Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Securities and Financial Services Enforcement Group is a client-centric group of lawyers with particularized expertise in the enforcement process.
The group was created to recognize the reality that companies that provide financial services are multi-faceted and, therefore, are subject to a wide range of regulatory regimes. Our goal is to meet you, the client, where you are; not to try to pigeon-hole your needs into a pre-existing practice group. To that end, we have combined the talents of many lawyers with different areas of expertise into one cohesive unit with a singular goal in mind: To help public and private companies providing financial services weather the storm of an ever-expanding regulatory and litigious environment and respond rapidly and forcefully to increased scrutiny by the government, its agencies and self-regulatory organizations.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act made many sweeping changes to the regulatory oversight of the financial services industry – including public companies and their employees. Dodd-Frank created a new independent consumer watchdog agency, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), and has caused a renewed focus on the industry by the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. attorneys’ offices nationwide, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state attorneys general, as well as by federal and state banking regulators. Dodd-Frank oversight extends to OTC derivatives, the security-based and non-security-based swap markets, and the proprietary trading of hedge and private equity funds.
We are here to help you navigate through these dangerous waters.
Who We Are
Our group, with decades of experience in securities enforcement and financial services regulation, supervision and enforcement, includes:
- veterans of the SEC’s Enforcement Division
- former assistant U.S. attorneys (including the former head of the Commercial and Consumer Fraud Unit and the former chief of the Corruption, Civil Rights, Labor and Tax Fraud Unit of the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office)
- former congressional staff members, including a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee
- a former managing trial counsel in FINRA’s Enforcement Department
- a former state banking commissioner and a former counsel to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
- a former trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice
- a former senior official of the FDIC and the Resolution Trust Corporation’s representative to the interagency Bank Fraud Working Group
- a former IRS revenue agent
- a former general counsel for Chase Manhattan Bank.
We take a cross-disciplined, multi-faceted approach – broad when necessary, focusing narrowly when required – that includes, as needed, the expertise of our Pepper colleagues who concentrate in corporate, securities, litigation, antitrust, investment management, broker-dealer regulation, and tax matters.
Members of the group:
- counsel and defend institutions in connection with the negotiation of supervisory agreements, cease-and-desist orders, prohibition actions and civil money penalties pertaining to institutions, their directors, officers, major shareholders, institutional affiliated parties, and third-party service providers
- have assisted clients with high-profile matters, including subprime lending, fair lending, nontraditional banking products, BSA/anti-money laundering compliance, safety and soundness examinations, change-in-control issues, alleged insider misconduct, and alleged violations of federal and state unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) laws
- conduct internal investigations, to avoid or minimize problems before they trigger an enforcement action, or to position a company to respond promptly and forcefully to any such action
- guide clients through enforcement investigations involving a wide range of topics, including, among others, conflicts of interest, pay-to-play, insider trading, improper revenue recognition and other types of financial fraud, market manipulation, investment management and broker-dealer issues, improper sales practices, excessive markups and advisory fees, inadequate supervision of securities professionals, and accounting irregularities by corporate executives
- have represented numerous federal and state-chartered banks in enforcement actions involving safety and soundness issues, legal lending limit violations, unlawful credit card disclosures, alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and state UDAP laws (we also have defended clients in class action civil litigation asserting similar claims), marketing activities and state licensure issues, and other matters
- have represented numerous clients in investigations and enforcement actions involving alleged securities fraud, consumer fraud, mail/wire fraud, honest services fraud, disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) fraud, insurance fraud, and criminal tax fraud
- have represented public companies, including investment companies (such as mutual funds) and their advisers, in class actions alleging violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws
- help affected businesses address ongoing compliance concerns, regulatory examinations, product development and regulatory filing requirements.