Erich T. Schwartz
joined Skadden in 2001 after serving as assistant director of the
Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He concentrates
his practice in the defense of securities enforcement matters and compliance
counseling. He represents public companies; public accounting firms; broker-dealers
and investment advisers; and their officers, directors and employees in investigations
by the SEC and other regulatory authorities.
Mr. Schwartz handles high-profile internal investigations of conduct that raise potential
regulatory issues, including accounting and disclosure issues, insider trading and
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, among others. He counsels his clients on
strategies for avoiding such issues, including preventative and remedial measures.
Additionally, Mr. Schwartz is experienced in complex representations that involve
parallel investigations by the SEC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), state regulators or
FINRA, as well as related private litigation.
Illustrative public representations include:
- Herbert Steffen, a former senior executive at Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, in the defense of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act claims by the SEC, in which Mr. Schwartz obtained a full dismissal of the SEC’s claims on jurisdictional grounds;
- The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc. in an investigation of the performance of self regulatory responsibilities, which was resolved through the issuance of a report of investigation;
- Research In Motion Limited, and the company’s audit committee, in connection with stock option granting practices and a related SEC investigation, which the company resolved without monetary penalty;
- SCOR SE in the settlement of an SEC investigation into an alleged fraudulent accounting scheme for certain nontraditional insurance and reinsurance transactions by an entity that SCOR had subsequently acquired. SCOR achieved a settlement in which a subsidiary consented to a cease-and-desist order that involved no monetary remedies; and Erich T. Schwartz Partner Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP SEC Compliance and Enforcement Matters www.skadden.com (continued)
- Symmetry Medical Inc.’s audit committee in an internal investigation of alleged accounting irregularities at Symmetry’s operating unit in Sheffield, U.K. Mr. Schwartz subsequently represented the company in its settlement with the SEC. The settlement was achieved with no fraud charge against the company; nor was any civil penalty or other financial obligation imposed on Symmetry.
The best outcome in the defense of a securities enforcement investigation is in persuading
the regulators not to take any enforcement action. Mr. Schwartz recently
obtained such outcomes after a preliminary decision has been made to proceed in
investigations of a mutual fund portfolio manager and a hedge fund manager with
regard to portfolio valuation and disclosure issues, among others.
Before joining Skadden, Mr. Schwartz practiced for 15 years at the SEC, including
as assistant director of the Division of Enforcement from 1994 through 2001. In that
capacity, Mr. Schwartz directed securities enforcement investigations, civil litigation
of securities claims and parallel investigations with criminal prosecutors concerning
accounting fraud, improper audits, auditor independence, insider trading, market
manipulation, offering fraud, false disclosures, and violations by brokers-dealers
and investment advisers. Mr. Schwartz also organized an enforcement branch at the
SEC that concentrated on investigating securities fraud conducted over the Internet.
Mr. Schwartz writes and speaks frequently on a wide range of securities law enforcement
topics. He also served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington
University Law School, where he taught securities regulation.
Mr. Schwartz repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA
America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
and The Best Lawyers in America
Mr. Schwartz serves on the advisory committee of the Skadden Fellowship