1185 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
|555 13th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
White Collar Defense, Investigations & Compliance Counseling
Enforcement Defense and Government Investigations
Securities Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Independent Monitoring/Independent Consulting
Securities and Complex Commercial Litigation
Private Funds Advisory & Enforcement Defense
Audit and Accounting
Based in both the New York and Washington offices, Steve Crimmins defends clients in enforcement matters involving all financial services regulators, but most frequently the Securities and Exchange Commission. He provides strategic advice and representation before and during enforcement investigations. He advocates for clients in meetings with regulators, “Wells” submissions and similar position papers, settlement negotiations and consent decree resolutions. Where matters must be contested, he fights for clients in litigated administrative proceedings and in federal court litigation, trials and appeals. He also represents clients in and leads internal investigations, litigates private securities cases and other commercial disputes, and teams with other firms as securities co-counsel in civil, criminal and administrative cases.
Best Lawyers in America has just recognized Steve as the “2017 Securities Regulation Lawyer of the Year for New York City,” based on its survey of his New York-based peers, and has for a decade recognized him for both securities litigation and securities regulation. Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has likewise recognized him for securities regulation-enforcement. Additionally, Securities Docket gave him its “Enforcement 40” Award, recognizing him as one of the top 40 securities enforcement defense lawyers in the country.
He is presently Chair of the D.C. Bar’s 2500-lawyer Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section, and earlier chaired the section’s standing committee on Broker-Dealer Regulation and SEC Enforcement. Steve is immediate past Chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Securities Law Section. He has testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives on SEC issues. He speaks on professional panels and writes on securities topics, including his 2013 scholarly article “Insider Trading: Where Is the Line?” in the Columbia Business Law Review that was favorably reviewed by The Economist in 2014 and cited to the Supreme Court in 2016. Steve has been frequently quoted in major business news publications, including Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, and interviewed on business television networks. He has guest-lectured to law classes at Columbia and Georgetown.
During eight years as a senior executive of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, Steve led its large Trial Unit in prosecuting hundreds of jury and non-jury securities cases in federal courts and administrative proceedings, while participating actively in SEC investigations and settlement negotiations. He originally joined the SEC staff as a line trial attorney and continued to litigate and try cases after his promotion to senior Enforcement Division management and the federal Senior Executive Service. He earned the Commission-wide Productivity Improvement Award for his management skills. Before the SEC, he practiced with a large New York law firm.
Since returning to private practice over a decade ago, Steve has helped entities and individuals respond to and successfully resolve numerous securities matters. On June 27, 2016, he scored a rare defense trial victory in an SEC in-house administrative proceeding, in which he personally examined or cross-examined 25 fact and expert witnesses, resulting in dismissal of all charges brought by the SEC’s New York office against a large custodial services company. Over the last decade his clients have included public and private companies, directors, officers, financial services firms, securities professionals, accountants, lawyers and others. Matters have included financial reporting and accounting issues, disclosure issues, insider trading, complex financial products, FCPA issues, market manipulation, and various securities industry-related enforcement issues.
Steve joined Murphy & McGonigle in 2015. M&M is a 45-lawyer securities boutique that Best Lawyers in America ranks a “National Tier One Law Firm” in securities regulation, securities litigation, and corporate law. It is the only boutique in the country so recognized in all three categories. M&M’s team includes executive-level veterans of the SEC Divisions of Enforcement and Trading & Markets, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Department of Justice, as well as General Counsels, litigation and regulatory heads, and other executive-level veterans of major Wall Street financial services firms. M&M’s practice model allows these experienced securities lawyers to personally handle matters efficiently and at very competitive rates. Backing them up, M&M’s state-of-the-art data facility enables cost-effective analysis of ultra-large e-discovery data sets and other client technology projects in an environment security-audited by multiple major financial services clients.
J.D., Columbia Law School
B.A., Fordham University
District of Columbia
Supreme Court and lower federal courts
- Murphy & McGonigle, 2015 to present
- K&L Gates LLP, 2009-2015
- Mayer Brown LLP, 2006-2009
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 1987-2001
- As trial counsel, successfully defended the nation’s leading self-directed IRA custodian at a recent two-week trial involving 27 witnesses before an SEC administrative law judge that resulted in a decision dismissing all charges, Matter of Equity Trust Company, 2016 WL 4035556 (June 27, 2016).
- Representing over 30 executives and management employees in internal review by public company regarding potential accounting matters (April 2016 to date).
- Orally argued and briefed successful motion to dismiss state and federal RICO and common law fraud claims in Florida state court, Goldberg v. Kanegis et al., Case No. 13-22491 (Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Complex Business Litigation Division) (Nov. 12, 2016).
- Represented managing director of private equity adviser in SEC investigation and in no-admission settlement by the firm and four executives of case alleging material omissions concerning conflicts of interest and payments to affiliates, Matter of Fenway Partners, LLC, 2015 WL 6689228 (November 3, 2015).
