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Ian Roffman, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Ian D. Roffman

Chair, Securities Enforcement and Litigation Practice; Executive Committee / Boston

Overview

Ian leads a Securities Enforcement and Litigation team that clients rely on when facing SEC investigations, securities litigation, government inquiries, corporate governance disputes, and complex civil disputes. Our clients include investment advisers, broker-dealers, private funds, insurance companies and the individuals who lead them; public companies and their executives and directors; accounting firms and accountants; banks and credit unions; private investors; and others involved in complex financial matters, including elected officials and agencies. Clients also engage Ian to conduct internal investigations to uncover potential wrongdoing, make independent findings, head off litigation or regulatory inquiries, or remediate malfeasance. An experienced trial lawyer, Ian served as Senior Trial Counsel in the SEC’s Boston office prior to joining Nutter.

In addition to leading the firm’s Securities Enforcement and Litigation practice, Ian serves on the firm’s governing Executive Committee. He currently serves as co-chair of the Amicus Board for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and served a three-year term on the Boston Bar Association’s governing Council. He has also played a leadership role in a number of civic, charitable, and bar organizations.

On a pro bono basis, Ian has represented artists and musicians in various types of matters in support of their individual artistic and creative efforts. His work on their behalf was recognized by the Massachusetts Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts with the Robert B. Fraser Award for pro bono excellence.

Ian is often quoted about the SEC and corporate governance by media outlets and is a frequent speaker and lecturer before bar, industry, and academic organizations. In his free time, he has coached more than 30 youth baseball teams.

Recent engagements include:

Asset Managers, Broker-Dealers and Financial Services:

  • Representing large international asset manager in multiple government investigations relating to fiduciary obligations and potential conflicts of interest.
  • Advising large international financial services firm in multiple SEC investigations relating to investments.
  • Representing dual-registered investment adviser and broker-dealer in SEC investigations relating to conflict disclosures.
  • Representing Fortune 100 insurance company in many civil matters and investigations relating to customer complaints and producer non-competes.
  • Defending C-level executive of Fortune 500 asset manager in SEC investigation relating to fiduciary duties.
  • Representing co-founder of hedge fund in SEC and DOJ government investigations and investor arbitrations relating to fiduciary obligations and investor disclosures.
  • Defending General Counsel of a large asset manager in an SEC disclosure and trading investigation.
  • Representing multiple small asset managers in SEC investigations relating to potential conflict disclosures.
  • Representing trader in SEC investigation relating to underwriting rules.
  • Defending Chief Compliance Officer of Fortune 300 financial services company in government investigation.

Public Companies and Accountants:

  • Winning jury trial for Big Four accounting firm in accounting malpractice claim.
  • Defending Fortune 200 technology company in SEC accounting investigation relating to reserves and revenue recognition.
  • Defending CEO of publicly traded financial services firm in shareholder class actions relating to accounting disclosures.
  • Defending CFO of brand name retail company in SEC accounting investigation.
  • Defending General Counsel and CFO of pharmaceutical company in SEC/DOJ investigation.
  • Defending CFO of technology company in SEC accounting investigation.
  • Defending auditors in PCAOB investigation relating to alteration of workpapers.

Banks and Credit Unions:

  • Defending bank in investor class action alleging $1.3 billion loss.
  • Defending bank and executives FDIC investigation relating to lending.
  • Defending bank and executives in FDIC investigation relating to customer fraud.
  • Defending multiple banks and credit unions in overdraft fee class actions.
  • Defending multiple banks in PPP agency fee class actions.
  • Defending multiple banks in merger litigation.

Government and Regulators

  • Represented Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in multiple state and federal court actions relating to broker disclosures and expungements.
  • Represented Office of the Treasurer of a New England state in an SEC investigation of municipal bond underwriting.
  • Appointed Special Assistant Attorney General to defend elected Sheriff in consumer class action.

Insider Trading and Investors

  • Defending founder of private equity firm in SEC insider trading investigation relating to trading by spouse in firm portfolio companies.
  • Defending prominent physician in SEC insider trading investigation relating to knowledge of clinic trials.
  • Defending relatives of private equity investor in SEC insider trading investigation relating to trading in relatives’ companies.
  • Defending business partner of corporate insider in SEC insider trading investigation relating to trading in insider’s company.
  • Defending investor in Section 15 disclosure disputes.
  • Defending trader in SEC market manipulation investigation.

Internal Investigations

  • Conducted internal investigation for governmental entity concerning compliance with ethics rules by senior personnel.
  • Conducted internal investigation for bank concerning potential financial misconduct by former CEO.
  • Conducted internal investigation for charitable trust concerning potential financial conflicts by trustees.
  • Conducted internal investigation for special committee of large construction company concerning accounting disclosures.
  • Conducted internal investigation for publicly traded technology company concerning reserve disclosures.

Whistleblowers

  • Advising whistleblower in hedge fund fraud matter that resulted in successful SEC action
  • Advising whistleblower in public company disclosure matter relating to FDA approval process.

