Regulatory Enforcement Defense

Our team includes lawyers who have held senior positions at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including a former Associate Director, Deputy Chief Litigation Counsel, three former branch chiefs, and a former Senior Counsel in the SEC's Enforcement division.

We counsel and defend individuals and entities in connection with inquiries, investigations, and civil and criminal enforcement actions initiated by various government regulatory agencies and self-regulatory organizations. We defend clients before the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other federal and state securities and financial regulators. Our lawyers have represented clients in regulatory enforcement matters involving potential violations of both U.S. and E.U. statutes or regulations conducted individually, and/or jointly, by the SEC, U.S. Department of Justice, and non-U.S. financial regulators. We are well versed in the language, regulations, rules, policies, and processes of these organizations and offer clients the experience, insights, and judgment needed to secure successful outcomes.

Our lawyers have been retained by corporations, boards of directors, and board committees to conduct internal investigations and reviews. We have also been retained by non-profit and public-sector entities requiring investigative assistance and guidance. We have conducted internal investigations covering a variety of topics, including financial fraud, recordkeeping and regulatory compliance. Our lawyers demonstrate sensitivity and discretion regarding the issues that may be encountered during internal investigations, such as confidentiality concerns, personnel privacy, and attorney-client privilege.

Our lawyers have represented corporations and individuals under investigation for, charged with, or suspected of criminal law violations, or who may be witnesses in connection with such alleged criminal violations. Our lawyers have experience defending both domestic and international criminal investigations. We have represented clients before the Department of Justice, offices of state attorneys general, and local district attorney offices.

Looking Forward

SEC Enforcement’s November 2017 “priorities” report promises a “vigorous” 2018 program that will increasingly target individuals along with their entities, demand “goal focused” sanctions “tailored” to particular situations, and increasingly rely on technology and data analytics. Recent SEC initiatives include a new Cyber Unit with expertise in cyber-intrusions, distributed ledger technology, and the dark web. The SEC has also created a Retail Strategy Task Force to ensure equal focus on Main Street and Wall Street. The SEC has committed to moving its investigations faster, particularly in view of the recent Supreme Court ruling holding the SEC to a five-year statute of limitations in disgorgement and penalty claims. Meanwhile, FINRA’s recent merger of its two enforcement teams into a single unit with a new leader – part of the “FINRA 360” self-evaluation – will likely produce new SRO enforcement approaches.