- As appellate counsel, presented oral argument and submitted briefs that persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to reverse summary judgment against investment adviser’s general counsel in the first litigated insider trading case involving fund shares, SEC v. Bauer, 723 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2013). On remand to the trial court, obtained summary judgment dismissing the remainder of the case, 2014 WL 4267412 (Aug. 29, 2014).
- Represented executive at a major financial services firm in written and oral submissions that resulted in an SEC “closing letter” terminating investigation as to client without charges in matter involving the structuring and marketing of a series of collateralized debt obligation transactions, Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., 2013 WL 6503674 (December 12, 2013).
- Achieved successful settlement for outside directors of Morgan Keegan-related funds on the eve of trial in an SEC administrative proceeding involving valuation of debt securities lacking readily available market quotations, Matter of Alderman, 2013 WL 2646182 (June 13, 2013).
- Obtained decision broadly extending Janus limitation on “statement” liability to all branches of the ’33 and ’34 Act antifraud provisions, SEC v. Kelly, 817 F. Supp. 2d 340 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
- SEC Settlements Spotlight Auditors Gone Wild, Law360, October 7, 2016 (with Steven D. Feldman, James K. Goldfarb, and Paul A. Merolla)
- Legal Antiperspirant for Audit Committee Members, New York Law Journal, April 18, 2016 (with James K. Goldfarb and Sharon A. O’Shaughnessy)
- Some Insight into SEC Focus on Accounting Misconduct, LAW360, Mar. 15, 2016 (with James K. Goldfarb)
- "Insider Trading: Where Is the Line?," 2013 Columbia Business Law Review 330 (Summer 2013 Symposium Edition) (article favorably reviewed in The Economist in April 2014, and cited in defendant's May 2016 Supreme Court brief in Salman v. US)
- “New SEC Enforcement Unit Focuses on Funds and Advisers,” Securities Regulation & Law Report (BNA), Vol. 42, No. 47, December 6, 2010
- “Investor Protection Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, July 11, 2010
- “SEC Launches New Enforcement Unit to Tackle Complex Products,” Securities Regulation & Law Report (BNA), Vol. 42, No. 19, May 10, 2010
- “Cooperation Policy Tops Changes in SEC Enforcement Manual,” Securities Regulation & Law Report (BNA), Vol. 42, No. 4, January 25, 2010
- Testified before Congress at hearing on “Fixing the Watchdog: Legislative Proposals to Improve and Enhance the SEC,” House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, September 15, 2011
- Testified before Congress at joint hearing on “Financial Management, Work Force, and Operations at the SEC,” Subcommittees of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, March 10, 2011
Seminars and Presentations
- “PLI Hedge and Private Fund Enforcement & Regulatory Developments 2016,” Practising Law Institute, New York, December 1, 2016
- “Enforcement and Insider Trading” (panelist with Judge Rakoff and SEC Enforcement Director Ceresney), 2016 Columbia Law School Annual Securities Regulation Conference, April 29, 2016
- “Chinese Mega-IPO Goes Public in a Globalized Capital Market,” ABA International Law Section, Montreal, October 23, 2015
- "Current Issues in Securities Regulation: The Hot Topics," Symposium at Columbia Law School Center on Corporate Governance, November 21, 2014
- “SEC Enforcement’s Focus on the Asset Management Industry: Is it a New World?,” District of Columbia Bar, May 28, 2014
- “Insider Trading Update,” Alternative Investment Management Association, New York, May 14, 2014
- "PLI Hedge Fund and Private Equity Enforcement & Regulatory Developments," Practising Law Institute, New York, November 19, 2013
- “Leading Current Issues in Securities Regulation and Enforcement,” Symposium at Columbia Law School Center on Corporate Governance, November 15, 2013
- “SEC and FINRA Investigations of Hedge Funds, Asset Managers, Broker-Dealers and Other Investment Entities,” Securities Docket Enforcement Forum, Washington, October 9, 2013
- "SEC Enforcement: Questions for the Division Co-Director on What Lies Ahead" (chaired panel with SEC Enforcement Director), Federal Bar Association, June 17, 2013
- “Past, Present and Future of Insider Trading: A 50th Anniversary Re-examination of Cady, Roberts and the Revolution It Began,” Symposium at Columbia Law School Center on Corporate Governance, November 16, 2012
- FCPA Presentation at "Aftermath of the Financial Crisis" panel, ABA International Law Section, New York, April 19, 2012
- "PCAOB Enforcement: The First 10 Years and Looking Forward," District of Columbia Bar program, March 21, 2012
- "Accountability of Independent Agencies: US and EU Experience," Maastricht University (Netherlands), February 3, 2012
- Chair of the Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section, District of Columbia Bar
- Immediate Past Chair of the Securities Law Section of the Federal Bar Association
- Past Chair of the Committee on Broker-Dealer Regulation and SEC Enforcement, District of Columbia Bar