Gregory Morvillo is best known for his work shaping insider trading law. His victory before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the landmark insider trading case United States v. Newman propelled him to being one of the most sought-after insider trading defense attorneys in the country. Since that time, he has successfully defended numerous individuals accused of committing insider trading before the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Greg represented Anthony Chiasson in the criminal, appellate and regulatory actions in the above referenced case, all of which resulted in total exoneration. His work for Chiasson led Law360 to note that he “went toe-to-toe with hard-charging U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to win a landmark Second Circuit decision … that raised the bar for prosecuting individuals who are one or more layers removed from sources of confidential information and overturned the conviction of his hedge fund manager client.”
In the wake of Newman, Greg has become immersed in insider trading and securities fraud cases. He has tried numerous insider trading/securities fraud cases to verdict over the past several years and has taken on multiple appeals for clients in this ever-evolving area of the law. Recently, he prevailed on a motion to vacate former SAC portfolio manager Richard Lee's guilty plea. Subsequently, he secured a dismissal of the criminal charges even though Lee had previously pled guilty to insider trading and cooperated with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Greg also regularly advises public companies and privately-owned hedge funds on their compliance issues and methods to train/educate employees to avoid running afoul of the law. He has written and spoken on insider trading and corporate best practices dozens of times in the past few years.
Beyond his insider trading work, Greg has represented both individuals and corporations in numerous federal and state court actions and in government investigations. He has litigated against United States Attorneys’ Offices across the country, the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., numerous regional offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York Stock Exchange, FINRA, the CFTC and other government and self-regulatory organizations. He has also handled appeals in the Second, Third, Fourth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals. He routinely advises clients on criminal law, securities, regulatory, civil, administrative and corporate governance issues.
James Johnson is a litigation partner who focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, corporate compliance and corporate crisis management in connection with internal investigations. Mr. Johnson is recognized as a leading lawyer in white collar criminal defense and is commended in The Legal 500 US (2007) for his ‘calm and methodical demeanor’ as well as his ‘clear sense of high ethics and morals’.
Most recently, Mr. Johnson was lead enforcement counsel for the team representing Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales USA in connection with investigations into reports that drivers of certain models were experiencing unintended acceleration. The team resolved investigations being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the attorneys general for 29 states and American Samoa.
Mr. Johnson has the distinction of having held several senior positions in the United States Department of the Treasury, including Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1998-2000) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1996-1998). He oversaw the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the Secret Service, the United States Customs Service, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. In total, Mr. Johnson oversaw approximately 29,000 employees and shared oversight of an operating budget exceeding $4.2 billion. Mr. Johnson also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1990-1996), where he rose to Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division (1993-1996). During his tenure in the Southern District, he assisted in the management of the Criminal Division while prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases, and was detailed to the United States Department of the Treasury to serve on the White House Security Review.
Since returning to private practice, Mr. Johnson has represented individuals, audit committees and corporations in connection with a wide variety of regulatory, enforcement and Congressional matters, and has taken on several high profile public projects. He now serves as Monitor in U.S. ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center of NY v. Westchester County. He also led Governor Corzine’s Advisory Committee on Police Standards.
Mr. Johnson has received numerous awards for his service and accomplishments in both private practice and public service. He is the recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award (the Department of Treasury’s highest award, given to officials for excellence in service) and the Attorney General’s Certificate for Excellence in Prosecution. Mr. Johnson was recently elected as a member of the Harvard College Board of Overseers. He is former Chair of the Board of the Brennan Center for Justice and is also a trustee of the Montclair Art Museum.
Josh Levine is a Managing Director and Head of ICG NAM Regulatory Investigations at Citigroup. Working at Citigroup since 2006, Josh handles a broad range of regulatory and internal investigations, sweeps, enforcement and litigation proceedings, and other related inquiries conducted by federal and state regulatory authorities, criminal law enforcement authorities, and self-regulatory agencies. Prior to Citigroup, Josh was an enforcement attorney in the SEC's New York Regional Office, with responsibility for planning and directing investigations and litigations involving all aspects of the securities markets. Prior to the SEC, Josh was a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Josh received a J.D. from NYU School of Law in 1999, an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1995, and a B.A. in Government and History from Connecticut College in 1994.
