Best Lawyers for Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) in America

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Lawyer
  • Location:
    Columbia, South Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Energy Regulatory Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Securities Regulation Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Miami, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Antitrust Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Litigation - Labor and Employment
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Bet-the-Company Litigation Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Utilities Law Administrative / Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Compliance Law Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - ERISA Litigation - Securities Litigation - First Amendment Corporate Governance Law
Lawyer
David E. Barry was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

David E. Barry

Pierce Atwood LLP
  • Location:
    Portland, Maine
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
James J. Belanger was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

James J. Belanger

J. Belanger Law PLLC
  • Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar Qui Tam Law Criminal Defense: General Practice Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Securities Litigation - Real Estate Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - ERISA Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
Guy M. Burns was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Guy M. Burns

Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns LLP
  • Location:
    Tampa, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Securities / Capital Markets Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Securities Litigation - Banking and Finance
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Bankruptcy Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - First Amendment Litigation - Environmental Appellate Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Intellectual Property Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation Securities Regulation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Appellate Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Securities Oil and Gas Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Columbia, South Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Utilities Law Litigation - Environmental Energy Regulatory Law Administrative / Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Environmental Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Litigation - Intellectual Property Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Real Estate Litigation - Banking and Finance Insurance Law Litigation - ERISA Health Care Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Banking and Finance
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Administrative / Regulatory Law Litigation - Antitrust Criminal Defense: White-Collar Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Government Relations Practice
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Environmental Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Real Estate Litigation - Trusts and Estates Litigation - Construction Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Health Care Law Appellate Practice Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Administrative / Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Banking and Finance Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Securities Securities / Capital Markets Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Securities Regulation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Real Estate
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation Corporate Governance Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Government Relations Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Government Contracts Litigation - Environmental
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Securities Criminal Defense: White-Collar Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Securities / Capital Markets Law Corporate Governance Law Corporate Compliance Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Securities Regulation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Troy, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Securities Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Environmental Litigation - Banking and Finance
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Compliance Law Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation and Controversy - Tax Mergers and Acquisitions Law Corporate Governance Law Reinsurance Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Litigation - Securities Government Relations Practice Corporate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Morristown, New Jersey
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Health Care Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Antitrust Law Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Rochester, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Legal Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Insurance Litigation - Construction Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Criminal Defense: White-Collar Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice Commercial Litigation Criminal Defense: White-Collar Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Newark, New Jersey
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Overland Park, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Securities / Capital Markets Law Appellate Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation Mining Law Litigation - Antitrust
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Portland, Maine
  • Practice Areas:
    Arbitration Appellate Practice Bet-the-Company Litigation Mediation Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Construction Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
Carter G. Phillips was awarded 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" in Elasticsearch.PracticeArea

Carter G. Phillips

Sidley Austin LLP
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    First Amendment Law Appellate Practice Litigation - Patent Media Law Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - First Amendment Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Governance Law Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bet-the-Company Litigation Corporate Compliance Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Municipal Energy Law Litigation - Land Use and Zoning Oil and Gas Law Litigation - Environmental Environmental Law Commercial Litigation Mining Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: General Practice Bet-the-Company Litigation Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Antitrust Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Banking and Finance Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Bankruptcy Workers' Compensation Law - Employers Litigation - Insurance Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants Insurance Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Antitrust Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Appellate Practice Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Commercial Litigation Litigation - Real Estate Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Qui Tam Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Appellate Practice Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Tampa, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Financial Services Regulation Law Banking and Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Energy Law Appellate Practice Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Corporate Compliance Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
Franklin B. Velie was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Franklin B. Velie

Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Intellectual Property Criminal Defense: White-Collar Commercial Litigation Litigation - First Amendment First Amendment Law Appellate Practice Native American Law Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Energy Law Health Care Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Commercial Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance Administrative / Regulatory Law Litigation - Labor and Employment
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Litigation - Securities Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Environmental Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Municipal
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Litigation - Securities Commercial Litigation Litigation - Antitrust Litigation - Bankruptcy
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Commercial Litigation Litigation - Banking and Finance Litigation - Securities
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Energy Law Commercial Litigation

  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Practice Area Definition

Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Definition

Defending organizations and individuals in regulatory enforcement actions entails interacting with a complex web of federal and state administrative agencies, statutes, regulations, and rules. Federal regulatory agencies in the securities/commodities, telecommunications, and energy fields include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Most states also have their own companion regulatory agencies and utility commissions, each with their own enforcement regimes.

