SEC & Regulatory Enforcement

Latham draws on deep experience with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other financial regulators to guide clients through inquiries and investigations, and skillfully defend against enforcement actions and prosecutions.

Our team leverages a long-standing history with the SEC. Latham partners have served at the highest levels of the Commission. The group also includes highly experienced former federal prosecutors with extensive trial experience in securities prosecutions, including two former Assistant Attorney Generals in charge of the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the former Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit in the Southern District of New York.

Our practical experience with policymakers, regulators, and prosecutors affords us invaluable insight and keen judgment when developing a tailored strategy for each matter and each client. While we often succeed in avoiding charges altogether, Latham has an enviable record of defeating government prosecutions and regulatory action before and at trial, including full acquittals.

Public Companies

We advise public companies and their boards, including audit committees and individual directors, officers, and employees, on their financial reporting and disclosure responsibilities under US securities law and regulation. Working in concert with Latham’s National Office, we draw on deep practice and agency experience and knowledge of the regulatory landscape to represent clients facing the most challenging and novel situations.

We routinely represent public company clients and individuals facing investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), as well as insider trading and anti-money laundering matters. Our team members have traveled to more than 150 countries around the globe to advise clients on FCPA matters, gaining valuable in-country experience and insight into the unique challenges presented by each region.

Because government investigations are often sensitive, involving parallel civil or criminal proceedings as well as reputational and commercial concerns, we routinely provide strategic analysis and advice on such related matters as congressional testimony, insurance coverage, competitive and customer issues, government licensing or debarment proceedings, and other collateral effects of charges or resolution.

Financial Institutions

We advise financial institutions and investment funds on the full spectrum of financial regulatory aspects of securities offerings. With on-the-ground capabilities in the world’s major financial centers, we regularly advise on complex and first-impression situations. We counsel clients on the expansion and introduction of novel financial products into local markets around the world, including cutting-edge cryptocurrency and digital asset matters. We also advise governments and financial regulators in the development of legislation, rulemaking, and legal policy, including the design of securities laws, listing rules, financial markets regulation, and other law reform projects.

In addition to SEC and DOJ matters, we regularly advise clients facing inquiries and actions initiated by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), state attorneys general, and other regulators around the globe. Our team also represents auditors and lawyers facing professional liability, including in Rule 102(e) proceedings.

Latham & Watkins defends clients in investigations and actions brought by the SEC, PCAOB, FINRA, CFTC, state attorneys general and other regulators around the globe.