Overview

Following the 2008 financial crisis, federal regulators have gained more potent enforcement weapons — and they are actively using them. Firms that are subject to federal and self-regulatory rules now face greater risk from enforcement actions than ever before, along with the threat of private litigation, including class actions, that so often follow the commencement of an enforcement action. Our financial markets litigators have an established record of successfully protecting our clients from these attacks.

With experience leading enforcement cases for agency and industry regulators, our lawyers know what will work and what will not. Our experience and reputations, and the credibility we have established in dealings with the regulators over the years, enable us to achieve successful solutions to our clients’ enforcement problems.

We See Our Clients’ Problems as Our Own

A key to our success is that we care as deeply as our clients about getting to the right result. We recognize that the stakes are high in these cases, to both the firm and its owners and employees. Sometimes literally everything is on the line, because an adverse enforcement outcome can kill a firm. That’s why we take on our clients’ problems as our own, and why we are committed to obtaining the best resolution.

We Hit the Ground Running and Adjust to Meet the Client's Needs

We have decades of experience in the securities and futures industries. This experience gives us broad and deep knowledge of the financial markets, market structure, and trading strategies. Our immersion in the markets for so many decades means that we already have the background to understand the issues. That background enables us quickly and efficiently learn the additional details that the case requires. We use that knowledge and experience to ensure that our work meets our clients’ business objectives as well as the needs of the particular matter. We tailor our approach to meet the particular needs of the client and the case, and to adapt as circumstances change. We adjust effectively because we dig deep to learn the facts of the controversy and to understand the client’s goals.

  • Experience

    We have helped our clients avoid enforcement actions or criminal prosecution and, in cases where enforcement action was unavoidable, we have been able to minimize any penalty or associated relief. Those matters have involved a wide range of potential rule violations, including;

    • Market manipulation
    • Disruptive trading practices
    • Spoofing
    • Mis-reporting off-exchange transactions
    • False statements
    • Improper sales practices
    • Violation of customer segregated fund rules
    • Uncommercial order entry for indicative opening prices
    • Failures to supervise
    • Inadequate anti-money laundering procedures
    • FCPA violations
    • Fraudulent brokering of mortgage-backed securities trades
    • Purchase of improper mutual fund share classes for advisory clients
    • Pump and dump schemes
    • Improper allocation of private equity fund expenses

    Often we are called upon to handle the internal investigation of these matters, before or during the Government’s inquiries. Many of these matters are accompanied by follow-on litigation, including class actions. We use our superior litigation judgment and strategic approach to achieve successful outcomes, working together with our nationally recognized class action counsel in putative class actions. We also handle high-stakes litigation between firms as well as suits by firms against customers.

    Examples of successful outcomes by members of our firm include:

    • The U.S. Department of Justice informed our client that it intended to indict the client for market manipulation. We met several times with the prosecutors, both locally and in Washington D.C., and made detailed presentations to explain the client’s actions. After these presentations, the federal prosecutors decided not to bring criminal charges.
    • We successfully defended both the Chief Executive Officer and the President of a billion-dollar public holding company in an internal investigation and SEC, DOJ, and IRS investigations relating to FCPA and tax issues. Neither client was prosecuted.
    • After the SEC’s Office of Compliance and Inspections (OCIE) issued a deficiency letter to our regional brokerage firm client, we helped our client resolve OCIE’s concern with no enforcement action by counseling our client on enhancing its anti-money laundering program and making OCIE comfortable that the enhancements were satisfactory and no enforcement referral was warranted.