John J. Sikora Jr.

  • Partner
  • Ejohn.sikora@lw.com
  • 330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2800
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • USA
  • T +1.312.876.6580
  •  
 

Profile

John Sikora is a member of the Litigation & Trial Department. Mr. Sikora represents companies and their officers and directors in SEC and FINRA enforcement investigations and examinations. Mr. Sikora’s clients include public companies, fund managers, investment advisers, and financial services firms. Mr. Sikora also advises clients on securities-related compliance.

Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, he was an Assistant Director in the Chicago Regional Office and in the Asset Management Unit of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, a national specialized unit that focuses on misconduct by investment advisers, investment companies, and private funds.

During his 16-year tenure at the SEC, Mr. Sikora was responsible for supervising all types of SEC enforcement activities, including investigations involving public company accounting fraud and other disclosure violations, misconduct by investment advisers, broker-dealers and auditors, and insider trading. Many of the investigations supervised by Mr. Sikora resulted in parallel prosecutions by the Department of Justice.

Mr. Sikora is a frequent speaker and panelist on securities law issues. Mr. Sikora earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation in April 2012.

Experience

Mr. Sikora’s experience includes representation of:

Investment Advisers
  • A mutual fund sponsor in an SEC investigation focused on shareholder fees, distribution of fund shares, and intermediary arrangements
  • Private fund managers in SEC investigations involving disclosures related to fees and conflicts and involving compliance with the “pay-to-play” rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940A private equity fund manager in an SEC investigation related to financing of portfolio company transactions
  • A multinational fund manager in an SEC investigation focused on principal and cross-trading
  • Major fixed income managers in SEC investigations related to trading in structured products
  • An investment adviser in an SEC investigation related to mutual fund share class selection
  • A major private company in an SEC investigation focused on trade allocation practices
  • A proprietary fund manager in SEC investigations related to portfolio investments
Broker-Dealers
  • Lead banker in SEC and DOJ parallel investigations related to underwriting of municipal securities where issuer allegedly engaged in financial fraud
  • Underwriters in the SEC’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative
  • Broker-dealer firms in FINRA and SEC investigations related to mutual fund share class selection
  • A broker-dealer in SEC and CFTC investigations related to possible insider trading and manipulation of credit default swaps
  • A broker-dealer and lead banker in a FINRA inquiry related to public finance investment banking practices
  • Broker-dealer in connection with FINRA investigation of firm’s dark pool alternative trading system
  • Broker-dealer in FINRA investigation concerning customer identification procedures
Public Companies
  • Public company in an SEC investigation concerning accounting and disclosures of loss contingencies
  • Former CEO of a public company in revenue recognition investigations by the SEC, DOJ, and the company’s audit committee
  • Public company in an SEC investigation of disclosure of regulatory approvals
  • Public company services provider in an SEC investigation related to tax accounting
  • Public company in DOJ and SEC insider trading investigations
  • Board member in connection with internal investigation into alleged insider trading
  • Former officer in connection with SEC investigation into alleged insider trading
Internal Investigations
  • Public company audit committee investigation regarding trading program that led to substantial losses
  • Investigation of investment adviser’s marketing of private funds
  • Investigation of charges to portfolio companies by principal of private equity fund manager
  • Investigation of broker-dealer’s payment for order flow practices
  • Investigation of investment adviser’s mutual fund share class selection practices
Cryptocurrency
  • Represent token trading platform and issuers in SEC investigations
Select SEC Enforcement Cases
  • SEC v. Kwame Kilpatrick, et al.: Action alleging “pay-to-play” scheme involving the former Mayor and Treasurer of Detroit and a major investment adviser to Detroit public pension funds*
  • SEC v. Nikolai Battoo, et al.: Action alleging that international hedge fund manager purporting to manage US$1.5 billion in assets inflated valuations and performance track record to conceal impact of losses incurred during financial crisis of 2008*
  • In the Matter of Ambassador Capital Management, LLC, et al.: Action against investment adviser and portfolio manager alleging deception of the Board of Trustees of a money market mutual fund, and deviations from Rule 2a-7 exemptive provisions*
  • SEC v. Mayfield Gentry Realty Advisors, LLC et al.: Action against registered investment adviser and its top officers alleging concealment of misappropriation from public pension fund client*
  • In the Matter of Paul W. Oliver, Jr. and Mary Beth Stevens: Actions against former Chairman and former CFO of investment adviser based on allegations of aiding and abetting misappropriation scheme*
  • In the Matter of Gerard M. Oprins, CPA and Wendy McNeeley, CPA: Rule 102(e) proceedings against former auditors of manager and its funds based on allegations of improper professional conduct*
  • SEC v. Joseph P. Micatrotto; SEC v. Greg Gadel, et al.: Actions alleging securities fraud by former CEO, CFO, and Controller of Buca, Inc. in connection with undisclosed executive compensation and financial accounting fraud*
  • In the Matter of Christopher A. Black: Action against former CFO of a public company in connection with violations of Regulation FD*

