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SEC Guidance Regarding Investment Advisors and Proxy Firms


Speaker(s): David M. Lynn, Scott Lesmes
Recorded on: Dec. 16, 2014
PLI Program #: 127688

David M. Lynn is a partner in the Washington, D.C. Office of Morrison & Foerster LLP and is co-chair of the firm’s Corporate Finance | Capital Markets practice. He served as Chief Counsel of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Lynn who provides guidance to companies, underwriters, boards of directors and other market participants on corporate finance matters, corporate governance and best practices for disclosure and compliance. In addition to being a leading authority on securities and governance issues, Mr. Lynn is particularly well known in the area of executive compensation disclosure, having co-authored “The Executive Compensation Disclosure Treatise and Reporting Guide.”

While serving as Chief Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, Mr. Lynn led the rulemaking team that drafted significant revisions to the SEC's executive compensation and related party disclosure rules. Mr. Lynn re-joined the SEC as Chief Counsel shortly after adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and served in that position until 2007. Mr. Lynn initially served on the SEC staff from 1995-2000 as an Attorney-Advisor and subsequently a Special Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance. While in private practice from 2000-2003, he advised clients on SEC investigations, securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.

Mr. Lynn is co-editor of TheCorporateCounsel.net, The Corporate Counsel, CompensationStandards.com and The Corporate Executive, which are widely read sources on securities, governance, executive compensation and corporate law matters. Mr. Lynn also has served as chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, co-chair of the Practising Law Institute’s Annual Institute on Securities Regulation and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society.

Mr. Lynn received his law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where he serves as a member of the Board of Visitors, and his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and finance from Loyola University Maryland.


Scott Lesmes serves as co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Corporate Finance | Capital Markets practice. Mr. Lesmes primarily counsels public companies with respect to corporate and securities matters. He advises management and boards of directors on a broad range of securities regulation and corporate governance issues and has substantial experience in dealing with restatements and internal control concerns. Mr. Lesmes counsels issuers and underwriters in the public offering process and in corporate compliance matters involving SEC reporting and disclosure requirements.

Prior to rejoining private practice, Mr. Lesmes served as in-house counsel at two public companies. He was the Chief Legal Officer for Allied Capital Corporation, formerly a NYSE-listed business development company, and Deputy General Counsel/Chief Securities Counsel for Fannie Mae, a financial services company. Mr. Lesmes draws on his significant in-house experience to provide valuable perspective in his role as an outside advisor.

Mr. Lesmes also serves as chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Practice and Opinion Review Committee.