Richard J. Morvillo

Richard J. Morvillo
(202) 803-5858
(202) 775-5937


Selected Current Representations Significant Litigation Achievements Selected Publications
Selected Speaking Engagements
Other Distinctions
Bar Admissions Education Prior Experience

Richard J. Morvillo, a partner in our New York and Washington, D.C. offices, is a nationally-recognized expert in SEC enforcement and other white collar matters. He was named by Best Lawyers in America as the “2013 Lawyer of the Year - Securities Litigation” and Chambers USA has recognized Rich as “one of the deans of the securities enforcement bar." Over the past 35 years, he has been involved in over 200 SEC investigations, including some of the highest profile cases the SEC has handled. He also has extensive experience in FCPA cases, securities related white-collar criminal matters and private securities litigation. A former branch chief with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, Rich represents corporations, corporate executives, brokerage firms, investment advisers, accounting firms, auditors, law firms, hedge funds and individual investors in connection with SEC, PCAOB, NYSE, FINRA, congressional, state attorney general and grand jury investigations; SEC litigation; and complex securities cases.

Though Rich has been involved in far too many cases to name, he had a significant role in various important matters, including:  several CDO and RMBS investigations of investment banks and collateral managers; SEC and criminal investigations of Enron; investigations and litigation concerning possible insider trading involving the securities of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Liberty Media, Capital One, Prestige Brands; investigations and litigation concerning trading by NYSE specialists; investigations of alleged FCPA violations by Diebold, Och Ziff and JPMorgan; investigations and litigation concerning merger activities of Wachovia Corporation and National City Corporation; investigations concerning transactions by MGIC, Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, Lernout & Hauspie, Aetna, Amazon, Denso Corporation, AG Edwards, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse;  investigations concerning the financial statements and/or audits of Orange County, Citi, Navistar, Bally’s, CarMax and Allegheny Health Systems; investigations into marketing and other activities of registered investment advisors (including Smith Barney Asset Management, F Squared and Harbinger) and ETF sponsors (including Pro Shares and Wisdom Tree Investments); internal investigations at Walmart, Aon Corporation, E*Trade, Nash Finch Corporation and TD Ameritrade; investigations and litigation related to alleged pricing violations by NASDAQ traders; and Congressional investigations concerning, among others, Goldman Sachs and Riggs National Corporation.

Rich has litigated to a successful judgment a number of SEC enforcement cases and defending numerous class actions and shareholder derivative suits in federal courts throughout the country. Rich has also conducted many internal investigations for corporations, and advised members of numerous special committees of boards of directors as to their rights and obligations regarding the handling and evaluation of corporate transactions, internal investigations and shareholder litigation.

Apart from being recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, Rich is also listed as a leading litigator in numerous other peer-review publications, including Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500 United States, Ethisphere: Attorneys Who Matter, Washington DC Super Lawyers, The Legal Times, which named him one of Washington’s “Top 10 Securities Lawyers,” Washingtonian Magazine,and Who's Who Legal: Investigations. He is a frequent speaker at professional seminars and serves as the co-chair of two PLI annual programs: “Internal Investigations” and “Auditor Liability.” He has served on the adjunct faculty of Georgetown University School of Law, teaching a course in “Professional Responsibility in Corporate and Securities Practice.” Rich received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his A.B. from Colgate University.

Selected Current Representations

  • Lumber Liquidators, a publicly held manufacturer and distributor of wood and wood products, in connection with investigations by DOJ and SEC
  • ETF market maker firm in SEC investigation concerning ETF trading activities
  • Chief Financial Officer of Och Ziff in SEC, DOJ and FCPA investigations
  • Political consultant in criminal proceeding and investigation related to alleged bribery scheme involving former New York State Government officials and companies doing business with the State
  • Former Chief Financial Officer of large public retailer in DOJ, SEC and FCPA investigation
  • ETF sponsor in SEC investigation concerning redemption issues
  • Former Chief Compliance Officer of investment advisor in SEC investigation concerning use of models
  • Employee of broker-dealer in SEC investigation concerning mark-ups.
  • Accounting firm in SEC accounting investigation into financial statements and audits.
  • Chief Financial Officer of a public company concerning possible accounting and FCPA issues.
  • Citi Global Markets Inc., Smith Barney Asset Management and former Citi Global executive in SDNY securities class action entitled Smith Barney Transfer Agent Litigation.
  • Senior investment banker in DOJ and SEC investigations regarding hiring practices in China.
  • In-house counsel at public company in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations.
  • CDO manager in NY Supreme court CDO case entitled Loreley Financing
    No. 28 Ltd. V. Merrill Lynch, et al.

