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Broker/Dealer Regulation and Enforcement 2013

Author(s): Neal E. Sullivan, Carmen J. Lawrence
Practice Area: Corporate & Securities
Published: Oct 2013
PLI Item #: 42345
CHB Spine #: B2057, B2058


Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory


District of Columbia (1999) Massachusetts (1990)

England & Wales (Registered Foreign Lawyer)


Suffolk University Law School (J.D., 1990)

Stonehill College (B.A., 1982)

NEAL SULLIVAN conducts a comprehensive securities regulatory practice and maintains a particular focus on broker-dealer and investment adviser matters. Neal regularly represents clients before the SEC, FINRA, and other self-regulatory organizations and state securities agencies, frequently concerning emerging regulatory issues. He has extensive experience with private and public investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the SEC, FINRA, and its predecessor entities (NASD and NYSE) and state agencies. Neal is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and global co-leader of the Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory group.

A dynamic and effective enforcement counsel, Neal is also one of the leading advisers to the securities industry on major compliance and regulatory matters. He has played a central role in several significant projects such as representing Morgan Stanley in obtaining regulatory approvals for the 2009 launch of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the country’s largest retail broker-dealer and in its subsequent move to self-clearing. He represented the Boston Options Exchange in its Form 1 filing with the SEC to become a national self-regulatory organization, approved in May 2012, and in the 2007–2008 sale of Boston Options Exchange from NASDAQ, and the Boston Stock Exchange to the Montreal Stock Exchange/Toronto Stock Exchange.

Neal has represented clients in all of the SEC’s major Wall Street investigations in the past 15 years, including insider trading; the sale of auction-rate securities, other structured products and various subprime mortgage-related matters; mutual fund market timing; and research analyst conflicts of interest. He represented the settling banks in negotiating the NASAA model settlement that become the basis for the Global Settlement Relating to Firm Research and Investment Banking Conflicts of Interest announced by the SEC, NASD, NASAA, NYSE and the N.Y. Attorney General’s office in April 2003.

Neal serves as outside counsel to the Boston Options Exchange with regard to U.S. registration issues. He was formerly outside counsel to the Boston Stock Exchange, and helped create the market structure and marketplace for the Boston Options Exchange, an all-electronic equity derivatives market launched in 2004. Neal also serves as outside counsel to the Financial Services Institute (FSI), a trade association representing over 100 broker-dealers before the SEC, FINRA and state securities regulators.

Neal is the former executive director of the North American Securities Administrators Association. During his tenure he represented the 53 states and territories in negotiations concerning The National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996, and was one of the principal drafters of NSMIA. He is also a former vice president of regulation at the Boston Stock Exchange. Prior to his tenure at the Boston Stock Exchange, Neal was the chief of the Massachusetts Securities Division.

Neal appears regularly on industry and legal panels that address issues of concern to the securities industry. He has co-chaired the Fall PLI course on broker-dealer regulation in New York City annually since 2007. Neal was an invited speaker at the first and second annual NYSE Regulation Securities conferences. He also speaks at FINRA’s fall and spring annual conferences, as well as the SIFMA annual meeting and certain SIFMA regional meetings. He has appeared before the U.S. Congress to provide testimony on various SEC proposals and proposed federal oversight of the U.S. capital markets. He has authored several published articles on regulation of broker-dealers.

Carmen Lawrence is a partner in King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations practice group.

Ms. Lawrence's practice focuses on representing parties in investigations and litigations conducted primarily by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, US Department of Justice, self-regulatory organizations and state securities regulators, conducting internal investigations, providing crisis management advice to public and private companies and counseling public companies and regulated entities (broker-dealers and investment advisers) on their obligations under the federal securities laws.

From 1996 until June 2000, Ms. Lawrence was the Regional Director for the SEC's Northeast Regional Office (covering 14 states and the District of Columbia), where she oversaw all enforcement and regulatory operations in the SEC's largest region.  Some of the SEC's most significant cases were brought by the Northeast Regional Office under Ms. Lawrence's leadership.

Before her appointment as regional director, from 1990 through 1995, Ms. Lawrence served as Senior Associate Regional Director, heading up the Northeast Regional Office's Enforcement Division.  From 1981 to 1989, she served in various staff and senior positions in the Enforcement Division.

Ms. Lawrence has spoken extensively and participates in numerous continuing legal education programs for federal securities law matters.


  • Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on SEC Enforcement and Civil Litigation of the American Bar Association Business Law Section
  • Trustee, Practising Law Institute
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Council
  • Trustee, Southern Vermont College

Awards & Recognition

  • Ms. Lawrence received numerous awards during her tenure at the SEC, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Award in 1998; the Presidential Distinguished Executive Award in 1995; the Stanley Sporkin Award in 1993; and the Irving M. Pollack Award, presented to an enforcement lawyer exhibiting leadership, integrity and intellect, in 1990.
  • Ms. Lawrence is consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual for Securities Regulation and for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.She is consistently recognized by Legal 500 in Litigation: White-Collar Criminal Defense, and is additionally recognized in Financial Services: Litigation.She is also consistently recognized by Benchmark: Litigation as a New York Litigation Star. She was named to Securities Docket’s inaugural “Enforcement 40” list of top SEC enforcement lawyers in 2013.


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1981
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1978