Jennifer Leete

Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Jennifer S. Leete is a member of the Investigations and Regulatory Enforcement Practice. She is a former Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where she served for more than 20 years.

Ms. Leete represents public and private companies, financial institutions, auditors, audit committees, boards of directors, executives and board members in connection with sensitive and complex investigations, enforcement and regulatory matters. She also conducts internal investigations on behalf of board committees and companies and advises clients on corporate governance and regulatory compliance issues.

As a Senior Officer and member of the Division of Enforcement’s leadership team, Ms. Leete supervised a broad range of highly complex investigations and enforcement actions, managed a team of approximately 50 attorneys and collaborated closely with the SEC’s regulatory divisions. She regularly coordinated the resolution of matters with other authorities, including the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, state securities regulators, international securities regulators and self‑regulatory organizations, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

During her tenure at the SEC, Ms. Leete investigated, supervised and filed enforcement actions involving financial fraud and disclosure violations at public companies, as well as misconduct at major broker‑dealers, investment advisers, auditing firms, private funds and self‑regulatory organizations. She also led investigations in emerging areas of the securities laws, including issues related to ESG, digital assets and cryptocurrencies, SPACs and Regulation Best Interest, in addition to insider trading, internet and offering frauds, and Ponzi schemes.

Ms. Leete joined the SEC in 1999 as a Staff Attorney in the Division of Enforcement. She became a Branch Chief in 2003 and an Assistant Director in 2010. She is a recipient of the Capital Markets Award, the Chairman’s Award for Excellence and several Division Director Awards. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Leete was a litigator in private practice in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Leete is the Managing Editor of the 2023 edition of the Practising Law Institute’s SEC Compliance and Enforcement Answer Book, for which she also contributed three chapters.

Ms. Leete received a B.A. in 1990 from the College of William & Mary and a J.D. in 1993 from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she was the Managing Editor of the Maryland Law Review. After graduation, she served as a law clerk to Hon. Lawrence F. Rodowsky of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.