Introducing the Duane Morris Quarterly Financial Regulatory Enforcement Report

We are pleased to present the Duane Morris Quarterly Financial Regulatory Enforcement Report—our analysis of key regulatory developments, enforcement actions and criminal cases that shape the complex and constantly evolving financial regulatory environment. Attorneys in our White Collar Practice Group have extensive experience representing clients facing investigations and litigation involving state and federal financial regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, members of our team have previous significant supervisory experience at the SEC and the DOJ and have a deep understanding of the investigative and enforcement processes. Our perspective and insights allow us to help clients navigate the uncertain and, at times, significantly disruptive, government investigations as well as helping clients understand and remain in compliance with the changing regulatory framework now and in the future.

One of the more significant developments last quarter was the announcement of the appointment of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as Enforcement Director. The position has been vacant since the quick departure of Alex Oh in April, after just a few days on the job. The director has a significant role in formulating strategy and priorities for the Division of Enforcement, and we expect an uptick in enforcement activity in the months ahead. Nevertheless, SEC enforcement activity and public statements over the past quarter can give us a glimpse of what's ahead. For one thing—and despite earlier setbacks in the area—we can expect the SEC to focus on frauds related to digital assets and cryptocurrency. The SEC's focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and disclosures will only increase. And even though the SEC will likely dedicate substantial attention to cutting-edge areas like cryptocurrency and ESG, expect "bread and butter" enforcement actions against broker-dealers, investment advisers and public companies to continue as well. The SEC has shown keen interest in using data analytics and other tools to identify potential violations of the rules by registrants.

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Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.