Kevin J. Harnisch

Head of Regulation, Investigations, Securities and Compliance, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Washington DC
United States
T:+1 202 662 4520
Washington DC
United States
T:+1 202 662 4520
Kevin J. Harnisch

Kevin J. Harnisch



Kevin J. Harnisch joined Norton Rose Fulbright in November 2015. He serves as Head of SEC Enforcement and, since January 2019, as US Head of Regulation, Investigations, Securities and Compliance.

Kevin 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.

Kevin has significant experience defending public companies in a wide array of SEC, DOJ and other government agency investigations.  Those investigations often pertain to such issues as the accuracy of financial statements, undisclosed related party transactions, the adequacy of internal controls, the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws, responses to whistleblowers, and potential insider trading.  

He is also active in representing broker-dealers in various matters, including in anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting issues, market manipulation, order handling and best execution, managing conflicts of interest, the reasonableness of supervision, and the effectiveness of internal controls.

Professional experience

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

  • District of Columbia Bar


  • 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
  • Acritas Star, Acritas, 2020
  • Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Dispute resolution - Securities litigation: defense, The Legal 500, 2018 - 2020
  • Washington DC Super Lawyer, securities litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2016 - 2019
  • Co-author, "US Department of Justice admits error on insider trading convictions," April 16, 2021
  • Co-author, "SEC ESG Subcommittee panel debates framework for mandatory disclosures," March 24, 2021
  • Co-author, "SEC makes clear an ESG disclosure framework is coming and opens comment period on potential climate change disclosures," March 16, 2021
  • Co-author, "Chapter 11 Production of Information to the Authorities, The Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations, March 2, 2021
  • Co-author, "SEC poised to prioritize ESG-related disclosures under Biden administration," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, February 11, 2021
  • Co-author, "SEC adopts disclosure rules for resource extraction issuers," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, January 13, 2021
  • Co-author, "New whistleblower provisions for reporting AML violations," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, January 1, 2021
  • Co-author, "US DOJ breaks six-year hiatus with FCPA Advisory Opinion," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, August 31, 2020
  • Co-author, "New US DOJ / SEC guidance on FCPA offers insight into regulators' expanded enforcement efforts," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, June 9, 2020
  • Co-author, "New US DOJ guidance on corporate compliance programs emphasizes dynamic program design and implementation, Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, June 3, 2020
  • Co-author, "SOCIAL MEDIA | Regulation Tomorrow:  What is the STOCK Act?", Norton Rose Fulbright Blog, March 25, 2020
  • Co-author, "US Securities Law Liability for Securities Issuers Outside the U.S.", Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, March 6, 2020
  • Co-author, "US securities law liability for issuers outside of the United States in a post-Toshiba environment", Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, February 24, 2020
  • Co-author, "Airbus' sky-high settlement: Focus on global reach and collaboration in anti-corruption prosecutions", Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, February 14, 2020
  • Co-author, "Insider trading prosecutions may see an increase after Second Circuit decision lowered the barriers to convict", Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, January 28, 2020
  • Co-author, "Non-US citizen convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act despite no practical ties to US", Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, January 7, 2020
  • Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether SEC may obtain disgorgement of "ill-gotten gains", Financial Services Regulation Tomorrow, November 5, 2019
  • Co-author, "FCPA enforcers reach for the skies," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, August 29, 2019
  • Co-author, "The Delaware Supreme Court clarifies the standards for director oversight liability under Caremark," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, June 26, 2019
  • Co-author, "DOJ expands on its processes for evaluations of corporate compliance programs," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, May 29, 2019
  • Co-author, "US Supreme Court expands potential liability for securities fraud," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, April 3, 2019
  • Co-author, "DOJ declines prosecution under FCPA cooperation policy," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, March 2019
  • Co-author, "New guidance on the selection of corporate monitors," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, November 12, 2018,
  • Co-author, "US v. Martoma round two:  Second Circuit's return to US v. Newman," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, July 3, 2018
  • Co-author, "Business not as usual:  US Supreme Court holds that administrative law judges must be appointed--threatening years of prior decisions," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, June 23, 2018
  • Co-author, "Supreme Court holds individuals must report to the SEC to qualify as whistleblowers under Dodd-Frank," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, February 23, 2018
  • Co-author, "New FCPA enforcement policy provides additional certainty, but risks remain," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, January 31, 2018
  • Co-author, "Ch. 26, "Insider Trading," The General Counsel's Guide to Government Investigations," 2017
  • Co-author, "SEC action against hedge fund raises difficult questions for investment advisers," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, October 12, 2017
  • Co-author, "Second Circuit overturns precedent regarding scope of tipper/tippee insider trading liability," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP Publications, September 1, 2017
  • Author, "Criminal Enforcement of the Securities Act of 1933," Matthew Bender, November 2017
  • Co-Author, "US, Canada issue major insider trading decisions," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update," December 2016
  • Co-author, "A Series Of Firsts In Muni Bond Enforcement Since 2010," Law360, November 17, 2016
  • Co-author, "SEC fines Nu Skin US$765,688 to settle FCPA charges," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, September 28, 2016
  • Co-author, "Culture and compliance – new best friends?" Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, July 2016
  • Co-author, "DOJ launches pilot program for FCPA cases," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, April 11, 2016
  • Post Chiasson/Newman – The Future of Insider Trading Laws, Regulations and Litigation, client memo, October 13, 2015
  • SEC Speaks 2015: Enforcement Trends and Priorities for the Year Ahead, March 5, 2015
  • Compliance Officers in the SEC's Crosshairs, Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, December 8, 2014
  • "Cross-border enforcement and litigation challenges," Moderator, On-Demand Webinar, June 7, 2021
  • "Regulation Tomorrow podcast, Episode 6: Woolard review on BNPL; SEC actions on ESG; regulatory reform in Australia,  April 8, 2021
  • "Conducting internal investigations Cross-border Investigations team presents to Japan Institute for Overseas Investment," February 26, 2021
  • "Securities and derivatives - recent SEC and CFTC enforcement trends," Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, November 2, 2017
  • "Liability of Compliance Officers at Financial Institutions," Thomson 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