Katy Choo is Chief Investigative & Anti-Corruption Counsel at GE, specializing in government and internal investigations in complex criminal and regulatory matters, compliance initiatives of the Company, and preventive law. Ms. Choo also is a member of GE’s Policy Compliance Review Board (PCRB), which oversees the Company’s strategic imperatives with respect to compliance.
Ms. Choo has primary responsibility for counseling GE’s businesses with respect to anti-corruption efforts globally relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-bribery laws and serves as primary compliance counsel to GE’s mergers and acquisitions transactions team. Ms. Choo has been the recipient of numerous awards at GE, including GE’s Chairman’s Award, the Company’s highest form of recognition.
Ms. Choo joined GE in 2003 after serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she was Chief of the General Crimes Unit and a Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division. As a federal prosecutor, she specialized in prosecutions of white-collar offenses and twice was a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance and a recipient of the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association’s Group Achievement Award. During her tenure in government, Ms. Choo tried numerous federal criminal trials to verdict and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit. Prior to her work as a federal prosecutor, she worked as an associate specializing in complex civil litigation at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Ms. Choo is a graduate of Wellesley College (Durant Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa) and Columbia School of Law (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar).
Katie represents banks, private investment funds, corporations and their senior executives in investigations and enforcement proceedings arising under the federal securities and commodities laws.
An experienced trial lawyer, Katie’s practice builds on nearly 12 years of experience as a federal prosecutor where she served in several significant leadership roles. After joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in 2004, she prosecuted a wide range of securities fraud cases, among others, and was promoted to Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in 2015 after serving as Deputy Chief for one year, and before that Co-Chief of the General Crimes Unit for two years.
During her nearly three years as Chief, Katie supervised a team of approximately 20 senior prosecutors in connection with some of the most complex and high-profile white collar and securities matters in the country. She led all aspects of the unit’s work from investigation through prosecution, spanning a broad range of matters, including:
Notable prosecutions brought under her leadership include a professional gambler charged with trading on inside information obtained from a board member of a publicly traded company; insider trading charges against individuals for hacking major New York law firms; corporate executives charged with honest services fraud; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with trading on government secrets obtained from a political consultant; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with the mismarking of illiquid fund assets; accounting fraud charges of an executive who manipulated a significant non-GAAP metric; and senior executives charged with a multi-year accounting fraud scheme at a publicly traded digital media company, as well as the market manipulation of the company’s stock. She also supervised the unit’s trials and appeals.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Katie was an accomplished trial lawyer and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit. Among the high-profile cases she tried were U.S. v. Mandell, et al. (a $100 million market manipulation and investor fraud, which resulted in a 12-year sentence) and U.S. v. Ebbers (public company accounting fraud by the CEO of WorldCom, which resulted in a 25-year sentence). As Chief of the General Crimes Unit, she supervised the office’s new Assistant U.S. Attorneys, numerous investigations and dozens of trials.
Katie is a member of the Bharara Task Force on Insider Trading, a working group composed of eight leading experts on insider trading commissioned to develop proposals to update and improve the clarity of federal insider trading laws. Led by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the group issued its report and recommendations earlier this year. (Click here to learn more.)
Katie is ranked by Chambers USA, where she is noted for her “strong reputation” and her “broad criminal defense practice” and where clients have described her as a “really excellent lawyer — very levelheaded, so smart and really able to get into the details.”
Katie received her B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Duke University, and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School where she was co-chair of the Harvard Law Review’s Supreme Court Issue. From 2000 to 2001, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
*Matters handled prior to joining Akin Gump.
Public Service and Affiliations
Lee Richards is a founding partner of Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP. He concentrates his practice in white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement defense, regulatory proceedings, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigations. He regularly represents investment banks, hedge funds, public companies, investment advisers, corporate officers and directors, and other professionals in investigations and proceedings by the DOJ, SEC, FINRA, and other governmental entities and SROs.
