Current and Former Enforcement Staffs’ Tips for Litigating Against the SEC

It is not always possible to avoid SEC charges or enforcement action, and it may be advantageous for some registrants to litigate against the SEC in certain circumstances. An expert panel at the SEC’s Securities Enforcement Forum provided an overview of the SEC’s litigation program and examined some of the factors, tactics and approaches that potential defendants and their counsel should consider when litigation against the SEC is in the cards. The program was moderated by Terence Healy, partner at Hughes Hubbard and former SEC Senior Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel, and featured Olivia Choe, SEC Chief Litigation Counsel; Sarah Heaton Concannon, partner at Quinn Emanuel and former SEC Senior Trial Counsel; Claudius Modesti, partner at Akin Gump and former director of enforcement at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; and Matthew C. Solomon, partner at Cleary Gottlieb and former SEC Chief Litigation Counsel. This article summarizes key takeaways from the program. For more insights from former SEC staff, see our two-part series: “Forecasting the Biden Administration’s Potential Impact on the Agency’s Enforcement Efforts” (Dec. 1, 2020); and “Expecting Aggressive Private Funds Scrutiny to Be a Priority Under the Biden Administration” (Dec. 8, 2020).

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