Additionally, certain organizations and individuals may be subject to disciplinary investigations and action by self-regulatory organizations overseen by an administrative agency, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Many regulatory enforcement actions are civil proceedings; however, federal and state criminal agencies, including the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General, may share enforcement authority. Particularly egregious transgressions thus may be subject to criminal investigation and enforcement as well.

Regulatory enforcement matters are initiated in a variety of ways, including by a whistleblower tip, an agency’s own monitoring of the industry, or self-reporting by a firm or individual. Enforcement matters typically begin as a fact-finding investigation, which are often nonpublic. Agencies may have the authority to seek documents from companies, as well as to subpoena individuals to provide sworn testimony on the record. Information may be sought from third parties, as well as from firms and their current or former employees. Additionally, internal investigations conducted by independent outside counsel may precede or run in parallel with a regulatory investigation. Once an investigation is completed, enforcement personnel typically make a recommendation about the appropriate enforcement action to take, or whether to drop the matter. If approved, an enforcement action frequently, but not always, is filed as a public proceeding.

Regulatory enforcement defense attorneys counsel organizations and individuals through investigations and, if needed, litigation. Defense counsel acts as the primary contact with agency personnel, often gleaning valuable insights into an investigation’s direction and scope in the process, and presenting opportunities to advocate against further action involving a client. As a result, counsel frequently is retained early in an investigation. Likewise, regulatory enforcement attorneys regularly conduct, or represent individuals in, internal investigations. Regulatory enforcement counsel also defends clients against claims alleged in filed enforcement actions, which may proceed as an administrative hearing or as a lawsuit in the federal or state courts.

Brian Neil Hoffman, Of Counsel
Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP logo

Defending organizations and individuals in regulatory enforcement actions entails interacting with a complex web of federal and state administrative agencies, statutes, regulations, and rules. Federal regulatory agencies in the securities/commodities, telecommunications, and energy fields include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Most states also have their own companion regulatory agencies and utility commissions, each with their own enforcement regimes.

Additionally, certain organizations and individuals may be subject to disciplinary investigations and action by self-regulatory organizations overseen by an administrative agency, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Many regulatory enforcement actions are civil proceedings; however, federal and state criminal agencies, including the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General, may share enforcement authority. Particularly egregious transgressions thus may be subject to criminal investigation and enforcement as well.

Regulatory enforcement matters are initiated in a variety of ways, including by a whistleblower tip, an agency’s own monitoring of the industry, or self-reporting by a firm or individual. Enforcement matters typically begin as a fact-finding investigation, which are often nonpublic. Agencies may have the authority to seek documents from companies, as well as to subpoena individuals to provide sworn testimony on the record. Information may be sought from third parties, as well as from firms and their current or former employees. Additionally, internal investigations conducted by independent outside counsel may precede or run in parallel with a regulatory investigation. Once an investigation is completed, enforcement personnel typically make a recommendation about the appropriate enforcement action to take, or whether to drop the matter. If approved, an enforcement action frequently, but not always, is filed as a public proceeding.

Regulatory enforcement defense attorneys counsel organizations and individuals through investigations and, if needed, litigation. Defense counsel acts as the primary contact with agency personnel, often gleaning valuable insights into an investigation’s direction and scope in the process, and presenting opportunities to advocate against further action involving a client. As a result, counsel frequently is retained early in an investigation. Likewise, regulatory enforcement attorneys regularly conduct, or represent individuals in, internal investigations. Regulatory enforcement counsel also defends clients against claims alleged in filed enforcement actions, which may proceed as an administrative hearing or as a lawsuit in the federal or state courts.