Prior to forming RK&O, Mr. Richards was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he handled major prosecutions of insider trading and securities fraud, including the first successful criminal prosecution of an insider trading case in U.S. history. He has been recognized as one of the top ten White Collar Lawyers in New York by Conde Naste and was recently named one of The National Law Journal's Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers.
MaryJeanette Dee is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade Practice Group in the firm’s New York office. She is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and serves as the Firm’s Co-Managing Partner.
MaryJeanette concentrates in internal investigations and regulatory and white collar criminal defense. Ms. Dee frequently represents banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, corporate officers, financial advisors and other securities professionals in connection with domestic and cross-border investigations and inquiries by U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the SEC, the CFTC, FINRA, the NY Attorney General’s Office, the FRB, the NY Department of Financial Services and other governmental entities and self-regulatory organizations. She has conducted numerous internal investigations into a wide variety of allegations, including insider trading, trading and position valuation issues, misuse of confidential information, embezzlement, money laundering and BSA/AML issues, sanctions compliance and retail brokerage sales practice violations.
Mike Delikat, a partner in the New York office, is the founder of the firm’s Whistleblower Task Force.
Chambers Global 2018 Guide lists Mike as one of only nine Band 1 ranked Labor and Employment attorneys in the United States. Under Mike's leadership as the Global Practice Group Leader for over twenty years, Orrick’s Employment Law & Litigation group was named Employment 360 Practice Group of the Year on multiple occasions including for 2018 and has received multiple other awards.
He represents a broad range of major corporations with a focus on the financial services industry in all facets of labor and employment law. Mike has an active trial, arbitration and appellate practice and handles a number of high-visibility class action and impact cases. He is a leading lawyer representing companies in whistleblower matters and frequently is called on to conduct high level and sensitive internal investigations by boards of directors. He is the co-author of PLI's Corporate Whistleblowing in the Dodd-Frank/Sarbanes Oxley Era, the leading treatise on that subject. He also has an active practice advising companies and Boards of Directors on #Metoo investigations and gender pay equity litigation and strategy responding to shareholder proposals.
Ms. Beamon, a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department and a former federal prosecutor, has successfully represented individuals and institutions in their most critical situations. She is recognized by Chambers USA as a Band 1 lawyer for her work in the white collar and investigations space, with clients describing her as a “phenomenal lawyer” who is “very smart” and “incredibly strong” and who won praise for her handling of a number of “sophisticated cases.”
Her matters have included grand jury, regulatory and independent investigations, representing companies, board of directors and individuals in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct, securities fraud, criminal tax violations, foreign corrupt practices, anti-money laundering and pharmaceutical marketing violations, among other areas. Her complex civil matters have involved allegations under the False Claims Act, consumer protection and whistleblower provisions, and other state and federal statutes. Ms. Beamon also has participated in a number of confidential internal investigations on behalf of clients and has advised corporations and boards of directors on matters of corporate governance and compliance. In addition, the FBI requested that she train its agents on insider trading.
Ms. Beamon served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, where she conducted numerous investigations and criminal trials. She received her J.D., summa cum laude, from University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her B.A., with honors, from University of Notre Dame.
Mylan L. Denerstein is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is a member of the Gibson Dunn’s White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation, Appellate and Crisis Management Practice Groups. Prior to joining the Gibson Dunn, Ms. Denerstein served as Counsel to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo since 2011. In this role she acted as the Governor’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor.
From 2007 to 2010 during the administration of then-Attorney General Cuomo, she served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice and managed approximately 100 attorneys statewide working in the areas of charities, civil rights, environmental protection, health care, labor and tobacco compliance. From 2003 to 2007, she served as Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs for the New York City Fire Department. From 1996 to 2003, Ms. Denerstein served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, first as Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuting complex securities, insurance fraud, money laundering and organized crime cases, and then as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where she assisted in managing over 100 Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Ms. Denerstein serves as a board member of the Vera Institute of Justice.Ms. Denerstein graduated in 1993 from Columbia Law School, where she was named a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow for outstanding commitment to public service and was a recipient of the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for exceptional proficiency and advocacy in clinics.
