Our Regulatory Enforcement group represents corporate and individual clients in connection with investigations conducted by various federal and state regulatory agencies.
We have represented clients in investigations conducted by virtually every significant federal agency, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve, Fair Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Elections Commission, and Federal Aviation Administration. We also have extensive experience with state regulators, including the Offices of the New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut Attorneys General, as well as self-regulatory organizations, including FINRA and the New York Stock Exchange.
Our Paris team has significant experience in investigation, control, and sanction proceedings before French authorities, such as the French financial market authority (AMF), the banking authority (ACPR), and the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL – Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés).
Our U.S. and French offices seamlessly work together to provide assistance on matters relating to international cooperation procedures between regulators, including the SEC and AMF, and in cross-border investigations led by the U.S. Department of Justice.
When representing our clients in active regulatory investigations, we have effectively employed varying strategies. These include aggressive advocacy to avoid litigation, including extensive experience with the SEC Wells process and AMF-type settlement agreements, the comprehensive defense at trial of civil litigation brought as a result of a regulatory investigation, and, where appropriate, providing active cooperation with and assistance to regulators.
We are also engaged in compliance counsel roles, in which we are available to address real-time securities law compliance concerns, and we frequently offer advice in connection with securities issues.
Leading practitioners are determined by an independent analysis of the opinions of corporate counsel and investigations experts from around the world. Richard joins a distinguished group of lawyers and experts from 46 jurisdictions who are “considered leaders in the field.”
Who’s Who Legal is an organization that identifies the foremost legal practitioners and consulting experts in business law based upon comprehensive, independent research.
Cohen & Gresser has once again been ranked by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as one of the leading law firms in the world for cross-border investigations. The GIR 100 is an independent guide to the world’s best firms for cross-border investigations. Based on submissions from law firms and extensive research, GIR selects the top 100 firms from around the world able to handle sophisticated government-led internal and cross-border investigations.
C Evan Stewart is quoted in The New York Times regarding how federal regulators will be changing their annual stress tests. He notes that the changes take into account how "time-consuming and resource-oriented" these processes are.
Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce the opening of its fourth office in Washington, D.C. The Washington office will be led by partner Melissa H Maxman, and will handle a range of commercial litigation and regulatory enforcement matters, with a focus on U.S. antitrust issues, criminal and civil litigation, and compliance and regulatory disputes in the federal agencies.
Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce the expansion of the firm's litigation and arbitration and white collar defense practice groups with the addition of partner Stephen Sinaiko to our New York office.
- The Revised Policies will place increased pressure on companies and could result in substantial shifts in how companies need to investigate potential employee misconduct.
- Failure to disclose misconduct early in an investigation could result in companies facing the possibility of a guilty plea or indictment, rather than a deferred or non-prosecution agreement.
- To receive full cooperation credit, companies will need to assess several new strategic considerations, including the timing of disclosing hot documents and whether to claw back compensation from employees who engaged in misconduct.
In addition, while the DOJ brought the criminal case under the wire fraud and conspiracy statutes, the SEC asserted its claims under the securities laws – marking the first time the SEC has alleged insider trading in violation of securities laws in the crypto context. The SEC action directly raises the question whether the tokens at issue qualify as unregistered securities, with significant implications for whether the platforms that facilitate trading in those tokens are potentially exposed to legal liability as unregistered securities exchanges.
- While the Act may have disappointed corporate transparency reformers, a number of the Act’s provisions will have a significant impact on those who manage offshore structures and their clients by strengthening individual accountability and increasing exposure to reputational, civil, and criminal litigation risk.
- The Act has had an immediate impact on the Government’s ability to make urgent sanction designations and we anticipate the reforms will breathe new life into the Unexplained Wealth Order regime. However, the question remains whether, beyond the legislation, the NCA, OFSI, and the UK’s other enforcement authorities have the necessary resources to deliver on the Government’s robust agenda.
- While flaws have been identified in the Act, particularly in relation to the effectiveness of the Register of Overseas Entities, the Government has assured the House that new legislation is being drafted (and is likely to be before the House in early summer) to address these deficiencies, including comprehensive reform of Companies House.
- The announcement further suggests that NCET’s initial mandate will broaden the enforcement focus from criminal actors themselves to those who enable and facilitate illicit activities involving cryptocurrency.
- Cryptocurrency exchanges should take appropriate steps to work with counsel to avoid becoming the subject of a DOJ investigation or prosecution.
- The increased scrutiny will also likely extend to all cryptocurrency-focused businesses, NFT platforms, companies that accept cryptocurrency as payment, and even those that merely do business with third parties dealing in cryptocurrency.
- Given the heightened scrutiny from the DOJ and a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, all companies in the industry should evaluate compliance programs and practices to mitigate risk and exposure.
In a recent article for Forbes, Muriel Goldberg-Darmon discusses the benefits of an entity’s or individual’s cooperation during an enforcement procedure before the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF, the French financial market regulator).
This C&G Client Alert examines the proposed Insider Trading Prohibition Act recently unanimously approved by the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. If the bill becomes law, it would simplify an inherently complex legal area, but might also lead to regulators and prosecutors bringing more insider trading cases.
