Ghillaine A. Reid Partner

Ghillaine is a member of the firm's Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation practice group, and Co-Head of the Broker-Dealer practice for the Financial Institutions Industry Team.

She focuses her practice on government and securities regulatory investigations, financial services litigation, commercial litigation and corporate compliance. Drawing on her experience in government service and private practice, Ghillaine regularly represents corporations and individuals in investigations conducted by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other government and regulatory agencies. Ghillaine has successfully defended several high profile SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings involving a wide range of significant issues, including insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation and broker-dealer sales practice violations. Prior to entering private practice, Ghillaine was a Branch Chief and Staff Attorney in the New York Regional Office of the Securities & Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, where she investigated and litigated a wide range of securities enforcement matters. 

Ghillaine also represents clients in complex financial services and commercial litigations matters, in both federal and state courts. She has achieved favorable outcomes in cases involving fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and tortious interference. She has also successfully defended clients in large scale arbitration proceedings, both through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the American Arbitration Association. 

Ghillaine is a frequent speaker on issues concerning securities law, government investigations and corporate compliance.


Represented a relief defendant in an SEC enforcement action filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that the defendant traded stock based on material, non-public information regarding ImClone Systems, Inc.

Represented a New York City direct access brokerage firm in a FINRA enforcement investigation regarding the company’s accounting and disclosure of travel and entertainment expenditures. After a lengthy investigation, we made a written Wells submission to FINRA which was followed by several oral presentations outlining our defensive position.

Represented the Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Financial Officer of a New York City brokerage firm and its related investment advisory firm in connection with an investigation conducted by the New York Office of the SEC regarding the firm’s sales practices.

Represented a branch manager and compliance officer of a major St. Louis, Missouri brokerage firm in a FINRA investigation involving allegations of misappropriation of client funds. No enforcement proceedings were instituted against the branch manager or the compliance officer. We later assisted the firm in reconstituting its compliance procedures concerning the disbursement of funds from client accounts.

Defended a prominent investor in an insider trading investigation conducted by the Philadelphia Office of the SEC.

Represented a trader and compliance officer for the brokerage arm of a major bank in an investigation by the Atlanta Office of the SEC concerning compliance procedures with respect to fixed income trading.

Represented several fiduciaries in a wide range of securities related litigation matters, including: a Securities Investor Protection Act trustee in connection with the liquidation of a defunct New York City brokerage and investment advisory firm that was sued by the SEC for defrauding the firm's investors.

Represented the Belgian affiliate of a major accounting firm, and certain of its audit partners, in a federal securities fraud action filed by a hedge fund which alleged that the accounting firm and the auditors were responsible for losses suffered by the fund following the precipitous drop in the share price of a stock that the fund owned.

Represented the FDIC in its capacity as the Receiver for a failed bank and succeeded on a motion to dismiss shareholder derivative claims instituted by the bank's investors for lack of standing, among other grounds.

Defended a New Jersey based broker-dealer and its CEO in a lawsuit filed by its clearing firm to recoup losses that it allegedly incurred from certain trades in foreign securities executed by the brokerage firm. Succeeded on a hybrid motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment and all claims against my clients were dismissed.

Defended a senior employee of a major pharmaceutical company in a state court action alleging, among other things, claims of fraud and misrepresentation in connection with his alleged offer and sale of certain investment funds. Served as lead counsel, and developed and executed the litigation defense strategy throughout the lengthy discovery, motion practice, and trial (served as first chair). The action was resolved through a complete defense verdict.

Represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a privately-held New York company that was poised for an initial public offering. Led an internal investigation concerning the propriety of, and accounting for, certain shipping transactions which came under scrutiny by the Board during the company's preparation for the offering.

Represented the Audit Committee of a publicly traded bank in connection with the propriety of certain expenses incurred by the Bank’s CEO which were submitted to the bank for payment, as well as other business activities of the CEO.

Represented the Independent Monitor for a financial services firm, in connection with the firm’s compliance with the terms of the Global Research Analyst Settlement which resolved SEC actions against several major investment banks.

  • Boston University, School of Law, JD, Case and Note Editor, Probate Law Journal, 1995
  • Boston University, BA, Political Science, cum laude, Dean’s List, 1992

Former Co-Chair, American Bar Association Securities Litigation Committee, Co-Chair, 2011-2014

Association of SEC Alumnae

Securities Litigation Committee, New York City Bar

The American Law Institute (ALI)

  • Moderator, "Broker/Dealer Compliance Officer Roundtable," Broker/Dealer Regulation and Enforcement 2018, Practising Law Institute (PLI), October 16, 2018
  • Faculty, "Securities Law and Practice 2018: How the SEC Works," Practising Law Institute, Practising Law Institute, New York, NY, New York, NY, New York, NY, October 15, 2018
  • Moderator, "Broker/Dealer Compliance Officer Roundtable," PLI Broker/Dealer Regulation and Enforcement 2017, New York, NY, October 17, 2017
  • Panelist, "Hot Topics in Securities Enforcement ," SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Charlotte Regional Seminar, September 2017
  • Panelist, "Everyday Legal Ethical Issues," Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar, March 20, 2017
  • Speaker, "Ethical Issues for Legal and Compliance Officers – Trends, Developments & Strategies," SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society New York Regional Seminar, November 2, 2016
  • Speaker, "The Known Unknowns: An Update from the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations," Investment Company Institute 2016 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, Orlando, Florida, March 13-16, 2016
  • Speaker, "Are you Ready? Practical strategies when assessing how best to respond to government investigations," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Symposium, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 29, 2015
  • Speaker, "Managing Costs of Government Investigations," American Conference Institute, New York, New York, October 24, 2013
  • Speaker, "Broker/Dealer Regulation and Enforcement 2013," Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York, October 23, 2013
  • Panelist, "Government Investigations: Navigating Your Pathway to a Reasonable Resolution," National Bar Association, New York, New York, June 14, 2013
  • Speaker, "The Evolving Role of the SEC: How to Anticipate, Read and Respond to the Current Regulatory Environment," American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Chicago, Illinois, April 26, 2013
  • Speaker, "Handling a Securities Case 2013: From Investigation to Trial and Everything in Between, The Investigation," Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York, April 25, 2013
  • Speaker, "Hon. Theodore T. Jones, Jr. Trial Workshop," Metropolitan Black Bar Association, New York, New York, April 13, 2013
  • Speaker, "The Investigation: Coordinating Requests From Government Regulators," Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York, April 26, 2012
  • Panelist, "The Intangible Elements of Litigation," The Metropolitan Black Bar Association, New York, New York, March 8, 2012
  • Panelist, "Minority Women Litigators: Experiences in the Courtroom and Beyond," New York City Bar Association, New York, New York, October 25, 2011
  • Speaker, "Government Initiatives and Perspectives/How to Deal Effectively With the Government," Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York, September 20, 2011
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Honored as Litigation Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018

Honoree, 25 Influential Black Women in Business, The Network Journal, 2018

Named to “New York Super Lawyers,” Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013, 2016

Profiled in “Attorneys at the Top,” The Network Journal, February 2013

Honored by Best Buddies® New York, Women With a Mission Celebration, 2012

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