Walter G. Ricciardi
Partner, Litigation Department
A partner in the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group at Paul, Weiss, Walter G. Ricciardi has extensive experience defending a broad variety of investigations conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities. Additionally, he has extensive experience conducting internal investigations for public companies and directors, including investigations related to allegations of accounting and financial fraud and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Prior to joining Paul, Weiss in June 2008, Mr. Ricciardi was the Deputy Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, where he supervised many of the Commission's most significant investigations related to financial fraud, FCPA, insider trading and broker-dealer and mutual fund compliance issues. Mr. Ricciardi joined the Commission in April 2004 when he was appointed to run the SEC's Boston office, which has responsibility for enforcement and examination programs for the New England region. As Deputy Director, his duties included managing the enforcement efforts of the Commission's eleven regional offices. Upon his departure from the SEC, the Commission's chairman stated that "Walter Ricciardi, as much as anyone in the Commission's modern history, has professionalized the management of the SEC's enforcement program." The Wall Street Journal reported that his departure from the SEC was a "blow to the enforcement program - he has won the affections of the staff and has boosted morale."
Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Ricciardi spent 20 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor, Coopers & Lybrand, where he was in charge of defending the firm's litigation and regulatory matters. While at PwC, he was elected by his partners to serve on the firm's board, which is responsible for overseeing the management of the firm. He was also elected by the partners to serve on the Global Oversight Board of the PwC global organization.
Since joining Paul, Weiss, Mr. Ricciardi has served as lead counsel on the following matters:
- Representation of a global financial institution and its investment management company in connection with investigations by the SEC and Massachusetts Securities Division into the pricing by a mutual fund of mortgage-backed securities.
- Representation of a global financial institution in connection with investigations by the SEC, the New York Attorney General's Office, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission into collateralized debt obligation marketing practices.
- Representation of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of a US-listed company located in Beijing, China in connection with an internal investigation into alleged accounting improprieties.
- Representation of the Audit Committee of a New York-based Fortune 500 company in connection with an internal investigation into alleged accounting improprieties.
- Representation of several companies in various industries in connection with internal and SEC investigations into potential improper payments under the FCPA.
- Representation of the General Counsel of a regulated entity in connection with a regulatory inquiry.
- Representation of a hedge fund in connection with an SEC investigation related to mutual bank conversions.
- Representation of a hedge fund in connection with an investigation by the SEC of "pay to play" issues.
- Representation of Middle East investors in connection with an SEC investigation related to alleged stock manipulation.
- Service as the party arbitrator for a major accounting firm in a dispute with the trustee in bankruptcy of a former client.
Mr. Ricciardi lectures and writes extensively on securities litigation and regulatory issues. As an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law, he teaches a seminar on issues in SEC enforcement.
Mr. Ricciardi is recognized in 2010 by Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Busines for Nationwide: Securities: Regulation: Enforcement. He served as a note and comment editor of the New York University Law Review.