Securities Enforcement & Litigation

McGuireWoods is a national leader in securities enforcement defense. With a Securities Enforcement and Litigation Team comprised of former senior SEC and FINRA enforcement attorneys and litigators, as well as high-level federal prosecutors, we are expert at managing every stage of complex securities investigations – from informal inquiries through investigations, litigation, and appeals. Our Team is at the forefront of the continually evolving issues confronting the securities industry and builds upon our decades of experience of practicing before government agencies to provide clients innovative and pragmatic counsel when the government comes calling or when faced with a corporate crisis.

Our Securities Enforcement and Litigation Team is part of our elite Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Department, which has been recognized twice as a Law360 Group of the Year, and includes members of our nationally-recognized Financial Services Litigation Department. Our Team also leverages the deep experience of the Firm’s Securities and Capital Markets and Public Finance Departments to counsel clients on the full spectrum of regulatory, compliance, and business issues arising from a government examination, investigation, and litigation. Together, we routinely conduct internal investigations and audits, and advise clients on strengthening corporate compliance and supervisory programs to stay current with the regulators on examination and enforcement priorities and to prevent recurrence of potential securities laws violations. By working collaboratively, we ensure our clients receive well-tailored advice and a comprehensive defense team to handle the many complex issues presented in government inquiries.

Our attorneys are uniquely skilled at working with regulators and agencies throughout the course of an investigation and routinely resolve matters confidentially without any action taken against our clients. We are prepared to vigorously defend our clients in enforcement proceedings and at trial, and have prevailed in complex securities litigation in federal and state courts, as well as before regulatory agencies, FINRA, and arbitration panels. For decades, our team has successfully represented clients in some of the most high-profile regulatory and enforcement cases involving securities market participants.

About Our Team

Our Securities Enforcement and Litigation Team includes:

  • Former attorneys from the SEC’s Trial Unit, Office of General Counsel, and Divisions of Enforcement and Trading and Markets
  • Former Deputy Attorney General of the United States
  • Former U.S. Attorneyand Assistant U.S. Attorneys
  • Former attorneys from FINRA’s Enforcement Department, Market Regulation, and Member Regulation
  • Former attorney from NASDAQ’s Regulatory Group
  • Former in-house counsel at the world’s leading financial institutions
  • Former State Attorneys General and Assistant Attorneys General

Representative Experience

  • Financial Reporting, Disclosures, and Internal Controls
  • Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption
  • Institutional Banking and Trading
  • Market structure and electronic trading
  • Market conduct and the anti-manipulation provisions
  • Municipal Securities Underwriting, Sales, and Trading
  • Insider Trading and Political Intelligence
  • Complex Products
  • Sales Practice Abuses
  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Firm Operations
  • Registration

How We Help

Securities Investigations

Accounting and Financial Fraud. We regularly represent audit committees, accounting firms, public companies, and their members, professionals, and executives in internal and government criminal and civil investigations involving financial reporting, disclosures, and internal controls.

Foreign Corrupt Practices and U.K. Bribery Acts. Our Team has deep expertise in all facets of FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act, and related anti-corruption laws. Our comprehensive practice ranges from full-scale internal and government investigations and enforcement defense to due diligence in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and other investment opportunities. We also conduct anti-corruption risk assessments, audits and internal investigations, and design and help to implement overall and anti-corruption-specific corporate compliance programs and training. Global Investigations Review and Just Anti-Corruption have recognized McGuireWoods as a top law firm in Washington, D.C. that handles FCPA matters.

Securities Trading.
Our attorneys routinely represent entities and individuals in investigations regarding securities trading, including insider trading, market manipulation, high frequency trading, research, and sales practice abuses such as fair pricing, trade reporting, and unregistered offerings. On the insider trading front, we have represented political intelligence firms, registered representatives, and corporate insiders and outsiders in novel and complex matters, and our lawyers regularly assists corporate management, boards of directors, and board committees in examining potential violations of insider trading laws or employee violations of corporate insider trading policies. We also help clients design, implement, test, and enhance insider trading policies and other policies relating to securities trading.

Broker-Dealers, Investment Advisers, and Hedge and Private Equity Funds.
We routinely represent financial services clients in examinations, informal and formal investigations, and litigation initiated by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, and other state securities regulators, attorneys general, and administrators. To provide our clients with comprehensive industry expertise, our attorneys collaborate across the Firm’s Securities and Capital Markets, Public Finance, and Financial Services Litigation Departments to ensure the best representation for each unique client issue. We have represented financial institutions and individuals in examinations, inquiries, and investigations involving sales practice, supervision, and compliance issues, anti-money laundering compliance, cybersecurity, municipal securities underwriting, sales and trading, and the marketing and sale of complex securities products. We also are deeply involved in counseling clients in connection with regulatory self-reporting initiatives and helping them navigate the regulatory nuances of self-reporting, disclosure, and the statutory disqualification process. We regularly partner with our clients to ensure they remain current on proposed and newly adopted rules, regulations, and interpretations to help ensure our clients comply with their regulatory obligations.

Internal Investigations. Our Team has significant experience conducting internal investigations on behalf of public and private companies, boards of directors, audit and special committees, broker-dealers, investment advisers, hedge funds, and other regulated entities. We can respond to issues of any size, tailoring individual teams to the particularized needs of our clients. With our deep bench of former senior level enforcement attorneys and high-ranking government officials, our Team is well positioned to quickly and efficiently conduct credible internal investigations, while advising on complicated nuanced issues related to self-reporting and cooperating with government regulators. We also are expert in helping clients navigate through the complexities of a corporate crises with immediate strategic counseling and well thought-out coordination designed to minimize disruption and adverse impact to the business of our corporate clients.

Regulatory Compliance And Securities Examinations

Clients regularly seek our advice on the full spectrum of regulatory, business, and compliance issues. Because we have analyzed these issues from the viewpoint of the government, in-house counsel, and private practices, we have an in-depth understanding of the industry and markets. We have counseled clients on a range of regulatory issues, and have worked closely with clients on the structure and sale of new securities products to comply with regulatory requirements. Our Team regularly works with clients during regulatory examinations and the remediation of issues uncovered during examinations, investigations, and internal audits, and reviews. We have worked with clients to develop and enhance policies and procedures, revise internal compliances regimes, and devise new compliance protocols and written supervisory procedures.

Securities Litigation

For decades, McGuire Woods has been defending our public company and financial services clients in complex securities matters in federal and state courts, before the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, the Center for Multi-District Litigation, and AAA and JAMS arbitrations and mediations. In addition to defending clients in claims and class actions alleging violations of Section 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b)/Rule 10b-5, and 14a of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, we have helped our clients pre-empt corresponding derivative actions. Our representative services include civil litigation and class action, shareholder derivative actions, wealth management arbitration and litigation, financial adviser litigation, and M&A litigation.

Securities Enforcement and Litigation Brochure

Download a PDF copy of our industry brochure


Team Leaders

Full Team
Back to top