The securities environment has become more challenging, subjecting companies to increased oversight, regulation and enforcement and requiring skilled counsel to navigate clients through the potential minefield they face. Dechert’s securities enforcement team has the skill and experience to assist clients with compliance and effectively resolving investigations, enforcement actions and lawsuits. Our breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding of industry practices, the relevant statutes, rules and regulations and our years of practical securities law experience enable us to develop the most effective strategies to protect our clients’ interests and limit their exposure.
Broad Representation and Skilled Counsel
Dechert represents clients in arbitration and civil litigation, nonpublic regulatory investigations, disciplinary hearings, inquiries and enforcement proceedings before federal and state securities regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Department of Justice, self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and state regulators and all of the major stock exchanges as well as securities divisions of the various states. We have also handled inquiries commenced by regulators in the UK, France, Germany, Russia and Hong Kong.
Many of our lawyers worked in government enforcement before joining Dechert, including former U.S. Attorneys, former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, former Assistant District Attorneys and seasoned securities trial lawyers. In addition, we draw on Dechert’s deep strength with respect to securities offerings, financial institutions, investment advisers, public and other market constituencies in providing advanced and efficient advice. As a result, our advice is keenly attuned to the unique aspects of securities enforcement, enabling us to resolve many matters at the nonpublic investigative phase before a regulator even initiates a public enforcement action. We also frequently assist clients in reaching favorable settlements with regulators, avoiding litigation and the attendant risks, expense and adverse publicity.
Our experience informs our strategy, establishes our credibility with government officials and fosters efficiency. It is this experience that Dechert’s lawyers bring to the representation of:
- Mutual fund complexes and broker-dealers and in state and federal investigations regarding disclosure issues, use of derivatives, market timing, late trading and revenue sharing arrangements, as well as compliance, performance reporting and other matters that routinely arise from SEC inspections and examinations
- Broker-dealers in investigations of issues relating to underwritings, trading and sales practices
- Audit and special litigation committees in conducting internal investigations regarding alleged accounting improprieties and other alleged corporate misconduct
- Public companies in investigations involving disclosure, accounting and governance issues
- Senior officials of public companies and major financial institutions in SEC enforcement proceedings regarding insider trading, revenue recognition, accounting issues, options backdating and selective disclosure
Our securities enforcement lawyers have effectively represented clients in matters covering a wide range of issues arising out of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, state securities laws and SEC, SRO, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) rules and the array of new matters arising out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation.
Internal Investigations and Risk Management
We are also experienced in conducting internal investigations designed to assist companies, boards of directors and board committees in preventing and addressing shareholder demands, agency actions, reducing the risk of liability, government enforcement actions, derivative litigation and securities litigation.