Government Investigations and Examinations
We assist clients with responses to inquiries and examinations from the SEC, self-regulatory organizations, and state regulators, including routine and cause examinations, regulatory sweeps, and enforcement investigations.
Investigations often require immediate attention to respond to regulatory inquiries. As former government regulators, we have considerable experience providing rapid response to immediately review the issues, master the facts and relevant documents, prepare clients for the investigation, draft and prepare all document submissions, defend witnesses in government requested interviews and develop a strategy with the goal that the government will take no further action. In addition, we prepare requests for exemptive relief and no-action letters and seek other relief for clients from the SEC.
Internal Investigations and Audits
We conduct internal investigations and annual audits of a client’s compliance with SEC, SRO or state regulatory obligations. We assess the effectiveness of a client’s compliance program as implemented and potential revisions to the program as a result of compliance matters during the year, changes in business activities of the firm, and regulatory developments. We provide recommendations in line with regulatory guidance and industry best practices. We also assess a client’s compliance if there is some indication of potential violative conduct as a result of a regulatory inquiry, customer complaint, or internal discovery of potential misconduct by a firm employee. As part of our counsel, we assist with correcting potential deficiencies and disclosing reportable deficiencies.
Mock SEC Examinations
Through a simulated audit, we can prepare a client for a regulatory examination by testing the soundness of a client’s compliance program and evaluating the ability and preparedness of key personnel, processes and records. As part of the process, we will identify written procedures and the execution of those procedures in order to minimize the risk of adverse findings during routine, or surprise, examinations by the SEC and state regulators. Our reviews and mock audits are conducted by a team of carefully selected securities regulatory professionals, and include securities compliance attorneys, former FINRA staff members, compliance directors and auditors. We believe a team approach of team members based on qualifications allows us to provide an efficient and comprehensive audit, utilizing legal, compliance and auditing staff to simulate a regulatory examination.
A mock examination consists of the following:
- Formal Document Request
- Document Review
- Compliance Policies and Procedures Review
- Forensic Testing and Analysis
- Employee Interviews
- Exit Interview
- Written Report/Recommendations