If the SEC gets in touch with you – even if the inquiry seems innocuous and you do not believe that you have engaged in any wrong-doing – it is best to contact an attorney before responding to the SEC. If you wait too long, or speak with the SEC before at least conferring with counsel, you may find yourself charged with a violation of the securities laws. Whether the investigation is internal or external, you should not trust anyone else to look out for your best interests. Even something as harmless as an interview or information request has a lot of hidden consequences.
I represent individuals, institutional investors, financial advisors, broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, and corporations in investigations conducted before all federal, state and self-regulatory agencies.
You have the right to request independent counsel at your company’s expense if:
- you are an individual and your company is under investigation, or
- the regulator asks you to participate in any way in the investigation.
It is important to remember that the attorney-client privilege your company’s attorney has is with the company, not with you, and you need to protect yourself by seeking outside representation.