Stephen J. Crimmins
1185 Avenue of the Americas
21st Floor
New York, NY 10036
T: (212) 880-3624
1001 G Street, N.W.
Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20001
T: (202) 661-7031

Steve Crimmins defends clients in enforcement matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulators.  He provides strategic representation before and during investigations.  He advocates in meetings with regulators, white papers, Wells submissions, and settlement negotiations.  He fights for clients in trials and appeals in federal court and administrative proceedings.  He also handles internal investigations and private litigation, and teams with other law firms as securities co-counsel.

Steve is ranked at the top of his practice area.  Best Lawyers in America named him the “Securities Regulation Lawyer of the Year for New York City” based on a 2017 survey of New York peers.  Chambers USA ranks him among the top two dozen securities enforcement lawyers nationally, calling him “very detail oriented” and reporting that “you will find no one who knows more about how to litigate at the SEC.”  Securities Docket has repeatedly named him to its Enforcement 40, the country’s “best and brightest securities enforcement defense attorneys.”

During 14 years at the SEC, Steve managed the Enforcement Division’s large Trial Unit in prosecuting hundreds of jury and non-jury securities cases in federal court and administrative proceedings, while participating in investigations and settlements.  First joining the SEC as a senior trial counsel in Washington, Steve continued to personally litigate and try cases after promotion to Enforcement Division leadership and the Senior Executive Service.  He earned the SEC-wide Productivity Improvement Award for his management skills.  A Brooklyn native, he began his career at a large New York law firm after graduating from Columbia Law School.

Since returning to private practice over a decade ago, Steve has helped entities and individuals successfully resolve many securities matters.  Last fall, the SEC Commissioners unanimously affirmed on expanded grounds Steve’s defense trial victory in an SEC in-house administrative proceeding, where he personally examined over two dozen fact and expert witnesses and won dismissal of fraud charges against a large custodial services company.  He has recently taken on cryptocurrency and cybersecurity matters, and has long defended the full range of enforcement issues – financial reporting, accounting, disclosures, insider trading, funds, advisers, trading rules, manipulation, complex products, FCPA, professional bars, etc.

Steve chaired both the Federal Bar Association’s Securities Law Section, and the DC Bar’s Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section.  He testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives on SEC issues during the financial crisis, regularly speaks on securities law panels, and is quoted in the national business news media.  He writes on securities topics, including a scholarly article “Insider Trading: Where Is the Line?” in the Columbia Business Law Review that was favorably reviewed in The Economist magazine in 2014.  He has repeatedly guest-taught securities law classes at Columbia and Georgetown in recent years.

Representative Matters

  • As lead trial and appellate counsel, successfully defended the nation’s leading self-directed IRA custodian at a two-week trial before an SEC ALJ resulting in a decision dismissing all charges, Matter of Equity Trust Company, 2016 WL 4035556 (June 27, 2016).  On appellate review, the SEC Commissioners unanimously affirmed Steve’s trial win on expanded grounds, 2017 WL 4335067 (Sept. 28, 2017).

    Currently representing clients in initial coin offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency investigations by SEC Enforcement, and in an SEC investigation of cyber breach at a broker-dealer.

    Currently defending a former senior corporate officer in recently-filed SEC federal court litigation charging revenue recognition violations.  SEC v. Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., 2017 WL 5067468 (D. Md., filed Nov. 3, 2017).

    As lead trial counsel, settled one day before trial without admissions in SEC proceeding relating to investment adviser’s recommendations to public pension plans.  Matter of Gray Financial Group, Inc., 2017 WL 5624487 (Nov. 22, 2017).

    Following an SEC Wells Submission, obtained “closing letter” declining to bring charges against senior executive of financial services firm, which had settled an administrative proceeding relating to mutual fund share class recommendations, Matter of SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., 2017 WL 4064192 (Sept. 14, 2017).

    Represented major liquidity provider in AWC resolution of FINRA matter involving OATS reporting, and MRV resolution relating to Reg SHO issues (Oct. 17, 2017).  Also represented client in cautionary letter resolution of NYSE investigation relating to maintenance of quotations (May 11, 2017).

    Representing over 30 executives and management employees in public company’s internal review of certain accounting issues and in related matters (2016 to date).

    Orally argued and briefed successful motion to dismiss federal and state RICO and common law fraud claims in Florida state court, Goldberg v. Kanegis et al., Case No. 13-22491 (Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Complex Business Litigation Division) (Nov. 12, 2016).

    Represented managing director of private equity adviser in SEC investigation and in no-admission settlement by the firm and four executives of case alleging omissions relating to conflicts of interest and payments to affiliates, Matter of Fenway Partners, LLC, 2015 WL 6689228 (Nov. 3, 2015).

    As lead appellate counsel, presented oral argument and submitted briefs that persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to reverse summary judgment against investment adviser’s general counsel in the first litigated insider trading case involving fund shares, SEC v. Bauer, 723 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2013). On remand to the trial court, obtained summary judgment dismissing the remainder of the case, 2014 WL 4267412 (Aug. 29, 2014).

    Represented executive at a major financial services firm in written and oral submissions that resulted in an SEC “closing letter” terminating investigation as to client without charges in matter involving the structuring and marketing of several collateralized debt obligation transactions, Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., 2013 WL 6503674 (December 12, 2013).

    Achieved successful settlement for outside directors of Morgan Keegan-related funds on the eve of trial in an SEC administrative proceeding involving valuation of debt securities lacking readily available market quotations, Matter of Alderman, 2013 WL 2646182 (June 13, 2013).

  • Awards and Recognition


    Seminars and Presentations