Thought Leadership

  • SEC Announces First "EPS Initiative" Enforcement Actions -  October 14, 2020
  • US Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement -  June 24, 2020
  • Webcast: Tokenization and Distributed Business Models ― Recent Case Studies and Legal Insights -  June 02, 2020
  • SDNY: Syndicated Loans Are Not Securities -  May 26, 2020
  • Digital Asset Regulation: Howey Evolves & The Pursuit of Sufficient Decentralization -  January 28, 2020
  • Digital Asset Regulation: Howey Evolves -  January 21, 2020
  • Financial Firms Beware: Dangers Lurk in the Cloud -  November 26, 2019
  • The SEC Continues Its Enforcement Streak Against Unregistered Token Offerings -  November 25, 2019
  • Supreme Court to Review SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement -  November 06, 2019
  • Mens Rea for Investment Advisers Act Violations -  July 11, 2019
  • Putting Teeth Into the Compliance Rule: SEC Imposes US$5 Million Penalty on Investment Adviser for Valuation Practices -  July 09, 2019
  • Key Appellate Court Ruling Ups the Ante for Investment Advisers Act Violations -  June 25, 2019
  • FINRA Launches New Self-Reporting Initiative for 529 Savings Plan Violations -  March 01, 2019
  • SEC Ends 2018 Signaling Its Approach to Regulating the Cryptocurrency Markets -  February 22, 2019
  • SEC Ends 2018 Signaling Its Approach to Regulating the Cryptocurrency Markets -  January 15, 2019
  • SEC Charges “ICO Superstore” as Unregistered Broker-Dealer -  October 19, 2018
  • The Principles Guiding FINRA Enforcement  -  September 26, 2018
  • Liability Under the Federal Securities Laws for Media Personalities -  June 29, 2018
  • SEC Takes Enforcement Action and Issues Statement on Digital Asset Trading Platforms  -  April 16, 2018
  • Are Your Employees Trading Bitcoin? Addressing Cryptocurrencies in Compliance Policies -  April 13, 2018
  • Fund Managers: Annual Compliance Reminders and New Developments -  March 26, 2018
  • SEC’s Recent BitFunder Charges and Statement on Digital Asset Trading Platforms — What They Mean to Crypto Market Participants -  March 12, 2018
  • US Supreme Court: Disgorgement Is a Penalty, Limiting SEC’s Reach -  June 08, 2017
  • SEC Charges Adviser for Failing to Monitor Consultants -  July 05, 2016
  • SEC Announces Customer Protection Rule Initiative -  June 28, 2016
  • SEC Fines Private Equity Adviser for Failing to Register as a Broker-Dealer -  June 23, 2016
  • The Circuits Are Split: Are Tangible Benefits Required for Insider Trading Liability? -  July 10, 2015
  • Multitudes, Multitudes: The SEC’s Asset Management Unit Delivers Important Messages for Investment Advisers -  April 10, 2015
  • Private Equity Fund Managers: Takeaways From The SEC’s Past Year in Enforcement -  December 08, 2014
  • SEC Increases Focus on Accounting and Financial Fraud at Public Companies -  September 11, 2014
  • Investment Adviser Charged For Demoting Whistleblower in SEC’s First Anti-Retaliation Case -  June 18, 2014
“He is held in high regard for his handling of SEC enforcement proceedings and DOJ investigations, and acts for a range of entities from the financial services industry.”Chambers USA 2020
Bar Qualification
  • Illinois
Education
  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1991
  • BA in History, Trinity University, 1988
    magna cum laude
Industries
  • Financial Institutions
Practices
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations
  • Private Equity
  • Financial Regulatory
  • Investment Funds