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Global Investigations Review quotes Ian Roffman in “Lawyers defend SEC against lobbying claims”

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08.15.2014

Ian Roffman, a partner in the firm’s Securities Enforcement and Litigation practice group, was quoted by Global Investigations Review in “Lawyers defend SEC against lobbying claims” on August 15. The article discusses a recent study which claims politically connected companies are less likely to be targeted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the study by Maria Correia, an assistant profession at the London Business School, companies that give an extra 1 million dollars to a political action committee (PAC) halve the chances of an enforcement being brought against it by the SEC. The study also found that higher PAC contributions correlate with lower penalties and a reduced likelihood that the SEC will prohibit officers and directors from continuing to work at the company. In addition, the study suggests that a company will benefit the most by giving either to the majority party or to politicians who can directly influence SEC operations.

Ian, a former senior trial counsel at the SEC’s Boston office, points out that his experience directly contradicts the study’s findings. He told GIR that efforts to exert political influence on the SEC can backfire, as once lobbied, the agency’s staff often “become extra cautious” and “thorough” to avoid any accusations of being improperly influenced.

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