Mr. Howard represents financial services firms, public companies, and individuals during investigations and litigation initiated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other federal and state securities regulators. He represents clients in joint investigations and actions by securities regulators and criminal authorities investigating potential civil and criminal violations of the securities laws. Mr. Howard also represents clients in civil litigation and arbitration involving the securities laws.
Mr. Howard counsels broker-dealers and investment advisors regarding compliance system design and review, regulatory registration issues, transactional disclosure issues, and customer privacy. He provides advice to securities firms, banks, investment advisors, and public companies on compliance with financial regulations and strategies to avoid regulatory problems.
Represent investment advisors concerning compliance with Regulation S-P and other state and federal consumer privacy regulations.
Represented broker-dealer and registered representative in FINRA investigation concerning registered representative’s outside business and securities related activities.
Represented municipal securities representative through FINRA, SEC and state readmittance processes.
Represented broker-dealers during FINRA Continuing Membership Application process.
Represented broker-dealers and investment advisors responding to questions raised during routine and sweep regulatory examinations conducted by SEC, FINRA, and various state regulators.
Represented regional bank in SEC investigation regarding the bank’s accounting for and disclosure of its allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL).
Represented public company in SEC investigation regarding the bank’s accounting for and disclosure of its allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL).
Represented the Independent Consultant engaged by a global financial services firm headquartered in Europe to ensure that the firm and all its affiliated entities ceased providing securities services to U.S. persons unless such business was conducted through an SEC-registered entity or pursuant to an appropriate exemption from registration. The Independent Consultant was retained as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice and a settlement with the SEC. This engagement required reviews of the firm’s affiliates and businesses, customer accounts, and inspections of the firm’s businesses throughout the world including: Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia.
Represented former Controller of public company in SEC action, and related class actions, regarding the company’s accounting for and disclosure of revenue related to retail sales programs.
Represented broker-dealer in SEC, Department of Labor, and criminal action against third party investment adviser stealing client funds utilizing accounts at broker-dealer. Also represented broker-dealer in follow on customer arbitrations.
Represented broker-dealer in FINRA investigation concerning variable annuity sales issues.
Represented broker-dealer in FINRA investigation concerning research analyst’s stock transactions.
Represented registered representatives in SEC investigation concerning market-timing.
Represented registered representatives in FINRA investigation concerning market-timing.
Represented broker-dealer in FINRA investigation concerning market-timing conducted by registered representatives at brokerage firm.
Represented public company in Constitutional challenges to state insurance and securities laws.