Securities Enforcement & Litigation

We defend and counsel clients in complex government investigations, enforcement proceedings, and related litigation anywhere in the world.

Overview

Our attorneys offer enforcement and litigation services that address all aspects of securities-related litigation. We’ve successfully defended businesses and their officers, directors, and professionals in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, health care, information technology, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail, accounting and auditing.

We have defended clients before the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other federal and state securities and financial regulators.  Our attorneys have also represented clients in regulatory enforcement investigations and trials, including in joint DOJ-SEC cases, and E.U. or other international financial regulatory matters.  We are well versed in the regulations, policies, and processes of these agencies and offer our clients the experience and judgment needed to secure successful outcomes in matters before them.

We also conduct internal investigations and evaluate possible claims and defenses for our clients. We regularly counsel clients to develop, implement, and administer internal compliance programs designed to prevent potential violations and have helped dozens of clients improve or establish appropriate internal compliance programs to address clients’ specific risks and needs.

Our team includes former federal prosecutors, SEC enforcement attorneys, and seasoned trial lawyers who have conducted dozens of investigations, trials, and arbitrations all over the United States and internationally.

Additional Specialties

Experience

  • Successfully represented former Chairman and CEO of public healthcare company in a civil lawsuit brought by the SEC alleging the client disclosed material inside information to someone outside the company who then traded securities based on that information. SEC dismissed case with prejudice after losing multiple pre-trial motions.

    • Successfully represented the lead audit partner of a Big Four accounting firm in an SEC investigation into the audit of a large global banking firm’s accounting treatment of certain entities and instruments involving the Argentine financial crisis of 2001; no claims were filed against the client.
    • Successfully represented the independent consultant for UBS AG in a DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreement and SEC Cease and Desist Order to ensure that UBS executed on undertakings to discontinue providing prohibited services to US taxpayers.
  • Successfully concluded a multi-year DOJ investigation involving criminal allegations of multi-million dollar kickbacks, bribes, and false claims that ended in a small, civil settlement.

  • Represented the chief executive officer of a US-based oil drilling company in a joint DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation into payments made by the company in connection with its operations in Africa and South America.

    • Successfully represented an officer of an Ecuadoran subsidiary of a Swiss company with significant US operations in a joint DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation into payments made by the subsidiary in connection with the award of a major government contract in Ecuador; no charges were brought against the client.
  • Represented the chief compliance officer of the broker-dealer subsidiary of a major financial services firm in a FINRA investigation involving late trading and market timing allegations.

  • Met with Department of Defense suspension and debarment officials and persuaded them that a client was a “responsible government contractor” following the announcement of a securities fraud settlement with the SEC.

    • Successfully represented an assistant general counsel of a regional broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation into sales practices involving variable annuities; no charges were brought against the client.
  • Defended lawyer in formal SEC investigation arising out of work on bond deals resulting in a consent order.

  • Obtained a $7.6 million jury verdict on behalf of a family owned c-corp in a suit against the CEO and CFO of a publically traded company for fraud in the sale of the individuals’ personal shares of the company. Judgment was affirmed on appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Obtained an arbitration award of $3 million for the rescission of a securities purchase agreement based on the seller’s breach of a simultaneously executed marketing agreement.

  • Persuaded United States District Court for the District of Minnesota to dismiss a declaratory judgment action brought under Section 12(g) of The Exchange Act of 1934 based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Because our client, a publicly-traded corporation, did not have a private right of action to compel the plaintiff to register with the SEC, the court did not have jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment action by the plaintiff seeking a ruling that it had no obligation to register its shares.

  • Represent alleged insider trader/tippee in parallel civil and criminal investigations by the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

  • Represent former Chairman/CEO of public healthcare company in action brought by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) alleging client disclosed material inside information.

  • Represented a group of shareholders in a breach of contract action involving a contractual obligation to maintain an active shelf registration for their benefit. After obtaining summary judgment on liability as a result of a suspension of the shelf registration, we appealed the damages award to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which certified the case to the Supreme Court of Delaware for a determination of the appropriate measure of damages. After argument in the Supreme Court of Delaware, that Court issued an opinion supporting our position for application of a novel measure of damages. The Delaware opinion resulted in the damages award being reversed by the Eleventh Circuit and remanded to the District Court.

  • Represented a private investor in a 10b-5 claim, alleging churning and lack of suitability, in a two-week jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia resulting in a jury verdict against two broker-dealers.

  • Represented alleged tippee in insider trading enforcement action by SEC.

  • Represented attorneys in 10b-5/fraud action arising out of a Ponzi Scheme in South Florida. After defeating class certification, the case settled on favorable terms.

  • Represented executive of public company in SEC and Department of Justice FCPA investigation.  No charges were filed against executive.

  • Represented executives of broker-dealer in SEC investigation regarding potential misappropriation of client funds.  No criminal charges or civil enforcement action sought against executives.

  • Represented public company in response to informal SEC inquiries alleging fraudulent statements in SEC filings.  No formal order of investigation was issued.

  • Successfully defended a commodities brokerage firm and its agent in a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against allegations of misleading a buyer in the exercise of a commodities hedge account.

  • Successfully defended public accounting firm in response to informal SEC inquiries alleging accounting improprieties. No formal order of investigation was issued.

  • Successfully defended public company in response to informal SEC inquiries alleging fraudulent statements in SEC filings. No formal order of investigation was issued.

  • Successfully defended executive in SEC/DOJ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation. No charges were filed against executive.

  • Successfully represented executives of broker-dealer in SEC investigation regarding potential misappropriation of client funds. No criminal charges or civil enforcement action against executives.

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