O’Melveny Worldwide

Securities Enforcement

O’Melveny’s securities-enforcement lawyers have significant experience working for—and facing off against—government and industry regulators, including the SEC.

O’Melveny’s securities-enforcement lawyers have significant experience working for—and facing off against—government and industry regulators, including the SEC.

Using insights gained through decades of defense and government experience, we guide clients around the world facing complex and high-profile securities-related investigations or enforcement actions—civil, criminal, or both. Our group includes several former senior government officials, including a senior member of the SEC’s enforcement division, as well as former federal prosecutors who specialized in criminal enforcement of the securities laws.

Bringing experience with the SEC, state securities regulators, federal and state prosecutors, and self-regulatory organizations including FINRA and exchanges, we help our clients respond to examinations, formal and informal investigations, and requests for information. We advocate fiercely for our clients, and in many instances, have convinced the government to close matters without enforcement action against our clients. When the regulator insists on an enforcement action or disciplinary proceeding, the combination of O’Melveny’s deep securities-law knowledge and high-stakes trial experience allows us to negotiate a favorable resolution or litigate against the regulator.

Our lawyers also advise clients on proactive compliance with securities laws and regulations, helping them build robust or enhance existing compliance programs and avoid or mitigate enforcement actions.

Our experience covers an array of securities-related areas, including:

  • Accounting fraud
  • Alternative trading systems, including dark pools
  • Anti-money laundering (AML)
  • Compensation clawbacks
  • Crypto enforcement
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data-quality issues
  • Electronic and algorithmic trading
  • Environmental enforcement
  • Financial reporting
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Insider trading
  • Market manipulation, including spoofing and layering
  • Municipal securities
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Public disclosures
  • Sales practices
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)
  • Securities fraud
  • Use of personal devices
Apparel Company Founder

Persuaded the staff of the SEC to withdraw its plans to recommend an enforcement case against the founder of an apparel company for allegedly failing to disclose a personal benefit received from the company.

Bank Executives

Represented two former bank executives in an SEC investigation involving allegations that the bank misled investors in its fight against a short seller.

Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Represented leading cryptocurrency trading platform in connection with a number of governmental investigations.

Former CEO of a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Company

Guided the resolution of an SEC investigation into a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency company without charges or personal liability for our client, the former CEO. The investigation involved allegations of selling unregistered securities and fraud.

Global Financial Institution

Represented for 15+ years a global financial institution in responding to a variety of investigations conducted by SEC, DOJ, and FINRA and other regulators related to various aspects of its broker-dealer and advisory businesses, including sales, alternative trading systems, the firm’s controls and compliance program, and sales and trading practices.

Infrastructure Company

Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the audit committee of an international infrastructure company into allegations from a whistleblower of FCPA violations about a construction project in Mexico. After we presented the investigative results to the DOJ and SEC, the agencies closed their investigations.

International Investment Firm

Successfully defended a leading international investment firm in an SEC investigation into potentially fraudulent disclosures to investors. After we conducted an internal investigation and gave a presentation addressing the SEC staff’s concerns, the agency closed its investigation without taking testimony from any of our client’s personnel.

Life Sciences Company

Persuaded the SEC to close without any enforcement action its investigation into client’s allegedly fraudulent public disclosures.

NYSE-Listed Company

Served as Independent Consultant to a company that had settled an enforcement action with the SEC. Our work included a comprehensive review of the company’s controls, policies, and training.

Technology Company

After conducting an internal investigation and presenting the findings to the SEC Enforcement staff, persuaded them to close an investigation of our multi-national client regarding allegations of improper revenue recognition and other claims of improper accounting treatment staff.

Consistently ranked by Chambers USA among the leading firms in California, New York, Washington, DC, and Texas for Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations and among the leading firms in the nation for Corporate Crime & Investigations. 

  • “The team achieves strong resolutions for the client.” 
  • “O’Melveny & Myers is a talented firm with a big reach and smart ideas.” 
  • “The firm has an exceptional network of partners and they have the ability to consult in-house with some of the best minds in the business.” 
  • “They’re my all-purpose go-to. I stick with them because their talent is so good.” 
  • “They have experienced and dedicated attorneys. They are always there for you and they always provide excellent legal advice at a moment’s notice.” 

Consistently ranked by The Legal 500 US as a leading firm in the nation for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates and Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Individuals.

  • “Very strong team. Extremely professional, efficient and business oriented.” 
  • “[A] truly exceptional team, which is praised for its ‘singular focus on delivering the best representation for clients.’” 

Featured annually in Global Investigation Review’s “GIR 100,” a listing of the world’s top 100 firms handling “sophisticated cross-border government-led and internal investigations and related settlement negotiations or prosecutions of corporates and individuals”