Securities

WilmerHale’s securities practice of more than 200 lawyers offers premier enforcement, litigation and regulatory capabilities, and is widely recognized for its experience in all aspects of capital markets, investment management, broker-dealer and financial services regulation.

Recognized for providing “superior levels of service response time, business acumen, securities law expertise, and strength and depth of team” (Legal 500 US 2013), and “widely considered to be a market leader with outstanding expertise and knowledge of the securities regulatory arena” (Chambers USA 2013), WilmerHale has played a central role in a number of prominent US federal and state securities investigations and regularly represents companies, directors and senior management in governmental and internal investigations. On behalf of committees of outside directors, we conducted the investigations of Enron, Qwest, and WorldCom, and we represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) UnitedHealth options backdating inquiry. For every high-profile securities investigation we have handled, there are many others in which we represented the company or an officer with no charges made.

Our team has earned a national reputation—based on our defense of major class actions—as a leading defender of individuals and companies named in federal or state court by private litigants. We have handled the full spectrum of securities litigation matters, from cases relating to IPO allocation practices, excessive management fees, mutual fund market timing, insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation and insurance sales practices, to challenges to our clients’ business judgment in derivative actions, corporate control contests, proxy fights and other corporate governance disputes.

Our enforcement and litigation capabilities are complemented by our strength in all aspects of securities regulation. Our broker-dealer, financial services and investment management lawyers have navigated some of the most complex regulatory challenges faced by domestic and international market participants, and have played a pivotal role providing regulatory advice to clients—including investment banks, investment advisers and companies, as well as hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles—in the current financial crisis.

Our clients rely on the valuable insight of a team of seasoned lawyers who have many years of experience working on the most complex securities matters. Among this experienced group, we count a former SEC Director of Enforcement, a former Chief Litigation Counsel for the Division of Enforcement of the SEC, a former Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the SEC, a former Regional Director of the Pacific Regional Office of the SEC, a former SEC General Counsel and SEC Deputy General Counsel and a former Chief Counsel of the Division of Economic Analysis, now the Division of Market Oversight, and a former General Counsel at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

WilmerHale’s securities practice of more than 200 lawyers offers premier enforcement, litigation and regulatory capabilities, and is widely recognized for its experience in all aspects of capital markets, investment management, broker-dealer and financial services regulation.

Recognized for providing “superior levels of service response time, business acumen, securities law expertise, and strength and depth of team” (Legal 500 US 2013), and “widely considered to be a market leader with outstanding expertise and knowledge of the securities regulatory arena” (Chambers USA 2013), WilmerHale has played a central role in a number of prominent US federal and state securities investigations and regularly represents companies, directors and senior management in governmental and internal investigations. On behalf of committees of outside directors, we conducted the investigations of Enron, Qwest, and WorldCom, and we represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) UnitedHealth options backdating inquiry. For every high-profile securities investigation we have handled, there are many others in which we represented the company or an officer with no charges made.

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Contacts

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McLucas, William R.

William R. McLucas

Chair, Securities Department

+1 202 663 6622 (t)

william.mclucas@wilmerhale.com

Avakian, Stephanie

Stephanie Avakian

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 212 230 8845 (t)

stephanie.avakian@wilmerhale.com

Davison_Doug_lo.jpg

Douglas J. Davison

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 202 663 6690 (t)

douglas.davison@wilmerhale.com

Robinson, Andrea J.

Andrea J. Robinson

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 617 526 6360 (t)

andrea.robinson@wilmerhale.com

Experience

We bring unparalleled breadth and depth of experience to matters involving the securities markets. Our team includes former officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK.

Our approach is collaborative. Combining our diverse expertise into pragmatic solutions, together we have:

  • Counseled clients in hundreds of matters before the DOJ, SEC, NASD, NYSE, AMEX, state regulators and Congress, in the past five years alone
  • Defended more than 300 separate securities and market conduct class actions in the last decade
  • Established, registered and represented more than 200 open-end and closed-end funds with a wide variety of investment objectives and policies, including the representation of nine closed-end investment companies in initial public offerings in 2003 and 2004 with total proceeds of over $4.6 billion in the last 18 months
  • Served as counsel to over 70 mutual fund groups, over 50 registered investment advisers, over 50 broker-dealers and over 50 hedge fund managers
  • Navigated some of the most complex regulatory issues facing capital market issuers, underwriters, broker-dealers, investment companies and advisers, and other domestic and international market participants

Publications & News

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April 22, 2014

SEC To Examine Cybersecurity Preparedness at More Than 50 Registered Broker-dealers and Investment Advisers

On April 15, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a "Risk Alert" announcing steps being taken to assess cybersecurity preparedness in the securities sector.

April 22, 2014

SEC Staff Issues First Set of FAQs on Rule 15c3-5, Risk Management Controls for Brokers or Dealers with Market Access

On April 15, 2014, the Staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets issued its first set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Rule 15c3-5 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

April 16, 2014

Whistleblower Working Group Members Publish Series on Mitigating Risks under Dodd-Frank Act

Members of WilmerHale's Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Working Group recently published an article series in the January and April editions of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report.