Significant Litigation Achievements

  • Represented former Chief Marketing Officer of Royal Ahold subsidiary in successful appeal vacating convictions for securities fraud and related offenses.
  • Defeated the SEC in a jury trial on insider trading charges against the chairman of a large communications company.
  • Defeated the SEC after a bench trial on fraud charges against an attorney for participating in a fraudulent offering by a public company.
  • Obtained summary judgment against the SEC in a civil injunctive action against a former Citigroup/SSB executive.
  • Obtained dismissal of SEC charges after an administrative trial concerning an investment banker’s alleged participation in a fraudulent offering.
  • Obtained dismissal of class action claims against Wachovia Corp. (formerly First Union) related to the acquisitions of CoreStates Financial Corporation and The Money Store.
  • Obtained dismissal of a class action against TD Ameritrade, Inc. in an options trading case; handled appeal when decision affirmed.
  • Obtained summary judgment and affirmation by the Eleventh Circuit in favor of a former chairman of Enstar Corp. in a securities fraud class action.

Selected Publications

  • Ethics and Preparing Witnesses for SEC Testimony, New York Law Journal, April 3, 2014
  • Breach of Duty: Misappropriation Theory, Insider Trading Law and Compliance Answer Book (Practicing Law Institute) October 2011
  • Whistleblowers and the Resurgence of Internal Investigations, Securities Regulation & Law Report, Jan. 10, 2011 (co-author)

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Insider Trading - Practical Considerations in Prosecuting and Defending Cases After Salman, DC Bar, February 28, 2017
  • Internal Investigations, SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminars, 2012 - 2014, (Miami and Phoenix)
  • Federal Bar Council Annual Meeting, Ethics Program, 2014 (Costa Rica)
  • ABA Annual Institute on Securities Fraud, November 2012 and 2015 (New Orleans), 2016 (Park City, Utah)
  • Thorny disclosure Issues, AELC Annual Program, October 2012 (Atlanta)
  • America’s Got Ethics, 2012 Fall Retreat of Federal Bar Council, September 2012 (Skytop, PA)
  • Co-Chair, PLI Annual Institute on Internal Investigations, June 2006 - 2016 (New York)

Other Distinctions

Listed as a leading lawyer for years in many publications, including:

  • Benchmark Litigation (securities)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (corporate governance and compliance law, administrative law, white-collar defense and derivatives) (2013 Lawyer of the Year - Securities Litigation)
  • Chambers USA (regulatory enforcement & investigations and securities regulation enforcement)
  • Ethisphere: Attorneys Who Matter
  • The Legal 500 United States (securities litigation)
  • The Legal Times (named one of Washington’s “Top 10 Securities Lawyers”)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers (securities)
  • Washingtonian (listed among D.C.’s "Top Lawyers")
  • Who's Who Legal: Investigations
  • International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1974
  • Colgate University, A.B., 1970

Prior Experience

  • Securities and Exchange Commission, Branch Chief and Trial Attorney, Division of Enforcement
  • Formerly partner at Crowell & Moring, Mayer Brown, and Schulte, Roth & Zabel
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law School (1986-1994)


NYC Tel: 212-796-6330 | NYC Fax: 212-240-8267 | Washington DC Tel: 202-470-0330 | Washington DC Fax: 202-775-5937

Terms of Use | Attorney Advertising © 2017 Morvillo LLP