Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry

THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

E. Andrew Southerling

Photo of E. Andrew Southerling Andrew represents public companies, financial institutions, and individuals in civil and criminal securities investigations and enforcement actions. Andrew also advises corporate and financial services clients on developing and implementing effective compliance programs. Andrew’s representations have included civil and criminal federal court and regulatory agency enforcement actions involving financial reporting and disclosures, municipal bond underwriting, sales and trading, insider trading, high frequency trading, market manipulation, broker-dealer and investment adviser sales practices, and matters involving foreign regulators. Andrew regularly advises clients in connection with SEC and FINRA examinations and designs strategies to ensure prospective compliance with the securities rules and regulations. Prior to entering private practice, Andrew served in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, where he spearheaded some of the Division’s then most complex and high-profile investigations and enforcement actions, including matters involving public finance and the municipal bond market.

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SEC Speaks 2024: In Defense of Enforcement’s Aggressive Agenda

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
On April 2 and 3, 2024, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, Division of Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal and other senior SEC officials convened at the SEC Speaks conference held in Washington, DC to discuss the SEC’s accomplishments in fiscal year 2023 and announce its priorities for 2024. … Continue Reading

SEC Speaks 2022: Ongoing Efforts to Restore Public Trust, Aggressive Enforcement Agenda

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Securities and Commodities
Securities and Exchange Commission officials highlighted a commitment to restoring trust in the agency and aggressive enforcement during the recent SEC Speaks conference. See our alert for analysis of their comments and stated enforcement priorities, which addressed crypto markets, aggressive use of remedies, creditworthy cooperation, the Wells process, aggressive litigation, disgorgement efforts, municipal securities, gatekeeper… Continue Reading

2021 Brought SEC Focus on Crypto Exchanges and Lending Platforms

Financial Institution Regulation, Securities and Commodities
This past year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission followed through on its commitment to aggressively enforce securities laws in digital assets markets. As a result, it sharpened its focus on cryptocurrency exchanges and lending products. Read on for an overview and analysis of SEC activity in cryptocurrency and what to expect in 2022. About… Continue Reading

The Perils of Global Expansion: World’s Largest Ad Agency Sanctioned $19 Million for FCPA Violations, Insufficient Controls

Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls, Securities and Commodities
Global expansion without adequate controls is asking for trouble. That’s the lesson of a $19 million settlement between WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to an SEC order memorializing the settlement, WPP’s trouble began when… Continue Reading

Congress Affirms and Extends SEC’s Disgorgement Powers

Securities and Commodities
On January 1, 2021, the United States Senate joined the House of Representatives in overriding President Trump’s veto, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) became law. The NDAA was passed chiefly to authorize appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense. The NDAA also includes a provision codifying the U.S. Securities and Exchange… Continue Reading

The SEC Speaks 2020: Enforcement Panel Signals Full Speed Ahead Regardless of the Pandemic

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Securities and Commodities
Senior officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement convened at a virtual The SEC Speaks conference panel to discuss fiscal year 2020 enforcement results and report on enforcement priorities. To no one’s surprise, the impact of the pandemic on enforcement was a significant part of the discussion. Read our alert for… Continue Reading

Still Standing: SEC Disgorgement Survives with Limitations

Securities and Commodities
In Liu v. SEC, the Supreme Court answered the question that remained following its 2017 opinion in Kokesh v. SEC:  “whether, and to what extent, the SEC may seek ‘disgorgement’ in the first instance through its power to award ‘equitable relief’” in a federal district court action under Section 21(d)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act… Continue Reading

SEC Enforcement Co-Directors Issue Statement on Insider Trading

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Securities and Commodities
Under the leadership of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement has made the protection of Main Street investors its overarching priority.  On March 23, 2020, Division of Enforcement Co-Directors Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin issued a statement to financial market participants re-emphasizing the SEC’s commitment to safeguard the… Continue Reading

COVID-19: Securities Regulators and Industry Associations Issue Coronavirus Guidance and Relief

Compliance, Securities and Commodities
Update: Our May 21, 2020, alert provides our most recent discussion of information and guidance issued by the SEC, FINRA, MSRB and SIFMA. As the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread, the widespread impact on the markets, trading, firm operations, compliance obligations – every facet of the market, firms, and individuals working in the industry… Continue Reading

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