Howard Schiffman

Advisory Board Member

Howard Schiffman

Nationally known in the area of securities litigation and regulatory developments, Howard Schiffman focuses on investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by various exchanges and government agencies, including the SEC, the DOJ and FINRA, as well as a diverse array of civil litigation, including securities class actions and arbitrations. He is an Advisory Board Member for EveryIncome — an online platform and income solution company where users learn how to improve their income, partner with the right experts, gain insights, and access institutional-quality income products and services. 

A corporate problem solver, Howard is as adept at dispute containment and resolution as he is at arguing to a jury. He counsels clients, including major financial institutions and investment banks, leading Nasdaq market-makers, institutional and retail brokerage firms and their registered representatives, trade execution and clearing firms, prime brokers, national accounting firms, hedge funds, and public and private companies and their senior officers in risk analysis and litigation avoidance.

Still, with his extensive trial experience and solid record of success in numerous SEC enforcement actions, SRO proceedings and FINRA arbitrations, Howard has the confidence to take a case to trial when necessary. Recently, he won dismissal on statute of limitations grounds in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, as successor to National Westminster Bank PLC, of a suit brought by investors alleging fraud in connection with loans related to a tax shelter scheme known as Bond Linked Issue Premium Structure, or BLIPS. He also obtained victories in other significant matters, including prevailing in a price adjustment case involving the dispute of several $100 million for a portfolio of real estate mortgages. He represented the former CEO of the largest Nasdaq market-making firm, Knight Securities, in a federal court action brought by the SEC. After a 14-day bench trial, all parties were completely cleared of wrongdoing.

Howard began his career as a trial attorney with the SEC Division of Enforcement. In private practice for almost 30 years, he has long been at the forefront of securities litigation and regulatory developments, including his current representation of hedge funds, and the leading prime brokers and clearance firms, in regulatory and civil litigation. Howard was included in Washingtonian magazine’s “Washington’s Top Lawyers” list and has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Legal 500 United States and Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a leading individual in the securities regulation area. He is a member of American Bar Association Sections on Litigation, Corporation, Finance and Securities Law and a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He is also a director and former president of the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni Inc. Howard is a former co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Group.

Representations

Overview

  • Clients have included many of the leading financial institutions and investment banks, largest Nasdaq market-makers, institutional and retail brokerage firms and their registered representatives, trade execution and clearing firms, prime brokers, national accounting firms, hedge funds, and numerous public and private companies and their senior officers.
  • Has advised and/or represented clients in connection with securities litigation and regulatory developments in wide variety of areas, including alleged insider trading, market manipulation, improper short selling, accounting fraud, unregistered broker dealers and unregistered securities offerings, legal exposure arising out of prime brokerage services and securities registration.
  • Extensive trial experience includes impressive record of successfully litigating to conclusion numerous SEC enforcement actions, SRO proceedings and FINRA arbitrations.

SEC and DOJ Enforcement Proceedings

  • Has successfully represented numerous clients in complex securities matters before the SEC and the DOJ, as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and England’s Financial Conduct Authority. The investigations and enforcement proceedings have focused on, among other things, accounting and financial disclosure issues, stock option grant backdating issues, PIPE offerings, sales of unregistered securities, executive compensation and perks, sales practices, soft dollars, money laundering compliance, and alleged late trading and market timing, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, antitrust violations, market manipulation and alleged manipulation of Libor.
  • Has successfully represented numerous hedge funds and their managers in SEC investigations, including alleged violations of insider trading, Rule 105 and self-dealing.
  • Has represented the largest New York State Stock Exchange (NYSE) specialist and leading Nasdaq market- making firms, national retail brokerage firms and their management and representatives, and public companies and their officers and directors. For example, before the SEC and in private litigation, represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a Fortune 100 technology company in connection with a worldwide investigation of allegations of stock option backdating and earnings manipulation. Before the SEC, he has represented hedge funds in insider trading inquiries, fund administrators in alleged improper NAV calculations, the CEO of one of the world’s largest food processing companies in an SEC proceeding involving proxy disclosure, and the CEO of a leading market-maker in connection with allegations of fraud and inadequate supervision.
  • Has been involved in many complex accounting cases. While at the SEC, he served as trial counsel in the SEC’s first successful fully-litigated accounting case, which involved a shifting of quarterly earnings based on improper recognition of sales and an improper accounting of inventory (SEC v. Aydin Corp.). Involvement in complex accounting matters before the SEC and the DOJ has included representation of one of the largest energy companies in connection with allegations of improper revenue recognition of wash trades.

SRO Investigations and Proceedings

  • Has represented numerous securities professionals in regulatory investigations conducted by NASD (now FINRA) and the NYSE, American Stock Exchange (AMEX), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and various other exchanges. Has represented many of the largest securities firms, including Goldman Sachs & Co., Knight Securities, Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, First Options of Chicago, BTIG, Lek Securities Corporation and CRT. Has represented market professionals in connection with allegations that include failure to supervise, violation of option trading rules, improper clearing, trading irregularities, and reporting violations. Also has successfully assisted numerous issuers in connection with Nasdaq delisting proceedings.

Education

  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1977
  • Fordham Law Review
  • Colgate University, B.A., cum laude, 1973

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