April 14, 2014

Attorneys Caught in the Ethical Crosshairs: Secretkeepers as Bounty Hunters
Under the SEC Whistleblower Rules

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the April 14, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 46, No. 711.

April 8, 2014

WilmerHale Shortlisted for Chambers USA Award for Excellence in IP, Securities and Financial Services Regulation

WilmerHale's Intellectual Property and Securities Departments, and its IP Litigation, Securities Litigation and Enforcement, Broker-Dealer and Financial Institutions Groups have received special recognition by Chambers USA as part of this year's Awards for Excellence program.

April 4, 2014

Some prefer litigation when the SEC calls

An article by Michael Mugmon and Chris Johnstone, published in the April 4, 2014 edition of The Daily Journal.

April 2, 2014

Best Lawyers Recognizes WilmerHale Women Lawyers

For the past twenty years, Best Lawyers has published the special edition of “The Best Lawyers in America,” the nation’s oldest peer-reviewed lawyer publication.

March 27, 2014

Yoon-Young Lee Named a “Minority Business Leader” by the Washington Business Journal

The Washington Business Journal named Partner Yoon-Young Lee to its 7th annual "Minority Business Leaders" list, which recognizes the entrepreneurial drive, creativity and success of the Greater Washington region's top minority business owners and leaders.

March 26, 2014

SEC Approves New Consolidated FINRA Supervision Rules and FINRA Establishes an Effective Date

Last week, FINRA issued a Regulatory Notice describing changes to its supervision rules and announcing an effective date of December 1, 2014.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business consistently ranks WilmerHale highly among firms nationwide for securities regulation work. "WilmerHale is widely considered to be a market leader with outstanding expertise and knowledge of the securities regulatory arena,” states the 2013 guide. Bill McLucas is recognized as a star individual, cited by clients as "the go-to guy when it comes to SEC enforcement matters” and described as “absolutely phenomenal." In addition, clients say Harry Weiss "knows the SEC and how that process works probably better than anyone in the country,"
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business also highly ranks our several of our securities litigation attorneys in the 2013 guide, calling out in Massachusetts: Andrea Robinson as a "go-to lawyer in the securities space," Jeffrey Rudman as a "revered securities litigator," John Batter as a "white-collar expert"; and Bill Paine as "one of the top commercial litigators in the state"; in New York: Fraser Hunter as "very client-friendly"; and nationally, Doug Davison as a "very smart securities litigator who understands when it is appropriate to be cost-conscious" and again, Jeff Rudman as "an encyclopedia of experience and knowledge." 
  • In the 2013 edition of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, WilmerHale Partner Drew G.L. Chapman received individual recognition for his work in hedge funds law. Clients hailed him for his “understanding of points of sensitivity for hedge funds” and say, “he provides invaluable advice and has good knowledge of our business and what we care about.”
  • The 2013 edition of The Legal 500 United States recognized our group in the alternative/hedge funds, mutual/funds and securities: shareholder litigation categories. The guide cites WilmerHale’s "superior levels of service response time, business acumen, securities law expertise, and strength and depth of team,” and acknowledges the firm’s “broad clientele,” individually recommending Bill McLucas, John Valentine and Andy Weissman.
  • In the 2014 "Best Law Firm" rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, several of WilmerHale's securities practices are ranked in the first tier nationally, as well as in Boston, New York and Washington DC. These practices include derivatives and futures law, mutual funds law, private funds/hedge funds law, securities/capital markets law, securities litigation and securities regulation. In 2011, WilmerHale was named "Law Firm of the Year" in securities litigation.
  • Fifteen securities lawyers were recognized for their work in their respective fields, and selected by peers for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2009, the guide named William McLucas "Washington DC Securities Lawyer of the Year."
  • Our group was recognized with the Corporate INTL Magazine Global Award as Securities Litigation Law Firm of the Year in California in 2013.  
  •  Daily Journal named Michael Mugmon to its prestigious “Top 20 Under 40” list, featuring California lawyers under the age of 40, selected for his service to clients and impact on the legal industry.
  • Washingtonian magazine named four WilmerHale lawyers to its “Stars of the Bar” list in 2012, including Yoon-Young Lee, William McLucas, Harry Weiss and Laura Wertheimer.
  • In 2012, Practical Law Company (PLC) recommended WilmerHale nationally in the area of investment funds: registered/mutual funds. In addition, James Anderson was recommended as a "Leading Lawyer.”
  • WilmerHale was named one of five "Securities Defense Firms of the Year” for 2009 by the editors of Law360—one of the nation’s leading publishers of legal news and information.

Volcker Rule Resources

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Banking Agencies, together with the SEC and CFTC, adopted a Final Rule to implement Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act (the Volcker Rule), which was added by Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Our Securities and Financial Institutions teams have compiled for you these relevant resources to help reinforce your understanding of the Volcker Rule.

WilmerHale Publications and Presentations

Statutory and Rule Text

Agency Statements

Federal Reserve Statements on the Volcker Rule, December 10, 2013

FDIC Statements on the Volcker Rule, December 10, 2013

OCC Statement on the Volcker Rule, December 10, 2013

SEC Statements on the Volcker Rule, December 10, 2103

CFTC Statements on the Volcker Rule, December 10, 2103