Keith F. Higgins
Chair, Securities & Governance Practice
Keith Higgins is a member of Ropes & Gray’s corporate department and chair of the securities & governance practice.
Keith rejoined the firm in 2017, after having served as Director of Corporation Finance at the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission since 2013. While in that role, Keith led the Division’s implementation of significant rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). He also led the Division’s Disclosure Effectiveness project and oversaw the issuance of significant interpretive guidance to companies and investors under the federal securities laws.
Prior to serving at the SEC, Keith had for more than 30 years been counseling public companies in securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, compliance and corporate governance. Keith advises companies, their boards, and investors on matters with the SEC, including disclosure and financial statements, no-action letters, as well as SEC enforcement actions and related internal investigations.
While in private practice, Keith was recognized by Chambers, Best Lawyers, and other publications as a leading corporate and M&A lawyer in Massachusetts and nationwide.
- Co-author, “A Fresh Look at Exclusive Forum Provisions,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (May 28, 2019)
- Quoted, “3 Takeaways From SEC's Trim To Company Disclosure Rules,” Law360 (March 28, 2019)
- Quoted, “Government Shutdown Will Impact IPOs, Mergers, Activist Campaigns,” The Deal (January 8, 2019)
- Quoted, “Firm Tied to Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur Faces SEC Investigation,” The Wall Street Journal (November 15, 2018)
- Co-author, “Implementing Internal Controls in Cyberspace—Old Wine, New Skins,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (November 19, 2018)
- Quoted, “How Midterm Elections Will Impact Proxy Advisers, Activists,” The Deal (November 5, 2018)
- Quoted, “SEC Presses Companies for Details in Combating Investor Advocacy,” Bloomberg BNA’s Securities Regulation & Law Report (October 26, 2018)
- Co-author, “Merging Faster: A New Structure for Merger of Equals or Other Large Stock-for-Stock Public Mergers,” Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law (September 24, 2018)
- Quoted, “Move to Semiannual Reporting Would Benefit Small Companies the Most,” The Wall Street Journal (September 4, 2018)
- Quoted, “Activist Spotlight: Proxy Advisers In Heated Battle on Capitol Hill,” The Deal (July 12, 2018)
- Quoted, “SEC dodges accelerated filer definitions,” International Financial Law Review (July 12, 2018)
- Quoted, “The SEC's Big Cryptocurrency Speech: 5 Things to Know,” Fortune (June 15, 2018)
- Quoted, “Is the SEC Gunning for Ethereum and Ripple? Fat Chance,” Fortune (May 1, 2018)
- Co-author, “Dunkin’ Brands and SEC Economic Relevance Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (March 11, 2018)
- Author, “SEC Allows Exclusion of Conflicting Proposals on Special Meeting Thresholds – With a Twist,” Columbia University Law School “Blue Sky Blog” (March 7, 2018)
- Author, “Excluding Shareholder Proposals: When Ratification Creates a Direct Conflict,” Columbia University Law School “Blue Sky Blog” (January 15, 2018)
- Quoted, “Disclosure Effectiveness Weakened By Complicated Ownership,” Financial Executives International (January 3, 2018)
- Featured, “Q&A with an expert: Keith F. Higgins goes inside SEC disclosure regulations,” The Corporate Counsel (December 5, 2017)
- Author, “Ropes & Gray Discusses U.S. Treasury’s Report on Capital Markets,” Columbia University Law School “Blue Sky Blog” (October 20, 2017)
- Author, “Finding Common Ground on Shareholder Proposals,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (October 3, 2017)
- Author, “Is It Time to Retire Form S-8?,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (September 2017)
- Author, “The Upside And (Possible) Downside Of IPO Filing Flexibility,” Law360 (August 28, 2017)
- JD, summa cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1982
- MA, University of Virginia, 1975; Thomas Jefferson Foundation Fellow in American History
- BA, Florida State University, 1973; Phi Beta Kappa