Leland S. Benton counsels public companies on the federal securities laws and corporate governance. Before joining Morgan Lewis, Leland served the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for five years as an attorney-adviser in the Division of Corporation Finance, where he reviewed transactions including securities offerings, acquisitions and divestments, as well as periodic reports and proxy statements. He is admitted in New York only, and his practice is supervised by DC Bar members.
While at the SEC, Leland also served as a member of the Rule 14a-8 Shareholder Proposal Taskforce in the Division of Corporation Finance’s Office of Chief Counsel, where he considered various rationales presented by public companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their proxy materials. He also served in the Office of Disclosure Standards, which critically evaluates the Division of Corporation Finance’s filing review program for quality and consistency, and tests the Division’s internal controls and procedures.
In addition to working at the SEC prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Leland taught at the Georgetown University Law Center as an adjunct professor of law. He instructed foreign-trained attorneys on American common law jurisprudence, efficient research methods and legal analysis. He also previously served as a C.V. Starr Lecturer of Law at the Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, China, where he taught deal documentation, contract drafting, and legal research and writing.
During law school Leland interned in the SEC’s Office of Mergers and Acquisitions, where he replied to interpretive and no-action requests from public companies and the private bar.
Georgetown University Law Center, 2016, Certificate in Securities and Financial Regulation
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 2011, J.D.
McGill University, 2005, B.A., International Development Studies