When the SEC Comes Knocking

Strategies for Responding to SEC Investigations and Minimizing Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This seminar will review current SEC enforcement activities and best practices for responding to an SEC subpoena, including protecting attorney-client and work product privileged documents. The panel will review strategies to prevail in an SEC investigation.


With new leadership, a drastically increased budget, and a renewed sense of activism in the wake of the financial meltdown on Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Staff will act more quickly, more aggressively, and exact greater penalties from enforcement action targets.

Publicly traded corporations, particularly in financial services, anticipate significantly stepped-up SEC enforcement, much closer scrutiny of their activities, and increased penalties. The agency will exert greater pressure on companies to respond quickly to requests for documents and testimony.

Effective action taken early in an SEC probe can mitigate penalties and possible criminal prosecutions. In the new enforcement environment, a company subject to SEC inquiry must show that it had reasonable compliance procedures in place and demonstrate cooperation with the investigation.

Listen as our panel of legal specialists discusses current SEC enforcement initiatives, best practices for responding to an SEC investigation, and strategies for minimizing penalties.



  1. SEC enforcement initiatives: structural and policy changes
    1. Division reorganization—streamlined case management
    2. Specialized units—types of investigations
    3. Formal orders
    4. Tolling agreements
    5. Cooperation by individuals
    6. Office of Market Intelligence
    7. Focus on financial services industry
  2. Strategies for responding to a subpoena
    1. Document production
    2. Attorney-client privilege and work product
    3. Negotiating the scope and production time period of subpoena
    4. Costs
    5. Subpoenas for testimony
  3. Cooperation in the investigation—what’s required?
    1. Timely production of documents
    2. Results of independent investigations
    3. Written reports
    4. Witness interviews
    5. Waiver of attorney-client privilege


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What SEC enforcement initiatives are directed at the financial services industry—financial advisors, funds and other financial institutions?
  • What immediate actions should a company take when receiving a subpoena for records or testimony?
  • What factors will the SEC consider in deciding whether the company is sufficiently cooperating in the investigation?
  • How can counsel act to preserve the attorney-client privilege during an SEC investigation?


Carney, John
John J. Carney

Baker & Hostetler

Mr. Carney serves as BakerHostetler’s White Collar, Investigations and Securities Enforcement and Litigation team...  |  Read More

Richard W. Grime
Richard W. Grime

O'Melveny & Myers

He represents clients in internal investigations and on a full range of securities enforcement, regulatory, and...  |  Read More

Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

Hogan & Hartson

He practices in the areas of white collar criminal litigation, SEC enforcement and congressional investigations, and...  |  Read More

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