Independent Monitoring & Independent Consulting

Our team draws on the expertise of seven alumni of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement with more than sixty years of combined experience at every level of the agency. They include a former Executive Assistant to Chairman Shad, a former Senior Counsel for Market Regulation to Chairman Levitt, a former Associate Director (who also served as head of the SEC’s Bank Fraud Working Group, Chairman of the SEC Penny Stock Task Force and a member of the DoJ’s National Bank Fraud Working Group and Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group), three former Branch Chiefs, and two former Senior Counsels in the SEC's Division of Enforcement and a former Attorney Fellow in the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. Two of our partners also have served at the highest levels of major electronic brokerage firms, one as General Counsel and one as President, who understand the in-house perspective and regularly counsel our clients on regulatory requirements and developments.

Due to their deep expertise and experience, our lawyers have served on many occasions as independent consultants and independent monitors in the context of settlements or resolved proceedings with the SEC and DoJ. Due to the small size of our firm, we have fewer conflicts to contend with when contemplating an independent consulting or monitoring engagement. Because of our depth and our focus on delivering tailored, quality services to sophisticated clients, we are able to bring to bear on such engagements expertise that is equal or superior to that available from larger law firms.

We field nimble teams with lean structures and low overhead. We started from scratch with a singular focus on the efficient delivery of world-class legal service. We carry with us no costs attributable to organizational legacy. Our regular role as both advisor and defense counsel sharpens the focus we bring to independent consulting/monitoring work. Our counseling enhances our industry knowledge, bringing more formidable insight to our work. Our enforcement and regulatory antennae give us clear, actionable signals as we evaluate compliance with settlement agreements and Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

Looking Forward

Despite substantial changes in regulatory philosophy, particularly the DOJ’s recently amended policy regarding the selection of monitors in Criminal Division matters, we believe that regulators will continue to require independent monitors and independent consultants in settlements where the regulatory authority requires assurance that remedial measures have been implemented and are operating effectively.

The amended DOJ policy provides that the Criminal Division should favor the imposition of a monitor only where there is a demonstrated need for, and clear benefit to be derived from, a monitorship relative to the projected costs and burdens. Where a corporation’s compliance program and controls are demonstrated to be effective and appropriately resourced at the time of resolution, a monitor will likely not be necessary. A current trend is for entities to achieve reasonable compliance, through their own efforts or those of an independent third party, before entering into the actual settlement so that firms receive credit for effective remediation as part of the settlement terms.