The term SEC attorney generally refers to a lawyer who has experience representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Get Nationwide Representation with a Securities and Exchange Commission Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with securities and exchange commission charges, you’ll want to hire an SEC attorney who has handled these sorts of issues before. A skilled SEC attorney will be able to navigate the complex legal landscape and ensure that your rights are protected.
Attorney Pearce began his legal career at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an enforcement attorney more than 40 years ago. His SEC defense law practice clients have included public companies and their officers and directors, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and individuals being investigated in connection with their personal securities transactions.
He has broad and deep experience in matters arising from the alleged 10b-5 Fraud violations including, “insider trading,” Section 16(b) “short swing profit” and Section 14 “proxy rule” violations, as well as Section 9 “market manipulation” cases involving “wash sales,” “marking the close” and “matched trades.”
IMPORTANT If you are under investigation or dealing with enforcement actions by the SEC, call our office at 800-732-2889. We can help.
Mr. Pearce has represented clients throughout Florida and nationwide caught up in SEC investigations, SEC administrative proceedings and/or enforcement proceedings filed in federal court.
What is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a government agency that is responsible for regulating the securities and stock markets. The SEC oversees exchanges, brokers, and dealers, and helps to ensure that investors are protected.
The SEC is responsible for enforcing a variety of laws, including:
- Ensuring market fairness;
- Protecting investors;
- Maintaining orderly markets; and
- Regulating the issuance of new securities.
The SEC has enforcement authority over securities firms, issuers of securities, and other individuals and entities involved in the securities industry.
The SEC’s Division of Enforcement is responsible for investigating alleged violations of the securities laws and bringing enforcement actions.
Related Read: How to File a Complaint with the SEC
What Does an SEC Lawyer Do?
A Securities and Exchange Commission attorney is a lawyer who represents clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the SEC.
Since just about anyone can be the subject of an SEC investigation, from public companies to Wall Street firms to individual investors, SEC lawyers must have a wide range of knowledge and experience.
An SEC lawyer’s job is to protect the interests of their clients. This may include:
- Reviewing documents and responding to subpoenas
- Negotiating with SEC staff
- Representing clients at hearings
- Preparing and filing motions
- Arguing cases before the SEC’s administrative law judges
As each case is different, the SEC lawyer’s specific duties will depend on the client’s needs.
Should I Hire A Well Trained and Experienced SEC Defense Attorney?
If you are facing SEC charges, it is important to hire an experienced and well-trained SEC defense attorney.
An SEC defense attorney will understand the complexities of the securities laws and know how to navigate the SEC’s enforcement process.
A good SEC defense attorney will also have experience working with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and be familiar with their investigative techniques.
The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has extensive experience defending clients against SEC charges. We have successfully represented clients in a wide variety of enforcement actions and have a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.
One U.S. District Court judge wrote extensively about Attorney Pearce’s training, knowledge and experience in SEC investigations in a published court opinion:
Since 1983, Attorney Pearce has continued his specialized education by attending hundreds of hours of seminars focused on SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) investigation and enforcement proceedings and the practices and procedures of the securities and commodities industry.
He has received intensive training on broker-dealer practices and procedures (both front and back office) in the OTC market and the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), the American Stock Exchange (“AMEX”), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”).
In short, Attorney Pearce has knowledge and skill gained over 40 years of specialized training on the minutiae of broker-dealer practices and procedures and SEC enforcement proceedings, which could not be obtained by a competent practicing attorney through routine research or legal experience.
Mr. Pearce’s client obtained a complete defense verdict and collected on a Final Judgment against the SEC for over $480,000 for attorney fees and litigation expenses incurred in his six-year battle with the government.
How Long Does an SEC Investigation Take?
The length of an SEC investigation is determined by a variety of factors, such as the facts and circumstances of the case. Generally, the SEC will take several months to investigate a firm or an individual before making a judgment on whether or not to take enforcement action.
