and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law. Previously the Fellow in Government Law and Policy in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, he also acted as Executive Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University and as Director of the Justice Center and Assistant to the President at the American Bar Association. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Institutional Investors and is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  

“We are delighted to have Suzanne and Luke join our securities practice,” said Steven J. Toll, Managing Partner and Co-Chair of Cohen Milstein’s Securities Fraud & Investor Protection Practice Group, in the announcement. “They are both highly respected attorneys and their vast pension fund experience will help provide our clients with expert advice and guidance.”  


-Sara Kelly