It’s easy not to keep up with the latest pronouncements from the SEC Enforcement Staff about what is appropriate cooperation that earns you points when it comes to negotiating a settlement with the Staff. That’s because you have enough on your hands without bothering to learn about something that isn’t relevant to you.

But unfortunately, if you stay in this business long enough, you might eventually have to become familiar with the cooperation guideline parameters. If you find yourself in that position, look to this recent speech by SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal in which Director Grewal provides his “Five Principles of Effective Cooperation”:

  1. Best cooperation starts early and well before the SEC gets involved, with self-policing.
  2. Once you discover a possible violation, self-report without delay.
  3. Don’t stop with the self-report. Remediate.
  4. The type of cooperation that earns credit requires going above and beyond what’s legally required — more than simply complying with subpoenas without undue delay or gamesmanship.
  5. Collaborate with Enforcement Staff early, often, and substantively.

Director Grewal’s speech was one highlight at the Securities Enforcement Forum West 2024 conference. Learn more about other topics discussed at that conference in this Client Update.

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Photo of Allison Handy Allison Handy

Allison Handy is the firmwide co-chair of the Corporate & Securities practice. Her extensive experience includes advising public and private companies in connection with corporate governance practices, disclosure issues, and capital markets transactions, such as equity offerings, debt offerings and tender offers. She…

Allison Handy is the firmwide co-chair of the Corporate & Securities practice. Her extensive experience includes advising public and private companies in connection with corporate governance practices, disclosure issues, and capital markets transactions, such as equity offerings, debt offerings and tender offers. She is also a leader of the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance advisory team.

Allison provides counsel to companies on a broad range of issues faced by management and directors in connection with the many compliance aspects of securities laws, including governance rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stock exchanges. She advises boards and committees in matters related to internal investigations and the efforts of shareholder activists, and works closely with in-house counsel, financial personnel, and outside auditors and advisors to help her clients prepare proxy statements and other reports to investors that meet complex disclosure obligations.