There are many factors outside of the SEC’s control such as the cooperation of witnesses and the availability of documents that hold up an investigation. In some cases, the SEC may need to subpoena records from third parties, which can also delay the process.
SEC Formal Order of Investigation
A Formal Order of Investigation (“formal order”) is the first step in the SEC’s investigative process. The formal order gives the SEC authority to subpoena documents and take testimony under oath from witnesses.
If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, be sure to ask for a copy of the formal order too. The document will outline the investigation and which Staff members are cleared to work on it.
This request for a copy of the formal order must be made by either the individual or the legal counsel representing the individual. This request must be made in writing and addressed to the Assistant Director assigned to the SEC investigation.
What should I do when I receive a SEC subpoena?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoenas are issued to companies and individuals to collect evidence when it has reason to believe federal securities laws may have been violated. At this point, a Formal Order of Investigation has been entered and authority has been granted to its attorneys and investigators to subpoena documents and take testimony to determine whether indeed there is evidence that any violations have occurred.
Subpoenas are issued to persons who may ultimately be the target or subject of the investigation as either a respondent in an administrative proceeding or defendant in an enforcement proceeding to be filed in federal court. Subpoenas are also issued to individuals and entities the SEC attorneys and investigators believe may have some evidence of the suspected violation. The SEC will not tell you whether you are a target, subject or mere witness. In fact, the SEC attorneys and investigators will tell you nothing about the investigation!
So, the first thing you need to do is contact an experienced SEC defense attorney to help you quickly decide how you are going to respond to the subpoena. Individuals (not corporations or other legal entities) always have their right to assert their privilege to not incriminate oneself as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Once you produce documents or information or testify it may be too late to assert your Fifth Amendment right!
Related Read: How to Handle an SEC Subpoena [Step-by-Step]
SEC Investigations and Enforcement Actions
If the SEC detects any securities fraud, it might file civil or administrative charges against a company or an individual. This could prompt federal or state legal action—or, under certain circumstances, criminal proceedings by the DOJ.
These investigations and enforcement actions by the SEC should not be taken lightly.
If the SEC is investigating you, it’s essential to have a securities defense lawyer to protect your interests. The costs of an unfavorable outcome can be significant.
A Skilled SEC Trial Attorney Can Make All the Difference in Defending SEC Investigations and Federal Court Enforcement Actions
In today’s regulatory environment, matters that begin as routine and informal inquiries by the SEC can often end up as serious enforcement cases or criminal investigations. In dealing with SEC inquiries, it is critical for the client to bring a veteran defense lawyer to the table immediately.
Attorney Pearce was trained at the SEC more than 40 years ago. Since then, he has accumulated a detailed understanding of how the SEC Enforcement Staff approaches investigations and which strategies are most likely to be effective in responding to an informal inquiry from the staff or formal investigation. If Mr. Pearce is unable to resolve an investigation satisfactorily, he is prepared and has successfully litigated against the government.
In fact, Mr. Pearce is one of a handful of attorneys nationwide who has won defense verdicts and obtained a final judgment against the SEC under the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) for hundreds of thousands of dollars for attorney’s fees, expert witness fees and other costs incurred by a client who was wrongfully prosecuted in a market manipulation case.
“Since 1983, Attorney Pearce has continued his specialized education by attending hundreds of hours of seminars focused on SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) investigation and enforcement proceedings and the practices and procedures of the securities and commodities industry. He has received intensive training on broker-dealer practices and procedures (both front and back office) in the OTC market and the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), the American Stock Exchange (“AMEX”), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”). In short, Attorney Pearce has knowledge and skill gained over  years of specialized training on the minutiae of broker-dealer practices and procedures and SEC enforcement proceedings which could not be obtained by a competent practicing attorney through routine research or legal experience.”
Securities and Exchange Commission Defense
The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has represented many clients in SEC investigations and enforcement actions.
Attorney Pearce began his legal career at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an enforcement attorney more than 40 years ago. His law practice clients have included public companies and their officers and directors, broker-dealers, investment advisors, and individuals being investigated for their personal securities transactions.
