Securities INDUSTRIES

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), and cited as "a preeminent team in the regulatory sphere complemented by a solid litigation group" (Chambers USA), 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), and cited as "a preeminent team in the regulatory sphere complemented by a solid litigation group" (Chambers USA), 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

Davies, Christopher

Christopher Davies

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 202 663 6187 (t)

christopher.davies@wilmerhale.com

Hunter Jr., Fraser L.

Fraser L. Hunter, Jr.

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 212 230 8882 (t)

fraser.hunter@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 17, 2018

President Trump to Nominate Dan Berkovitz to CFTC

President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate WilmerHale Partner Dan Berkovitz to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for the remainder of a five year term that expires April 13, 2023.

April 10, 2018

FinCEN Releases Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Customer Due Diligence and Beneficial Ownership Requirements

Last week the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued much-anticipated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that provide additional guidance to financial institutions relating to the implementation of the new Customer Due Diligence Rule (CDD Rule), set to go into effect on May 11, 2018. This client alert was also published by New York University School of Law's Compliance & Enforcement Blog.

April 2, 2018

FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed New Outside Business Activities Rule

FINRA is seeking comment on a proposed new rule, FINRA Rule 3290 (the “Proposed Rule”), which governs the outside business activities and private securities transactions of registered persons. The Proposed Rule would replace both current FINRA Rule 3270 (Outside Business Activities of Registered Persons) and current FINRA Rule 3280 (Private Securities Transactions of Associated Persons), and is intended to reduce unnecessary burdens and focus compliance resources on activities most likely to pose a risk to investors.

March 16, 2018

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, 33 WilmerHale lawyers were named among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business."

March 8, 2018

The #MeToo Movement: The Critical Role of the Board in Preparing for, Responding to and Avoiding Sexual Misconduct Allegations

As the #MeToo movement gains momentum, companies in nearly every major industry are dealing with allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment or even sexual assault—including allegations of widespread misconduct and inappropriate behavior within the upper echelons of the corporate structure.

February 23, 2018

SEC Approves Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures

On February 21, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved an interpretive release updating guidance on public company disclosure and other obligations concerning cybersecurity matters. This article was also published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

February 23, 2018

Supreme Court Articulates Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Definition in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers

On February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court held in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers that the anti-retaliation whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) apply only to those who have reported allegations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as of the time of the allegedly retaliatory conduct.

February 20, 2018

OCIE Examination Priorities 2018

This Client Alert examines the recently released 2018 examination priorities issued by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

February 15, 2018

New DOJ FCPA Enforcement Policy Raises Difficult Questions For Companies Considering Voluntary Disclosures

This New York Law Journal article by Jay Holtmeier, Erin Sloane and Jeff Habenicht highlights a few of the uncertainties and potential pitfalls that may await a company deciding whether to take the significant step of voluntarily disclosing criminal conduct to prosecutors.

February 6, 2018

2017 CFTC Year-in-Review and a Look Forward

In 2017, under the leadership of new Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) adopted a notable shift in its enforcement priorities and regulatory agenda.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business consistently ranks WilmerHale highly among firms nationwide for securities regulation and enforcement, securities litigation, and broker-dealer compliance and regulation.
    • Securities regulation and enforcement. The 2016 guide cites the firm as "very strong in regulatory enforcement” and “really top-notch.” Individually, Bill McLucas is recognized as a star individual and a “leading attorney for the most complex and high-stakes SEC investigations and enforcement actions, regularly acting on behalf of the cream of the financial services, accounting and corporate worlds;” Harry Weiss is noted as "a go-to attorney when you need someone with gravitas with the SEC" and "an excellent lawyer with a fantastically light touch;" and Meredith Cross is commended for her experience in the securities compliance and corporate governance space and “very good about being thoughtful about the various issues public companies are facing.”
    • Securities litigation. In the 2016 guide, clients say: “They're fantastic – a great, very positive experience. They're incredibly through and professional.” Several attorneys are recognized individually, calling out in Massachusetts: Andrea Robinson for her “smart practical approach and sound business judgment” and Bill Paine as “an excellent public companies and securities lawyer;” in New York: Fraser Hunter for his “experience and wisdom” and Lori Martin as having a “penetrating intellect and no-nonsense approach;” and nationally, Christopher Davies is noted as “a fantastic litigator: really, really experienced, thoughtful, and a quick study."
    • Broker dealer compliance and regulation. The 2016 edition notes our “exceptionally strong broker-dealer practice,” with sources calling our attorneys “responsive, detailed and careful” and “by far the most knowledgeable when it comes to the regulatory requirements for regulated firms.” Individually, Yoon-Young Lee is recognized for having “developed a great reputation” for her work advising broker-dealers in connection with regulatory compliance and enforcement matters, Bruce Newman is praised as “very pragmatic and practical with excellent judgment,” Andre Owens is commended for his “broad base of clients and market knowledge" and “very thoughtful and accurate work,” and Stephanie Nicolas is singled out for her "tremendous client service skills and deep understanding of regulatory issues confronting broker-dealer clients."
  • The 2015 edition of The Legal 500 United States recognized our group in the alternative/hedge funds, mutual/funds and securities: shareholder litigation categories. The guide states that our practices is "one of the best" with lawyers that are "extremely knowledgeable and responsive, providing advice that is spot on and obtaining truly remarkable results.” Individually, the guide recommends Bill McLucas, Christopher Davies, Matthew Martens, Michael Bongiorno, Fraser Hunter, Lori Martin, Andrea Robinson and Timothy Perla.
  • In the 2014 and 2015 "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.
  • 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