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Securities Enforcement Defense Practice

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We bring our trial-focused approach to our Securities Enforcement Defense Practice.  From the moment a client is first contacted by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, PCAOB, or other federal or state regulator, our team is committed to putting the government to its burden of proof, finding creative solutions and methods to drive the investigation to a swift resolution, and, when necessary, fighting all the way through trial.

Our deep experience with the SEC means that we know how to help clients—including issuers, investment advisers, broker-dealers, private funds, directors, and senior executives—get the best results in the evolving SEC enforcement and regulatory regime.  We  know how to craft the best narrative, while also maintaining credibility with regulators, and we have earned the right to be aggressive to advance our client’s interests.  We are not constrained by the “standard playbook”—we look for opportunities to do the unexpected, to challenge the regulator’s assumptions, to seize control of the narrative from day one, and to proactively address the issues.  We advocate for our clients’ interests, rather than simply react to the regulator’s demands.  We do not hesitate to escalate matters to senior supervisors and frequently draw on our hands-on understanding of the SEC’s internal mechanics and dynamics to our clients’ advantage.

One of our greatest assets is our independence.  We focus singularly on the matter at hand and zealously advocate for our clients without regard to the next deal or the next investigation.  Likewise, we are able to ask the hard questions about corporate counsel’s work and review relevant documents from the regulator’s perspective.  A client deserves a lawyer who, like the regulators investigating, has some distance from the relevant transactions and can make an objective, experienced judgment about the best strategy, witnesses, and approach to meet the client’s needs.  We are able to hit the ground running when asked to step in during any phase of the investigation or litigation, and are frequently brought on in the middle or even towards the conclusion of an investigation to change the trajectory in our clients’ favor. 

Quinn Emanuel’s Securities Enforcement Practice is led by former senior SEC officers and trial lawyers and draws from our deep bench of white-collar defense attorneys and former senior criminal prosecutors, along with the firm’s securities and private fund litigators.  We are able to nimbly navigate the legal and institutional challenges of parallel criminal and SEC investigations.  And when the investigation has an international component, QE’s cross-border practice is unparalleled.  In particular, we have extensive experience defending investigations on behalf of China-based issuers and Canadian issuers, investment advisers, and hedge funds.  Our firm’s global reach allows us to capably handle foreign and domestic criminal and regulatory investigations.

Our results speak for themselves.  We have successfully defended inquiries into financial and accounting fraud, violations of the Investment Advisers and Investment Company Act, broker-dealer regulation, cybersecurity breaches, FCPA matters, and securities registration violations.  We also have extensive experience with cryptocurrency and digital assets-related investigations, insider trading and market manipulation cases, and a variety of other securities-related matters.  We are also on the forefront of unfolding enforcement focus on ESG disclosures, Regulation Best Interest, and SPACs.

We have achieved favorable outcomes at every stage—informal inquiries, advocacy before agency decision-makers, and, of course, at trial.  This is one of the many reasons why securities market participants turn to us when they find themselves in the cross-hairs of federal and state regulators.

We also have a robust compliance and advisory practice, focused on helping our clients stay out of trouble, including with regard to insider trading compliance, cryptocurrencies and digital asset regulation, ESG disclosures, whistleblower compliance, and AML/BSA compliance.  We work with clients to navigate SEC, FINRA, and PCAOB examinations and inspections and provide seasoned advice on how to remediate issues uncovered during examinations, internal inspections, and audits.  Compliance issues often arise unexpectedly and are highly disruptive to a company; here, we are able to apply a softer approach, working with our clients to keep their house clean, never losing sight of the goal of resolving the issues efficiently and preventing them from progressing to an investigation.

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Recent Representations

  • Represent CFO of company that went public in a SPAC transaction in SEC investigative and securities class action.
  • Represent digital asset platform in SEC investigation that platform issued tokens that were unregistered securities. Obtained Closing Letter from SEC staff.
  • Represent investment consultant in SEC investigation into collapse of multi-billion financial product.
  • Represent public company in SEC investigation into subsidiary investment advisor for allegations of improper payments and financial reporting. Obtained complete declination from Enforcement for public company.
  • Represent CEO of publicly listed company in SEC investigation into financial reporting.
  • Represent executive of publicly listed company in SEC Wells process stemming from violations of antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.
  • Represent Chairman of the Board in SEC investigation into alleged market manipulation and insider trading.
  • Represent hedge fund in SEC and DOJ parallel investigation into alleged short and distort.
  • Represent investor defrauded by investment adviser in connection with potential private causes of action under Investment Advisers Act and Investment Company Act.
  • Represent large institutional asset manager in SEC investigations into digital tokens in which manager’s funds are invested.
  • Represent principal of binary options firm in SEC and DOJ fraud investigation.
  • Represent real estate mortgage finance firm and its principals in SEC investigation that real estate interests were unregistered securities and fraud allegations. QE was hired at the Wells Submission and negotiated substantially favorable resolution.
  • Represent music industry executive in SEC investigation into a business partner’s financial reporting.
  • Represent a multi-billion asset manager in SEC examination and investigation into portfolio trading practices.
  • Represent asset manager in SEC examination after Exam staff arrived at findings that indicated serious misconduct. Resolved examination with no referral to Enforcement.
  • Represent international issue in SEC investigation into statements made during IPO.
  • Represented large retail financial institution in SEC investigation into potential violations of the Safeguards Rule following a data breach. Resolved with no enforcement action.
  • Represent CEO of publicly traded company and its affiliates in SEC investigation into financial reporting and accounting issues.
  • Represent large communication platform in SEC litigation that platform issued unregistered tokens.
  • Represent regional broker-dealer in FINRA investigation and litigation concerning alleged violations of FINRA membership rules and reporting requirements.
  • Represent principal of overseas trading firm in SEC investigation and litigation alleging that business participated in “pump and dump” scheme.
  • Represent public companies and hedge funds in SEC insider trading investigations.
  • Represent hedge funds in ongoing compliance advice assessing material non-public information and other aspects of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
  • Represented CEO and COO in SEC investigation into allegations of accounting and financial reporting violations.
  • Represent Canadian asset manager in SEC investigation concerning accuracy of statements in offering materials. Coordinated closely with parallel OSC investigation.
  • Represent company and CEO in SEC investigation into whether token offering was an unregistered offering of securities.
  • Represent former portfolio manager of large asset manager in litigation against the SEC concerning reporting of expense reimbursement.
  • Represent CEO of large credit reporting agency in Congressional and regulatory investigations following highly publicized data breach.
  • Represent digital asset software development company in SEC investigation that associated token is an unregistered security.
  • Represent FTSE 100 company in SEC investigation into potential disclosure and financial reporting issues.
  • Represent Silicon Valley public company in SEC investigative sweep into consequences of the Solar Winds hack.
  • Represent large manufacturing company in SEC investigation into financial reporting metrics. Obtained closing letter from Enforcement staff.
  • Represent international public company in SEC investigation concerning wide ranging accounting and financial reporting issues.
  • Represent municipality in SEC investigation into disclosures and financial reporting in bond offering materials.
  • Represent online broker-dealer in multiple FINRA investigations and examinations and SEC investigation into compliance with various FINRA and SEC reporting and trading rules.
  • Represent managing director of large venture capital fund in conjunction with SEC investigation into portfolio company on which board director sat.
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