Jonathan S Abernethy, S Gale Dick, and Christian R Everdell authored an article examining the Department of Justice's (DOJ) new policy discouraging DOJ attorneys from "piling on" multiple penalties against companies for the same misconduct.
This article first appeared on the website of the Criminal Law Committee of the Legal Practice Division of the International Bar Association, and is reproduced by kind permission of the International Bar Association, London, UK. © International Bar Association.
In his latest article for the NY Business Law Journal, C Evan Stewart explores the attorney work product doctrine as it relates to investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies.
This article appeared in NY Business Law Journal, Summer 2018, Vol. 22, No. 1, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.
Christian R Everdell analyzes the potential implications of the regulation of cryptocurrency as a result of Ryan Coffey v. Ripple Labs, Inc. in his latest article for Law360.
Mark S Cohen explores the international regulatory landscape with respect to Israeli businesses in an article for the Israel Desks Guide published by Nishlis Legal Marketing.
Christian R Everdell continues his examination of SEC enforcement actions regarding initial coin offerings in an article published by the New York Law Journal, this time analyzing the SEC’s response to RECoin, PlexCoin, and Munchee.
Even start-ups are being disrupted! In this article, C&G counsel Christian Everdell examines the SEC’s role in regulating Initial Coin Offerings.
This article addresses one aspect of the United States’ multi-faceted campaign to recover income taxes and penalties on undisclosed offshore accounts – the U.S. Department of Justice’sinvestigation and criminal prosecution of foreign banks that are alleged to have opened and maintained accounts for U.S. taxpayers. The Department of Justice has argued that by enabling U.S taxpayers to open and maintain accounts that the taxpayers did not report to the Internal Revenue Service, the banks participated in efforts to defraud the United States of taxes owed on the accounts. The authors examine in particular the impact of the Department of Justice’s Program for Swiss Banks, a voluntary disclosure program negotiated with the Swiss government in which about 100 Swiss banks registered to participate, the extraordinary information being collected, and assess other countries that may become the next focus of investigation.
Partner Muriel Goldberg-Darmon spoke to visiting Law and International Management students about the annual controls and investigations carried out by the Autorité des marchés finaciers (AMF). This was the first session of HEC Paris DMI’s Law Project titled “Market Abuse.”
Partner Chris Everdell spoke about cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and ICO enforcement actions as a guest lecturer at the Computer Crime Law class at Harvard Law School.
Muriel Goldberg-Darmon a participé à la Table Ronde sur “Quelle coopération entre les mis en cause et l’AMF ?” organisée par la Commission des sanctions de l’AMF le 3 octobre 2018. La table ronde était modérée par : Jean Gaeremynck, président de section au Conseil d’Etat, membre de la Commission des sanctions de l’AMF. Les intervenants étaients : Jean-Luc Blachon, premier vice-procureur, Parquet national financier, Sophie Bresny, chef du service des investigations de l’Autorité de la concurrence Andrew Cotterell, Head of Law, Policy & International, FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), Muriel Goldberg-Darmon Associée du cabinet Cohen & Gresser, Benoît de Juvigny, secrétaire général de l’AMF.
(Partner Muriel Goldberg-Darmon spoke at the AMF Enforcement Committee’s annual symposium on October 3, 2018, as the only speaker from a private law firm. Muriel was a panelist for the second round table on “Cooperation between the respondents and the AMF during investigations or inspections and sanctions,” which was moderated by Jean Gaeremynck, State Councilor and member of the AMF Enforcement Committee. Muriel’s fellow panelists were: Jean-Luc Blachon, First Vice-Prosecutor at the Parquet National Financier; Sophie Bresny, Head of the Inspections Unit at the Autorité de la concurrence; Andrew Cotterell, Head of Law, Policy & International at the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority); and Benoît de Juvigny, Secretary General of the AMF).
Christian Everdell participated on the "Focus on CryptoCurrency: How to Identify Transactions that are Using Digital Currency to Avoid U.S. Sanctions" panel at the ACI's 11th Flagship Conference on Economic Sanctions: Enforcement & Compliance. The panel discussed how new payment methods are challenging the existing banking system for risk and compliance, how non-US companies use digital currency to avoid US sanctions rules, and how financial institutions can protect themselves.
Jon participated in a panel at the IBA’s 20th Annual Transnational Crime Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The panel, entitled “The Right to Silence When Everyone Else Is Talking,” examined the right against self-incrimination from the perspective of several countries in a world of increased cross-border information sharing between investigators, regulators, and prosecuting authorities.
Experiential legal learning platform AltaClaro has partnered with international law firm Cohen & Gresser, LLP to host a live online panel to discuss current trends in anti-money laundering enforcement. The panel is complimentary for in-house counsel, white-collar and regulatory attorneys, and compliance professionals.
- Genesis of the law
- Apprehending the risks in a company
- Deployment of compliance programs within a company
- Protection of whistleblowers
- The new mechanism of transaction (differed prosecution agreement)
- The monitoring process
- Final remarks by the vice president of the Assemblée Nationale.
Melissa was a panelist at this event.