Securities Enforcement

Williams & Connolly has vast experience defending public companies, audit firms, financial institutions, senior executives, officers and directors, lawyers and various other entities and individuals in investigations and trials involving a wide range of securities, bank, financial and accounting fraud matters. These matters have included investigations initiated by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, state attorneys general, and various self-regulatory authorities, among others – both as standalone matters and as part of larger representations involving private civil litigation and criminal investigations. Firm lawyers have tried numerous cases in this area to verdict, and have represented clients on appeal. Cases handled by the firm have included allegations or charges of insider trading, securities fraud, stock option backdating, money laundering, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, and books and records violations. These representations have included many SEC enforcement actions (both in federal court and administrative proceedings) and investigations, and have covered wide-ranging allegations of securities fraud, stock option backdating, insider trading, other violations of the ’33 and ’34 Securities Acts or the regulations promulgated thereunder, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In recent years, many of these cases have involved the fallout from the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of the former CEO of a mortgage lending company in an enforcement proceeding brought by the SEC in federal district court.
  • Representation of an executive of a media company in an enforcement proceeding brought by the SEC in federal district court.
  • Representation of a senior bank official in a recent administrative enforcement matter arising out of the collapse of the mortgage market and related derivatives.
  • Representation of a “Big Four” accounting firm in an investigation arising out of accounting fraud at a national healthcare company.
  • Representation of a company in an investigation following a whistle-blower alleged accounting improprieties.
  • Representation of several law firms in investigations relating to collapses of the law firms’ clients.
  • Representation of the former CEO of an investment bank in an SEC investigation and related civil litigation involving alleged improper disclosures of various funds.  After receiving the firm’s response to the agency’s Wells Notice, the SEC elected not to proceed and dropped the case.
  • Representation of the former CEO of an international consulting firm in SEC and related securities and derivative litigation.  The SEC elected not to pursue claims and both the securities and derivative claims were dismissed and settled with the CEO paying nothing.
  • Representation of numerous other officers of major corporations in SEC investigations.


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