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Sub practice

Securities Investigations

Allen & Overy represents clients in a wide range of securities investigations initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in addition to numerous other financial regulators and criminal authorities around the world. 

We represent financial services firms, private fund advisers, public companies and their officers, directors, and employees throughout the enforcement process in cases involving insider trading, market abuse, mis-selling and other forms of financial misconduct. We have achieved favourable resolutions for clients at every stage, including informal enquiries, advocacy before the regulators, and in cases that have gone to trial.

A&O’s securities investigations team is adept at managing appropriate responses to parallel, cross-border investigations through a multi-jurisdictional approach to engaging with all relevant enforcement authorities. Our approach is informed and enhanced by the insights of lawyers with experience of working within financial regulators and criminal authorities. For example, in the U.S. our lawyers have held significant positions at the SEC, including in its Division of Enforcement, Division of Trading and Markets, the Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations, and at the DOJ, including  several former prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York who were part of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit, including a former Chief of that unit.

Examples of our work include:

  • Representing the former chairperson and chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers in connection with congressional testimony, testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, criminal, SEC, New York Attorney General and bankruptcy examiner investigations, FINRA proceedings and civil securities and ERISA actions arising out of the bankruptcy filing.
  • Representing a partner of a hedge fund at trial relating to a high-profile investigation by the Southern District of New York and SEC regarding allegations of insider trading.
  • Representing Daimler on the prosecution initiated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF – the French Financial Regulatory Authority) and by criminal courts in connection with allegations of insider trading (the EADS case).
  • Advising a European bank on an FCA Markets Division enquiry into potential market abuse involving secondary market trading in the government bond market.
  • Representing a Dutch banking group in a cross-border FCPA investigation by the SEC and Dutch criminal authorities relating to potential corrupt practices, money laundering, and failures in due diligence.
  • Acting as lead counsel for a global French bank in a False Claims Act action arising out of the emergency loans issued to AIG by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in late 2008.

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Basic banking service for undertakings - basic or baffling

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Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Enforcement Actions Tracker

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The SFC's latest annual and quarterly reports highlight the SFC's regulatory work since April 2019 and illustrate some key trends in its enforcement agenda.

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SFO rebuked for overreaching: no power to seek overseas documents from non-UK companies

Publications: 05 FEBRUARY 2021

SFO rebuked for overreaching: no power to seek overseas documents from non-UK companies

The Supreme Court has decided the Serious Fraud Office does not have the power to issue a section 2 notice to a non-UK company with extraterritorial application.  It can, however, continue to compel…

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News: 29 JANUARY 2021

Melody Wang joins Shanghai Lang Yue bringing China litigation capability to Allen & Overy Lang Yue

Shanghai Lang Yue Law Firm (‘Lang Yue’), Allen & Overy’s joint operation firm, announced today that Melody Wang, an experienced litigator and investigations practitioner, will join as a partner and…

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