Mark K. Schonfeld is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Securities Enforcement Practice Group. He is also a member of the Crisis Management and the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups.
Mr. Schonfeld’s practice focuses on the representation of financial institutions, public companies, hedge funds, accounting firms and private equity firms in investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, States Attorneys General, FINRA and other regulatory organizations. Mr. Schonfeld also conducts internal investigations and counsels clients on compliance and corporate governance matters.
Mr. Schonfeld is ranked as a leading lawyer in Securities Regulation and Enforcement by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which highlighted client praise for his “invaluable current knowledge of agency practice, procedure and personalities active at the SEC.”
Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Schonfeld concluded a 12-year career with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the last four years as the Director of the New York Regional Office, the largest of the SEC’s regional offices. Mr. Schonfeld oversaw professional staff of nearly 400 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators and compliance examiners engaged in the investigation and prosecution of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance inspections of more than 4,000 SEC registered financial institutions in the region. Mr. Schonfeld led the New York Office through one of the most vibrant and rapidly evolving periods in the history of the SEC and securities law enforcement and brought many of SEC’s major landmark cases dealing with complex accounting fraud, mutual fund trading, hedge fund abuses, foreign bribery, insider trading and market manipulation.
Mr. Schonfeld received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1988 and his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, and with Highest Distinction from the University of Rochester in 1984. Following law school, Mr. Schonfeld was a law clerk for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Following his clerkship and before joining the SEC, Mr. Schonfeld was a litigator in private practice.
Mr Schonfeld is a frequent public speaker to legal and industry practitioners and commentator on television and radio, and has participated in international training programs for foreign financial regulators and law enforcement agencies. He is a past recipient of the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Capital Markets Award. He is a member of the New York and Massachusetts State Bars, the New York State Bar Association and the Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Federal Bar Council. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second and Federal Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York., the Eastern District of New York and the District of Massachusetts.
- Successfully represented major investment bank in investigation of arrangement and syndication of commercial real estate loans to lenders. Following presentation of findings to the staff, regulator closed the investigation.
- Successfully represented major hedge fund in investigation into potential insider trading in credit default swaps. Following presentation of findings to the staff, regulator has not pursued the investigation.
- Successfully represented former managing director of major investment bank in investigation of proprietary trading of credit derivatives. After receiving a Wells notice, persuaded staff not to pursue enforcement action.
- Represents Fortune 100 corporation in investigation of timing of corporate disclosures relating to product defect.
- Represents hedge fund advisers in investigations of potential insider trading.
- Represents Fortune 50 company in FCPA investigation by SEC and DOJ.
- Represents client in investigation of valuation of collateralized debt obligations by hedge fund adviser.
- Represented major investment bank in regulatory review of “flash crash.”
- Represented hedge fund adviser in investigation of trading in advance of public offerings and compliance with Rule 105.
- Represented hedge fund adviser in investigation of trading in credit default swaps.
- Represented hedge fund adviser in investigation of potential market manipulation.
- Successfully represented Fortune 500 company in SEC inquiry of accounting issues. Following presentation of information staff closed inquiry.
- Presenter, “Hot Topics in SEC Enforcement: Whistleblowing, Insider Trading, FCPA & More,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 2013).
- Presenter, “Hedge Fund Enforcement & Regulatory Developments,” Practising Law Institute (March 2013).
- Presenter, “SEC Whistleblower Initiative: Update and Perspective,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (January 2013).
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Update,” Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, Fall Conference (October 2012).
- Presenter, “Hot Topics in SEC Enforcement,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 2012).
- Presenter, “Hot Topics in SEC Enforcement: Investigations in a Time of Turmoil,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 2012).
- Presenter, “SEC Whistleblower Rules,” IA Week Annual Compliance Summit (March 2012).
- Co-Author, “Is This an Inspection or an Investigation? The Blurring Line Between Examinations of and Enforcement Actions Against Private Fund Managers” Hedge Fund Law Report, Volume 5, Number 13 (March 2012).
- Presenter, “Hedge Fund Registration and Compliance,” Practising Law Institute (January 2012).
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Update,” NYSBA Securities Regulation Committee (February 2011).
- Presenter, “SEC Hot Topics 2011 Luncheon,” Sandpiper Partners LLP (January 2011).
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Update for Directors,” Mutual Fund Directors Forum (January 2011).
