John H. Walsh is a Partner in Sutherland’s Financial Services Group and a member of the Securities Enforcement and Litigation Team. As a 23-year veteran of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), John played a key role in creating the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), which administers examinations of the nation’s registered entities, including broker-dealers, investment managers, funds, self-regulatory organizations, and others.
At the OCIE, John designed and implemented the SEC’s securities compliance examination practices, first as a Senior Advisor for Compliance Policy and then, most recently, as Associate Director-Chief Counsel. In 2009, at the peak of the financial crisis, he served as OCIE’s Acting Director and led a massive retraining of examination staff on anti-fraud techniques, including examination and certification of hundreds of staff as Certified Fraud Examiners. Until a permanent director was appointed in January 2010, he also testified before Congress and responded to inquiries from the Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, Congress, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Prior to his tenure at OCIE, John was Special Counsel to former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt from 1993 to 1995. From 1990 to 1993, he worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, serving first as Senior Counsel and then as Chief of the Branch of Regional Office Assistance where he regularly appeared before the Commission’s Closed Meetings to present and discuss regional office enforcement cases. He also advised the commissioners and staff on securities laws and agency policy. John began his career with the SEC in 1988 as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel.
John has held several high-ranking positions on committees and task forces during his tenure with the SEC. He served on the Executive Committee (the newly formed governing body for the SEC’s National Examination Program) and was Co-Chair of the Executive Committee’s Steering Committee on Compliance, Ethics, and Internal Controls. In 2010, John was a member of the Self-Assessment Leadership Team studying the reform of SEC examinations and, in 2007, led a study on Refunds, Sales Practices, and Revenues from Periodic Payment Plans. He has also been an active member of SEC task forces studying the Regulation of Public Utility Holding Companies and the Fair and Efficient Administrative Proceedings. In 2010, and again in 2011, John’s team received the SEC’s Law and Policy Award for its work on the Dodd-Frank Act.
John is a Certified Fraud Examiner and frequently speaks on issues such as the compliance implications of the financial crisis, dangers of identity theft, and issues to consider in an annual compliance review. He is a recognized author on securities regulation and compliance, and has published articles in Harvard International Law Journal, Columbia Business Law Review, Business Lawyer, and many others.
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1984
Editor, American Criminal Law Review
Ph.D., Boston College, 1995
M.A., Northeastern University, 1976
B.A., summa cum laude, Worcester State University, 1974
District of Columbia