Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 60 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
We had occasion to review the civil and criminal penalties for violating SEC regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and thought a quick post may serve to remind our readers of the severity of securities law violations.
We have summarized the civil penalties and maximum penalty amounts in the following chart:
U.S. Code Citation
Civil Penalty Description
Maximum Penalty Amount
15 U.S.C. 77t(d) – Securities Act of 1933
For natural person
For any other person
For natural person / fraud
For any other person / fraud
For natural person / substantial losses or risk of losses to others
For any other person / substantial losses or risk of losses to others
15 U.S.C. 78ff(b) –
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Exchange Act / failure to file information documents, reports
15 U.S.C. 78ff(c)(1)(B) – Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Foreign Corrupt Practices – any issuer
15 U.S.C. 78ff(c)(2)(C) – Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Foreign Corrupt Practices – any agent or stockholder acting on behalf of issuer
15 U.S.C. 78u-1(a)(3) – Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Insider Trading – controlling person
15 U.S.C. 78u-1 – Securities Exchange Act of 1934
15 U.S.C. 78u-2 –Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For natural person / substantial losses to others / gains to self
For any other person / substantial losses to others /gain to self
15 U.S.C. 78u(d)(3) – Securities Exchange Act of 1934
15 U.S.C. 7215(c)(4)(D)(i) – SOX
15 U.S.C. 7215(c)(4)(D)(ii) – SOX
FN 1: Anyone found liable for trading on inside information must also pay the federal government an amount equal to any profit made or loss avoided, and under Section 21A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, he or she may also face a penalty of up to three times that amount. You can be barred from serving as an officer or a director of a public company. In addition, you also face a greater likelihood of criminal penalties for insider trading and the possibility of shareholder lawsuits for securities fraud.
It is the Justice Department and local United States attorneys’ offices, not the SEC, that have the authority to bring criminal prosecutions. Under Section 32(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, individuals face up to 20 years in prison for criminal securities fraud and/or a fine of up to $5 million for each “willful” violation of the Act and the regulations under it. Only fines, not imprisonment, apply if the defendant can demonstrate “no knowledge” of the rule or regulation that is violated. Corporations face penalties of up to $25 million.
In addition, violators can be (and sometimes are) charged with mail and wire fraud (which can lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in prison), more general “securities fraud” (up to 25 years in prison) and possibly even racketeering, tax evasion and/or obstruction of justice. You can also expect civil penalties to result from the SEC’s enforcement action.
Prison terms for insider-trading convictions have lengthened in recent years. According to The Wall Street Journal, from 2009 to 2011, the median jail sentence was 30 months, up from a median term of 18 months during the 2000s. From 1993 through 1999, the median length of prison terms was only just under a year.
OUR TAKE: The SEC does not take violations of the law and its rules lightly, and companies and individuals should understand the consequences and ramifications for such violations.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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