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Bracewell's White Collar practice represents corporations, officers, directors, corporate committees, private equity firms, broker-dealers, hedge funds and other institutional investors facing government enquiries and investigations. We defend clients before agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the New York State Attorney General, and in parallel and congressional investigations.

Our securities enforcement team is anchored by two partners who have the invaluable experience of having served as both DOJ prosecutors and SEC enforcement attorneys. With additional experience as former prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the New York (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office, and other agencies, our team defends clients with an insider’s view of how governments prosecute cases. We work closely with our firm’s Broker-Dealer practice, which serves large clearing firms, global prime brokerage service firms, ATS, electronic institutional brokerage firms, high-frequency trading operations, and institutional sales and trading firms.

When facing suspected misconduct or in order to strengthen their regulatory compliance systems, we are retained by corporations to conduct internal investigations, audit corporate policies and procedures, design corporate compliance programs, and conduct compliance training.

When companies and individuals face an imminent government inquiry or enforcement action, we serve as their first line of defense amidst allegations of wrongdoing. Our attorneys are versed in representing clients across the full range of enforcement allegations, including securities fraud, insider trading, mail/wire fraud, financial accounting fraud, market timing and manipulation, money laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, tax offenses, stock option backdating and sales, and misrepresentations to investors.

Selected Experience

  • Represent a global financial institution and broker dealer in connection with regulatory investigations by FINRA, the SEC and DOJ, as well as conduct numerous internal investigations related to same.
  • Represent a multi-national broker dealer in connection with parallel SEC and DOJ investigations in connection with various trading strategies and alleged misrepresentations to clients.
  • Represent the operator of an institutional electronic brokerage in connection with an SEC regulatory investigation alleging violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
  • Represent an inter-dealer broker in a FINRA enforcement proceeding into alleged violations of the federal securities laws.
  • Represented a large natural gas producer involved in hydraulic fracturing in connection with an SEC and DOJ accounting inquiry, which was closed within 90 days.
  • Represent the chief financial officer of a public company under investigation for accounting fraud and manipulation of financial statements and SEC filings.
  • Represent several hedge fund managers in connection with criminal and SEC insider trading investigations.
  • Represented a major energy company in the New York State Attorney General's investigation of public disclosures relating to climate change, resulting in no charges.
  • Represented a significant hedge fund in connection with the New York State Attorney General's "pay-to-play" investigations and prosecutions.
  • Represented an attorney under investigation by the Department of Justice for engaging in securities fraud.
  • Represented an individual under investigation by the SEC concerning penny stock transactions and corporate identity theft.
  • Represented a principal investor in connection with a criminal inquiry for orchestrating a fraudulent initial public offering.
  • Served as lead counsel to a large U.S. broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation into compliance with an emergency short-sale order.
  • Represented an options trader from a large foreign bank in a FINRA investigation. The client was accused of mismarking their book and was fired by their employer, a bank, who then self-reported to FINRA. Our client was completely absolved of these allegations, while the bank was forced to pay a fine of $650,000.
  • Selected to prepare comment letters for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Compliance and Regulatory Policy Committee on FINRA’s supervision proposal and communications with the public proposal. SIFMA is comprised of some true “power players” in the industry, and the firm was honored to have been selected to prepare these comment letters.