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Update: Navigating the Seas of Heightened Enforcement,” Mutual Fund Directors Forum (November 2010).
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Actions: Understanding the Legal & Equitable Remedies That the SEC Can Use Against Your Clients,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (October 2010).
- Program Chair, “Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the Securities Industry —What Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers Need to Know,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (October 2010).
- Presenter, “SEC Update: Navigating the Seas of Heightened Enforcement,” Center for Corporate Reporting & Governance, Ninth Annual SEC Financial Reporting Conference (September 2010).
- Presenter, “The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the SEC’s Enforcement Program,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (September 2010).
- Speaker, “Riding Herd on Complex Products: Learn About the SEC Enforcement Division’s Newly Created Structured & New Products Unit,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (April 2010).
- Co-Author, “Recent Developments in SEC Insider Trading Cases,” Securities Litigation Report, Vol. 7, Issue 4 (April 2010).
- “Getting Governance Right: Listening for the Early Warning Signals,” Operational Risk Committee and International Association of Financial Engineers Spring 2010 Panel. At PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York (March 2010).
- “The SEC’s New Cooperation Policy—What You Need to Know to Navigate the New Guidelines,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York (February 2010).
- “Insider Trading: Looking for the Bright Line,” Institutional Investor Legal Forum Winter Roundtable (February 2010).
- “Insider Trading: Navigating Murky Waters,” Institutional Investor Trader Forum Winter Workshop and Equity Summit (January 2010).
- “SEC Scrutiny of Mutual Fund Directors: Staying Out of Harm’s Way,” Mutual Fund Directors Forum (November 2009).
- Chapter Co-Author, “SEC Investigations and Enforcement Actions,” PLI Securities Litigation: A Practitioner’s Guide (September 2009).
- “SEC Enforcement in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: An Evolving Response,” PLI Securities Litigation and Enforcement Institute 2009 (September 2009).
- Speaker, “Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute 2009,” PLI (September 2009).
- Panel Chair, “SEC Enforcement Initiatives—What the Changes Mean for Counsel and Their Clients,” BNA (September 2009).
- Panel Chair, “SEC Hot Topics Conference,” hosted by R.R. Donnelley at UC Irvine (September 2009).
- Co-Author, “SEC Investigations and Enforcement Actions,” PLI Securities Litigation: A Practitioner’s Guide (September 2009).
- “The SEC in Transition: A Mid-Year Review of SEC Enforcement in 2009,” Insights (August 2009).
- “Using SOX ‘Clawback’ Against Uncharged Execs?” Law360 (August 2009).
- “Enforcement Action on Section 13(d) Disclosure Requirements for Institutional Investors Clarifies Exception for ‘Ordinary Course of Business,’” BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report (July 2009).
- “Preparing for and Responding to Emerging State and Federal Regulatory and Enforcement Initiatives,” American Conference Institute (May 2009).
- “Regulation by Prosecutors,” New York University School of Law, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (May 2009).
- “U.S. Securities Regulation and the New Administration,” International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State (April 2009).
- “The Law Enforcement Response to the Financial Crisis,” Business Crimes Bulletin (April 2009).
- “Legal Issues Relating to the Financial Markets Liquidity Crisis,” Federal Bar Council 2009 Winter Bench and Bar Conference (February 2009).
- “Securities Enforcement and Fraud Risk in the Age of President Obama,” Ernst & Young Thought Center Webcast (February 2009).
- “Hedge Funds and the New SEC: The Future of Hedge Fund Enforcement and Regulation,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Conference (February 2009).
- “SEC Enforcement —The Financial Crisis and The New Administration,” Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Securities Litigation Committee (February 2009).
- “SEC Update —Current Issues and Trends,” Automotive Legal & Compliance Share Forum (January 2009).
- Co-Author, “SEC Reports to Congress on Mark-to-Market Accounting Study,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Client Alert (January 2009).
- Co-Author, “A Wider Scope of Primary Liability?”, Law360 (January 2009).
- “Mutual Fund Accounting and Financial Oversight: Complex Financial Oversight Issues Facing Directors Today,” Mutual Fund Directors Forum (December 2008).
- Co-Author, “FINRA Issues New Guidance on Credit for Extraordinary Cooperation in Investigations,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Client Alert (December 2008).
- “Dealing with the SEC: Navigating the Murky Waters of a Securities Investigation and Prosecution,” Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (November 2008).