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Kevin James Harnisch

Head of SEC Enforcement, United States

Kevin James Harnisch

Washington, DC

T:+1 202 662 4520

Kevin J. Harnisch joined Norton Rose Fulbright in November 2015 and serves as Head of SEC Enforcement, United States. He is a litigator who defends clients before the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations, the Department of Justice, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), US attorney's offices, and federal courts.  He handles matters relating to securities enforcement defense, internal investigations, and anti-corruption issues, and represents corporations and their directors and officers, broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds, and investment banks.

Kevin served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the SEC, where he led cases regarding financial fraud, market manipulation, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and municipal bond offerings.  He has authored numerous articles and he frequently lectures on federal securities law and anti-corruption issues.

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  • Education

    JD, magna cum laude, Seattle University School of Law, 1995
    BBA, magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1992

  • Representative experience


    • Represented broker-dealers in anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting issues.
    • Represented broker-dealer in SEC and FINRA investigations regarding market manipulation
    • Represented broker-dealers in contested FINRA enforcement actions regarding the sale of unregistered securities
    • Represented broker-dealer in contested FINRA enforcement action regarding the sale of non-traded REITs
    • Represented broker-dealer in contested regional stock exchange enforcement action in which the SEC ultimately dismissed the sanctions
    • Represented broker-dealers in enforcement actions by various self-regulatory organizations concerning trade reporting, order handling, internal controls, and supervision

    Hedge Funds

    • Represented hedge funds in insider trading investigations conducted by the SEC and the DOJ
    • Represented hedge funds in SEC investigations concerning the structuring, valuation and sales of CDOs
    • Represented hedge fund in SEC investigation concerning the valuation of illiquid assets
    • Represented hedge fund in SEC, DOJ, Treasury and SIGTARP investigations concerning the failure of Colonial National Bank
    • Represented hedge fund in CFTC investigation concerning market manipulation

    Public Companies

    • Represented issuer in SEC investigation regarding the accuracy of financial statements, undisclosed related party transactions, and potential insider trading
    • Represented financial institution in SEC and DOJ investigations concerning the disclosures and accounting treatment of mortgage portfolios
    • Represented issuer in NASDAQ investigation and delisting proceeding
    • Represented issuer in internal investigation and SEC investigation regarding whistleblower complaint of improper revenue recognition practices
    • Represented former officer of Fortune 500 company in SEC, DOJ and CFTC investigations concerning energy trading


    • Represented defense contractor in internal investigation concerning potential FCPA issues
    • Represented aircraft manufacturer in internal review of potential FCPA issues
    • Represented officer of Fortune 500 company in FCPA investigation
    • Regularly advise companies on anti-corruption compliance issues, including due diligence reviews and drafting anti-corruption policies
  • Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Washington DC Super Lawyer, securities litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2016 - 2017
  • Publications
  • Speaking engagements
    • "Liability of Compliance Officers at Financial Institutions," Thompson Reuters, May 3, 2017
    • "Navigating the new regulatory landscape, Key challenges and potential changes in SEC regulation and enforcement," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and FTI Consulting, March 23, 2017
    • "Managing a High-Profile Investigation," GICLI Second Annual Meeting, October 10, 2016
    • "Directors Roundtable, Key Issues Facing Boards of Directors, New SEC Enforcement Initiatives and Corporate Governance Issues," May 10 and 12, 2016
    • "Professional Certificate in Ethics and Anti-Corruption Compliance," Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 17-18, 2016
    • "Assessing Risk in Global Energy Trading, Trends in Energy Litigation," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and KPMG, February 11, 2016
    • "A Recap on the Government's Focus on Insider Trading After Newman," Government Investigations & Civil Litigation Institute, October 14, 2015
    • "For Financial Institutions: Securities Enforcement 2014," American Law Institute, June 19, 2014
    • "Government Investigations Part I: Investigative Triggers," The University of Texas School of Law's Government Enforcement Institute, May 21, 2014
    • "Using Data Analytics and Information Technology to Build and Manage an Effective Anti-Corruption Program," NYC Bar Recent Trends in FCPA Investigations, Enforcement, Litigation & Compliance, April 2, 2014