Leading financial institutions, funds, advisors, public companies and individuals rely on Ropes & Gray to resolve their most sensitive and pressing enforcement and regulatory matters.
We have represented clients before every SEC office, the DOJ, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the CME, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the National Futures Association (NFA) and many other self-regulatory organizations. We frequently handle matters involving:
- Auditor matters
- Broker-dealer misconduct
- Complex trading practices, including proprietary futures and derivative products
- Financial reporting, complex accounting and disclosure issues
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters
- Insider trading and expert networks
- Investment advisory fraud
- LIBOR manipulation
- Market manipulation
- Performance reporting and adviser advertising
- Residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), swaps, auction rate securities (ARS), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other complex instruments
- Stock option grant practices and allegations of back dating
- Subprime, commodity-backed mortgage and credit, and commodity default swap exposure
- Whistleblower matters
- Lead defense counsel for several of the largest private equity firms in the U.S. in significant SEC enforcement inquiries. We have also represented private equity clients in hundreds of SEC examinations.
- Represented a major public company facing numerous whistleblowers in an aggressive, multi-year SEC inquiry into alleged revenue recognition, expense and disclosure issues. We worked with accounting and industry experts to conduct our own internal reviews and were able to use those results to significantly limit the scope of the SEC’s inquiry. We kept the matter non-public and convinced the staff to close the investigation with no enforcement action.
- Represented a global clothing retailer in negotiating the first nonprosecution agreement with the SEC following its announcement of the cooperation initiative. We represented the audit committee of the retailer in connection with a massive internal investigation into accounting fraud issues that resulted in a five-year restatement of financials, the resignation of the company’s president, and an extensive self-report of issues to the staff of the SEC and U.S. Attorney’s office.
- Represented one of the world’s largest institutional money managers in investigations by the SEC and Massachusetts regulators focusing on alleged material omissions of information provided to investors regarding the funds’ exposure to the subprime mortgage market, selective disclosure to key client groups, and the use of leverage and derivative funds. The eventual settlement with the SEC and the state regulators was completed on a neither admit nor deny basis, and we were able to convince the SEC staff to drop its demand for a scienter-based claim and settle for a negligence-based charge.
- Represented a formerly multi-billion dollar hedge fund and its founder in connection with one of the largest west coast-based insider trading investigations. The case, which began as part of the SDNY’s multi-year, high-profile investigation into hedge fund research and trading, arose out of the actions of a former analyst who pled guilty and was sentenced to five years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit securities fraud. His alleged co-conspirator in the scheme was also convicted of two counts of securities fraud and conspiracy after a jury trial. We secured a negligence-based settlement with the SEC on behalf of the hedge fund and its founder.
- Represented a closed end mutual fund in the first-ever case related to manipulation of an auction for ATP stock by its issuer. We took over the representation from another firm once the SEC staff indicated that they intended to serve the company and its officers with a Wells Notice and overcame the initial demand by the SEC for a high-dollar, fraud-based settlement, achieving a settlement in principal on non-scienter based charges with little monetary impact on the fund.
A highly capable team with impressive strength in the representation of private equity firms in SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings.
Very knowledgeable in the subject matter and workings of the SEC.