Nancy Kestenbaum is a partner in Covington’s New York office and is Co-Chair of Covington's White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. Earlier in her career, Nancy served for nearly ten years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Over the past fifteen years while at Covington, Nancy has represented many companies, individuals and boards in a wide variety of criminal and civil enforcement investigations and internal investigations, including clients in the financial services, life sciences, energy, defense, consumer products and technology industries.
In the past several years, Nancy has been at the forefront of investigations of sexual misconduct and abuse. For example, Nancy represents the United States Olympic Committee and has led numerous investigations into these issues including for the Board of Directors of CBS; schools around the country such as Choate Rosemary Hall and schools in New York and California; and non-profits such as the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.
Richard J. Morvillo, a partner in Orrick’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices, is a nationally-recognized expert in SEC enforcement and other white collar matters. He was named by Best Lawyers in America as the “2013 Lawyer of the Year - Securities Litigation” and Chambers USA has recognized Rich as “one of the deans of the securities enforcement bar." Over the past 35 years, he has been involved in over 200 SEC investigations, including some of the highest profile cases the SEC has handled. He also has extensive experience in FCPA cases, securities related white-collar criminal matters and private securities litigation. A former branch chief with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, Rich represents corporations, corporate executives, brokerage firms, investment advisers, accounting firms, auditors, law firms, hedge funds and individual investors in connection with SEC, PCAOB, NYSE, FINRA, congressional, state attorney general and grand jury investigations; SEC litigation; and complex securities cases.
Samuel J. Winer is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner, specializing in the representation of public companies, board members, senior executives, auditors, and financial services firms before the SEC and other regulators.
Sandy graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1974, where he served as an editor in the law review. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and as special counsel in the Division of Enforcement of the SEC before going into private practice. Sandy has been a partner at Foley since 1995.
Mr. Winer has also been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2006 and was named the Washington, D.C. Securities/Capital Markets Law Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® in 2015 and the Washington, D.C. Litigation – Securities Lawyer of the Year in 2017. He was rated to be one of the top securities regulation attorneys in the nation by Chambers USA for 2009-2017 and one of the top regionally in the District of Columbia for 2007, 2008, and 2009. Mr. Winer was selected for inclusion in the Washington, D.C. SuperLawyers® lists for 2008-2017.
Sheldon Goldfarb, recently retired as General Counsel of RBS Americas and a member of RBS senior management in the US. While at RBS he provided strategic leadership to the management of legal risk and managed an integrated legal function of over 70 lawyers. Prior to that, Mr. Goldfarb was managing director and general counsel of RBS Greenwich Capital, a position he had held since 1994. There he led it’s Legal, Compliance, Corporate Communications and Government relations functions. Before joining RBS Greenwich Capital, he was vice president and deputy general counsel of Goldman Sachs & Co. and a partner in the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski (formerly Reavis & McGrath). He began his career in the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Goldfarb is active in a variety of industry groups and is a frequent speaker at industry-wide conferences. He sat on the Managing Board of The Clearing House Association and was a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for International Bankers; is past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) General Counsels Committee; and served on the executive committee and as treasurer of SIFMA's Compliance and Legal Division. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Binghamton University Foundation, a past president of the SEC Alumni Association and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the SEC Historical Society. He earned his BA from Binghamton University and a JD cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law.
Stephanie Avakian is the Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. She served as Co-Director from June 2017 until August 2020 and as Acting Director from December 2016 to June 2017. Before that, she served as Deputy Director beginning in June 2014.
Before being named Deputy Director, Ms. Avakian was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she served as a vice chair of the firm’s securities practice and focused on representing financial institutions, public companies, boards, and individuals in a broad range of investigations and other matters before the SEC and other agencies.
Ms. Avakian previously worked in the Division of Enforcement as a branch chief in the SEC’s New York Regional Office, and later served as counsel to former SEC Commissioner Paul Carey.
Ms. Avakian received her bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and a law degree from Temple University’s School of Law, both with high honors.
Steven Peikin was named Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in June 2017.
Before serving at the Commission, Mr. Peikin was Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. His practice focused on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations.
