David Bayless, recognized by Securities Docket as one of the top SEC enforcement attorneys in the entire country, represents public companies, their directors and senior management in SEC enforcement actions, internal investigations, and private securities class actions. He is an experienced trial lawyer having litigated to verdict cases in federal, state and administrative forums. Previously, Mr. Bayless was the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco office, where he was responsible for all SEC enforcement and examinations within that office’s multi-state jurisdiction.
Mr. Bayless has extensive experience in investigations and litigation involving financial reporting and accounting issues, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, whistleblower complaints, mortgage-backed securities and insider trading. He also represents broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual funds and their employees in investigations by the SEC and FINRA. Finally, he represents issuers, underwriters and public officials in SEC municipal securities investigations.
Securities and Exchange Commission, San Francisco District Office, District Administrator
Honors and Rankings
Recognized by Securities Docket as one of the top SEC enforcement attorneys in the country in its inaugural "Enforcement 40" list (2013).
Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers, Litigation - General Commercial (2012-2015)
Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Compliance (2007-2016); Litigation - Securities (2012-2016)
Northern California Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation (2004-2015)
Selected as the Independent Consultant pursuant to the SEC’s Order In the Matter of Morgan Stanley DW Inc. (Administrative Proceeding No. 3 — 11335, November 17, 2003).
Expert witness in Mahonia Limited, J.P. Morgan Chase v. WestLB AG in The High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court, in London, England, on the subjects of United States securities laws and SEC enforcement actions.
Hon. Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
District of Columbia
Steve Scholes serves as the operations partner for McDermott’s Litigation Practice Group, and is responsible for managing the day-to-day business operations of the group. His trial practice covers all varieties of securities and other complex commercial litigation. Steve has tried civil, criminal and administrative cases in federal and state courts, and he regularly represents clients before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and stock, options and futures exchanges. He has served as the partner-in-charge of the Chicago Trial Department and the Firm's SEC Defense Group.
Steve has substantial experience in securities class and derivative actions, including cases alleging accounting irregularities, illegal trading and breaches of fiduciary duty. He regularly represents public companies and their officers and directors in merger and acquisition litigation, including class and derivative actions, across the country. He has significant experience in conducting internal investigations in numerous industries, including real estate investment trusts (REITs). He has also represented audit firms and corporate officers and directors in internal investigations.
A former attorney in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Steve has been appointed by three different federal judges in Chicago to serve as receiver in SEC civil enforcement proceedings. In this role, he conducted fraud investigations, prosecuted fraudulent conveyance claims, enforced judgments, marshaled and liquidated assets, and developed and implemented plans of distribution. Stemming from his work as a receiver, Steve has extensive experience in prosecuting and in defending a wide variety of fraudulent conveyance claims.
Richard J. Morvillo, a partner in Morvillo’s 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.
Nancy Kestenbaum, a partner in New York, is Co-Chair of Covington’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. She represents companies, boards of directors and individuals in a variety of white collar criminal, SEC and regulatory enforcement matters and complex civil litigation. Ms. Kestenbaum has extensive experience representing clients in the financial services, life sciences, energy, defense, consumer products and technology industries.
Ms. Kestenbaum served for nine years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and prosecuted numerous cases including securities fraud, tax offenses, bank fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, civil rights violations, bribery and perjury, and served as Chief of the General Crimes Unit and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where she supervised and trained dozens of other prosecutors.