Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice

Jones Day's global Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice advises clients on shareholder actions, internal and government investigations, M&A litigation, fiduciary responsibilities, and similar issues affecting large public companies. Practice Co-Leader Henry Klehm III talks about how the Firm serves clients as regulations and their attendant compliance requirements become increasingly complex in jurisdictions throughout the world.

Read the full transcript below:

Henry Klehm:

The Securities Litigation and SEC Enforcement Practice here at Jones Day works on a wide variety of matters, stretching from straight civil class action defense work usually involving public companies, all the way to government investigations and sometimes multinational government investigations involving conduct across multiple borders with multiple regulators including criminal authorities involved in it. Sometimes we get involved in representing individual officers and directors of public companies. Sometimes we are involved in derivative shareholder cases. Sometimes we do investigations for boards and audit committees in particular. Sometimes we're engaged by management to do internal investigations. And many times we're engaged when the government has reached out to a public company and wants to find out about conduct that's gone on.

Henry Klehm:

The Securities Litigation Practice has in total about 50 lawyers in the United States split among a variety of our offices. The largest groups being here in New York, in Dallas, Atlanta, and Washington DC. We see the clients are most concerned about several things. One is employee complaints, whistleblower activity. They're also concerned about government enforcement activity, particularly the specter of conduct that spills over into potentially criminal conduct involving things like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, economic sanctions compliance, but also financial reporting in multinationals. We see regularly companies trying to keep pace with regulatory change and the difficulties that poses when they're dealing with multiple regulators here in the United States and particularly in the enforcement area where you're also involved, not only with federal regulators but potentially all 50 states. It is an ongoing challenge to manage that regulatory change burden. Even more so for regulated financial institutions, our banking clients, our broker dealer clients, our registered investment advisor clients, are constantly under scrutiny for their ability to simply keep up with that. But time and again, if they have good processes in place, they seem to be able to do that.

Henry Klehm:

The current primary drivers of enforcement activity, not only regulatory change, anything that looks like it affects a retail customer of a financial institution is a clear focus of the government. Anything that looks like cross border corruption, corrupt activity, those things that might cause whistleblowers related to financial reporting. And finally, those issues that involve market fairness, whether that's insider trading, market manipulation, even unintended market manipulation or conduct that looks like market manipulation become areas right for scrutiny right now, by the current enforcers.

Henry Klehm:

I think our clients come to us for several reasons. First and foremost, our global ability to deploy quality lawyers quickly and efficiently in multiple countries is a huge advantage for us, and our clients generally see that. Secondly, when we do that, we bring together people that have deep expertise in multiple substantive areas of the law, whether it's navigating European data protection in order to assist a client in a US criminal investigation, we know how to do that. And we know how to do that in a way that will help our client with its home country regulators, with its local data protection authorities and maximize its ability to cooperate with US regulators and US government officials. I think the other thing that clients appreciate about us is they know based on our reputation and our ability to deliver client service, that we're always going to try to do the right thing for the client as quickly and as efficiently as possible. That we bring that expertise that we've developed across multiple countries in multiple jurisdictions to bear quickly, efficiently, and effectively to achieve their goals in any specific matter.

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