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.
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)
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
McGuireWoods’ Ghillaine Reid Honored as Litigation Trailblazer By The National Law Journal
August 6, 2018
McGuireWoods’ Ghillaine Reid Selected for Influential Black Women in Business Award
January 26, 2018