From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Peikin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He was Chief of the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where he supervised some of the nation’s highest profile prosecutions of accounting fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, and abuses in the foreign exchange market. As a prosecutor, Mr. Peikin also personally investigated and tried a wide variety of cases involving securities and commodities fraud, as well as other crimes.
Mr. Peikin received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School, both magna cum laude. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard, United States Circuit Judge, Second Circuit, and the Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Jr., United States District Judge, Southern District of New York.
Mr. Peikin is Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU Law School and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Center For Hearing and Communication, a non-profit health and human services agency that serves the deaf and hard of hearing.
SUSAN MERRILL is a partner in Sidley’s New York office. Susan assists broker-dealers, investment advisers, financial institutions, exchanges and Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. in investigations before the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and state securities regulators. She also conducts internal investigations and advises clients on regulatory compliance matters. Susan is the former head of enforcement at FINRA, where she oversaw the establishment and development of its enforcement program. Susan has earned accolades from leading publications, including Law360’s Most Influential Women in Securities Law, The Legal 500 US (2013-2017), Chambers USA (2012-2020) and was named as Lawyer of the Year” in Securities Regulation The Best Lawyers in America (New York, 2020). Susan received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Maryland, and her J.D., summa cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School.
Tom Hanusik chairs Crowell & Moring’s Investigations Practice and is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group, which Law360 recognized as a "White Collar Group of the Year" and an "FCPA Powerhouse." InsideCounsel identified Tom as one of the "The Best Lawyers to Call in a Worst-Case Scenario" for a white collar investigation in its "Crisis Rolodex" and he was twice included on SecuritiesDocket's "Enforcement 40" list of the top SEC Enforcement attorneys. Tom is Chambers ranked in white collar & government investigations and has been recognized consistently in The Best Lawyers in America for white collar criminal defense and securities regulation.
Tom's practice focuses on DOJ white collar defense, SEC Enforcement, FINRA Enforcement and internal investigations. He leads internal investigations on behalf of companies, boards of directors and board committees, and he advises corporate clients on remedial measures, compliance programs and training. His recent engagements have focused on allegations of financial fraud, insider trading, FCPA violations, AML controls, federal and state tax offenses, public corruption, U.S. export controls and sanctions regulations.
Peter Romatowski oversees the Firm's Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice and also practices white-collar criminal defense.
Peter represents U.S. public companies and foreign issuers, their directors, board committees, and executives, as well as broker/dealers, private investment firms, and law firms, in regulatory and criminal investigations of the full range of securities law issues. These engagements involve accounting and financial statement issues, disclosure matters, securitization of subprime mortgage assets, faulty earnings guidance, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act payments, recordkeeping and controls matters, insider trading, Regulation FD issues, mutual fund trading practices, and broker/dealer supervision, trading, and sales practice issues.
In his criminal practice, Peter has represented corporate and individual clients from four continents before grand juries, courts, and committees of Congress concerning all manner of suspected violations. He has served as a monitor selected by a company and approved by the Department of Justice to oversee the company's compliance with a settlement of FCPA charges and as U.S. counsel to an FCPA monitor for a foreign issuer.
As a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York from 1979 to 1986 and Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit, Peter tried cases involving insider trading based on stories that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, a successful manipulation that tripled the price of an NYSE-listed stock, and other offenses from narcotics to bank fraud. His defense experience includes jury acquittals on criminal charges of withholding pharmaceutical drug test results from the FDA and alleged false statements to the USDA in connection with a major food recall.
AREAS OF FOCUS
HONORS & DISTINCTIONS
Wayne M. Carlin is a litigation partner with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. His practice is concentrated in the defense of regulatory, enforcement, white-collar criminal and complex civil litigation matters, as well as the conduct of internal investigations. Mr. Carlin was previously Regional Director of the New York Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission from 2000 to 2004. He earlier served in a variety of positions on the SEC's enforcement staff from 1993 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2000. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Carlin was Head of Regulatory Affairs at Lazard Frères & Co. Mr. Carlin was a member of the Task Force on the Role of Lawyers in Corporate Governance of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and previously served on the Securities Regulation Committee and the Financial Reporting Committee. Mr. Carlin served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of SEC Alumni from 2006 to 2019