Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine
Steve defends enforcement matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulators. He protects clients' interests during regulatory inquiries, including investigative testimony. He advocates with regulators in meetings and written submissions, including SEC Wells submissions, to obtain "closing letters" and otherwise negotiates to reach fair and appropriate consent decrees. Where enforcement action cannot be avoided entirely or resolved on consent, he fights for clients in federal court litigation, including jury trials and appeals, and in administrative proceedings.
Based on peer surveys, U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America named Steve the "Securities Regulation Lawyer of the Year for New York City" in 2017, and in 2021 and 2022 recognized his practice as the national "Securities Regulation Law Firm of the Year," ranking Steve individually for both securities litigation and securities regulation for well over a decade. Chambers USA has ranked him nationally since 2009 for "complex and sensitive SEC enforcement actions and investigations on behalf of public companies and broker dealers," with "significant strength in financial fraud and accounting issues." Chambers has reported peer comments that he is a "real leader of the SEC enforcement Bar" and that "you will find no one who knows more about how to litigate at the SEC."
Steve testified three times before Congress, most recently in 2019 at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing on SEC enforcement reforms and on cryptocurrency regulation and twice during the financial crisis. He has chaired both the Federal Bar Association's Securities Law Section, and the DC Bar's Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section. He presents panels and writes on securities topics, including an academic article "Insider Trading: Where Is the Line?" in the Columbia Business Law Review that was favorably noted in The Economist, and most recently a 2022 article "Shadow Trading Becomes Insider Trading" in Columbia Law School's Blue Sky Blog. He has guest-taught law classes and symposia at Columbia, Georgetown, and other law schools on SEC enforcement topics.
During 14 years at the SEC, Steve co-managed its Enforcement Division's large Trial Unit in prosecuting jury and non-jury securities cases in federal courts and in SEC administrative proceedings around the country. First joining the SEC as a senior trial counsel at its Washington headquarters, Steve continued to personally litigate and try cases after promotion to Enforcement Division leadership and the Senior Executive Service. He earned the SEC-wide Productivity Improvement Award for his management skills. A Brooklyn native, he graduated from Columbia Law School and began his career at a large New York law firm before joining the SEC.
Since returning to private practice after his SEC service, Steve has achieved successful outcomes in securities enforcement matters for many entities and individuals. Currently, he is advocating for clients in investigations and litigation spanning the breadth of the SEC's enforcement program. He also presents professional panels and publishes articles exploring new developments in SEC policy and securities law and regulation.
Steve was a shareholder at McGonigle P.C., before the firm combined with Davis Wright Tremaine.