Experience

Experience

  • Nutter achieves trial win for Big Four accounting firm

    In November 2019, a Nutter trial team received a jury verdict in their favor for Nutter’s client, a Big Four accounting firm. Nutter’s client was alleged to have committed accounting malpractice for not detecting a fraud during the course of its annual audits. The plaintiff was seeking approximately $30 million in alleged actual and punitive damages. After a three-week trial in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Nutter’s client and the judge dismissed all remaining claims. Nutter’s trial team included Ian Roffman, Nelson Apjohn, and Melanie Woodward, and they tried the case with co-counsel George Salter of Hogan Lovells (NY).

  • Nutter achieves victory for portfolio manager in SEC investigation

    In a significant victory for a Nutter client -- a star portfolio manager for a large national asset management firm -- the Securities and Exchange Commission closed its investigation of the portfolio manager without recommending any enforcement action. The SEC was investigating the client in connection with several trades made prior to public announcements of secondary offerings.

  • Multiple merger-related shareholder class actions

    Successfully represented companies and boards in multiple merger-related shareholder class actions.

  • Represented hedge fund portfolio manager in SEC investigation

    Represented senior hedge fund portfolio manager in SEC investigation relating to possible trading improprieties.

  • Represented multiple executives in expert network investigation

    Represented multiple individuals in SEC investigation relating to use of expert networks by institutional investors and hedge funds.

  • Insider trading investigations

    Represented many companies and individuals in more than a dozen insider trading investigations.

  • Represented Brokers

    Successfully represented broker from national brokerage firm in state securities investigation concerning selling practices. No charges filed.

  • Represented Traders

    Successfully represented trader from national financial services firm in investigations relating to credit default swaps. No charges filed.

  • Conducted internal investigation for audit committee

    Conducted internal investigation for audit committee of public biotechnology company concerning securities law compliance.

  • Won jury verdict in a major business torts case

    After a client’s competitor acquired a client’s exclusive supplier and threatened to terminate the client’s supply of a key component, we sued the competitor and supplier. In a month-long trial, we obtained a jury verdict holding the competitor and a supplier liable for breach of contract, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets, ultimately leading to a favorable judgment for declaratory and injunctive relief, double damages, and a multimillion dollar legal fee award under Massachusetts’s unfair trade practices statute.

  • Represented several executives of large cap public company in SEC investigation

    Represented several executives of large cap public company in SEC investigation relating to revenue recognition and accounting policies. No charges filed.

  • Advised state government entity concerning federal securities investigation

    Advised state government entity concerning federal securities investigation.

  • Represented senior executive in SEC investigation relating to subprime

    Represented senior executive of large cap national financial services company in SEC investigation relating to subprime. No charges filed.

  • Conducted internal investigation for a special litigation committee of a Fortune 500 company

    Conducted internal investigation for a special litigation committee of a Fortune 500 company concerning alleged fraudulent accounting and insider trading by officers and directors.

  • Won dismissal of civil RICO claims

    Won dismissal of civil RICO claims against regional healthcare organization.

  • Represented chief financial officer in FCPA investigation

    Represented chief financial officer of multi-national public company in FCPA investigation.

  • Eastern Bankshares, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Eastern Bank Corporation, the mutual holding company of Eastern Bank, in its conversion to a fully public stock holding company known as Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Select Market: EBC).

  • Fidelity Bank

    Nutter successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of its client Fidelity Bank in connection with a multi-district litigation class action relating to the TelexFree international Ponzi scheme. The Court approved the $22.5 million settlement and entered judgment dismissing the claims with prejudice. The legal team was led by Ian Roffman, chair of Nutter’s Securities Enforcement and Litigation practice, and included Joe Toomey, Ken Ehrlich, and Tom Curry.

News & Insights

News

Speaking Engagements

Publications

Honors

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2021
  • Chambers USA, Leading U.S. Litigation: Securities Attorney, 2017-2021
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2011-2020
  • Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, 2011
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Fraser Award, 2011
  • Benchmark Lawyer’s Guide “Rising Star,” 2011-2017
  • SEC Chairman’s Award, 2002
  • SEC Enforcement Director’s Award, 2007

In the Community

In the Community

  • Council Member, Boston Bar Association, 2017-2020
  • Co-chair, Amicus Advisory Board, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, 2019 – present
  • Member, Boston Bar Association Judicial Independence Working Group, 2019

Education & Admissions

Education

University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
University of Chicago, A.B.

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois

Industry Expertise

Clients rely on Ian’s expertise and experience when facing SEC and other government investigations, securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, and complex civil litigation. He is often quoted about the SEC and corporate governance by many media outlets and is a frequent speaker and lecturer before bar, industry, and academic organizations.

Noteworthy

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2021
  • Chambers USA, Leading U.S. Litigation: Securities Attorney, 2017-2021
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2011-2020
  • Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, 2011
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Fraser Award, 2011
  • Benchmark Lawyer’s Guide “Rising Star,” 2011-2017
  • SEC Chairman’s Award, 2002
  • SEC Enforcement Director’s Award, 2007
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