Our legal team is knowledgeable about the workings of SEC investigations and enforcement actions. We understand how the SEC develops cases and what they are looking for when they investigate.
We will work tirelessly to help you avoid an enforcement action or, if one has already been filed, minimize the damages.
You can contact our office at (800) 732-2889 to schedule a free consultation.
Do You Need to Find an SEC Attorney “Near Me”?
No, you do not need to find an SEC attorney “near me.” The SEC is a federal agency, so you can find the best legal representation regardless of your location. As such, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced SEC defense attorney to represent you, regardless of your location.
We have represented clients in SEC investigations and enforcement actions in many different states across the country.
Call us today at (800) 732-2889 to schedule a free consultation.
Hear From Our Clients
At The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., we believe the ultimate barometer of our success is surpassing the expectation of our clients.
The following clients have direct knowledge of our firm's processes from the inside and experienced our fierce advocacy.
Hear From Our Clients
- “Robert Pearce is part of that unusual breed of lawyers that are able to create empathy with clients and thoroughly adopt their cause”
No half efforts here. He and his group of professionals are outstanding strategists that can execute with precise fervor and unyielding determination. Theirs is a huge wave of facts, research, precedents and preparation, that has impressed me in its thoroughness and creativity, and most importantly with the results. No stone goes unturned and no effort is ever spared. In my book, he and they are those of a very rare kind that one wants to keep for a very long time.- Ramon Flores-Esteves -
- “Just like the song from HAMILTON, it's so nice to have Bob Pearce on your side.”
Just like the song from HAMILTON, it's so nice to have Bob Pearce on your side. He is the consumate plaintiff's lawyer: smart. dedicated, fully able to try a case but a great negotiator in a mediation. He did a wonderful job for us, fully supporting us through the process and more than holding his own against a large national law firm.- Maurice Z. -
- "Mr. Pearce and his staff exceeded all of our expectations."
Mr. Pearce and his staff exceeded all of our expectations. We were able to reach a settlement that was of our complete satisfaction, all within a very smooth, professional and efficient process. Mr. Pearce is now not only our lawyer but our family friend. We highly recommend him and his team!- Severiano L. -
- "For the best fighting chance, Robert Pearce is the lawyer you want in your corner."
This law firm is the real deal. We were so lucky that they took our case as they have so much experience in securities and all the wrongdoing that happens in these investment companies where they mislead you and your money (as in our case) into schemes that are not what you think they are. Mr. Robert Pearce is one of the best lawyers around, a truly professional who will fight for you and will tell you as it is all the time. We could not have gone thru this experience if it was not for all the advice, guidance and support he and all of his staff and associates brought to the game. For the best fighting chance, Robert Pearce is the lawyer you want in your corner.- Astrid M. -
- "He never felt intimidated and his study of the case and perseverance prevailed at all times."
Attorney Robert Pearce was our lawyer in a case against a Brokerage Firm and I'm witness to his ability and intelligence to deal with lawyers from the most prominent law firm in New York which was the key to recovering much of our losses cheered by their negligence. He never felt intimidated and his study of the case and perseverance prevailed at all times.- Jose A. C. -
- "In the end, Bob and I had the last laugh when the arbitrators awarded me almost 6 million dollars."
No lawyer except Bob said I had a chance of winning. When UBS Lawyers laughingly offered me zero to settle the dispute, Bob became even more determined to prove everybody wrong. Bob was extremely prepared, and always a step ahead of the opposing attorneys throughout the arbitration. In the end, Bob and I had the last laugh when the arbitrators awarded me almost 6 million dollars.- J. Blanco -
- "Every meeting and phone call was made with dedication and desire to help our family every step of the way."
Robert's team is excellent. They are very competitive in what they do and they are very responsible. Every meeting and phone call was made with dedication and desire to help our family every step of the way. Their professionalism, responsibility and empathy assured us that we were in good hands. Recommend to everyone.- Mayra A. -