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SEC Guidance on Liability for Compliance and Legal Personnel 2014

Speaker(s): Kenneth J. Berman, Lee A. Schneider
Recorded on: Jan. 17, 2014
PLI Program #: 54888

Kenneth Berman, a member of the Investment Management Group, focuses his practice on providing regulatory and compliance advice to financial services firms, particularly investment advisers and sponsors of mutual funds, private equity funds and other pooled investment vehicles. Mr. Berman also counsels mutual fund independent directors and advises operating companies concerning status issues they may face under the Investment Company Act of 1940. He is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2009-2015), where clients note that he is an “impressive” and “great” lawyer who offers “invaluable support throughout the decision-making process.” Mr. Berman is also recommended by The Legal 500 US (2012-2015).

Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Berman was Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, where he oversaw the division offices responsible for processing applications for exemptive relief under the Investment Company Act and administering the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. He joined the SEC staff in 1988 after several years of private practice. Before becoming Associate Director in 1997, Mr. Berman was Assistant Director of the Division’s Office of Regulatory Policy.

Mr Berman is the co-author of numerous articles, including “What Will The “Eyes And Ears” Of The SEC Choose To See And Hear This Year? OCIE Announces Examination Priorities For 2015,” Vol. 16 No.2, Journal of Investment Compliance, (July, 2015); “Expense Allocation: The SEC Brings Down The Hammer,” Vol. 16 No. 1, Journal of Investment Compliance (May, 2015); “SEC Settles First “Pay-To-Play” Enforcement Action,” Financial Fraud Law Report (October, 2014); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses JOBS Act General Solicitations,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (September, 2014); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses Treatment of Special Purposes Vehicles under the Advisers Act,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (August, 2014); “Good News on ‘Bad Actors’,” PE Manager (March, 2014); “A Touch of Solace for Broker-Dealer Compliance Personnel,” Law360 (November, 2013); “Debevoise & Plimpton Discusses SEC’s Guidance on Supervisory Liability for a Broker-Dealer’s Compliance and Legal Personnel,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (November, 2013); “Time For Private Equity To Focus On Form PF,” The Deal (June, 2012); “International Survey of Investment Adviser Regulation,” Wolters Kluwer (June, 2012) and “SEC Risk Alert Discusses When Social Media Interactions May Constitute Prohibited Hedge Fund Client Testimonials,” The Hedge Fund Law Report (April, 2012). 

Mr. Berman is a frequent speaker at conferences relating to investment company and investment adviser issues. He is a member of the Committee on Investment Management Regulation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and served as Chair of that Committee from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Berman is also a member of the American Bar Association (Subcommittee on Investment Companies and Investment Advisers, Subcommittee on Private Investment Entities) and the District of Columbia Bar. Mr. Berman is also an adjunct professor of law in Georgetown University’s LLM program.

Mr. Berman received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, and his B.A. from Dickinson College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


  • University of Chicago Law School, 1979, J.D.
  • Dickinson College, 1976, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Lee A. Schneider


Lee Schneider is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department and is based in the New York office. He is a member of the Financial Institutions and Banking Groups, specializing in broker-dealer and financial technology issues. His practice includes the representation of both US and non-US broker-dealers, banks, private fund sponsors and financial services technology companies. He provides day-to-day counsel to these clients on a wide range of matters, including regulatory and enforcement issues, conduct of business questions and general corporate concerns. He also advises broker-dealers in the start-up phase of their existence, helping with their application for membership, initial structuring and development of policies and procedures. Mr. Schneider also works with Debevoise transactional lawyers on structuring and negotiations when the deals involve financial services companies.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Schneider was General Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee at ConvergEx, a global technology firm specializing in proprietary software products and technology-driven execution services. He also has extensive experience representing broker-dealers and financial technology firms on a wide variety of issues. Lee previously served as the lead in-house counsel for broker-dealers at The Bank of New York, and prior to that worked as an associate for seven years, including four years at Paul Weiss.

Mr. Schneider joined Debevoise in 2012. He received his J.D. summa cum laude from American University Washington College of Law, and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Mr. Schneider served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Roger J. Miner with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


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December 06, 2013 - The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

JOBS Act Title III Crowdfunding Moves Closer to Reality
November 18, 2013

A Touch Of Solace For Broker-Dealer Compliance Personnel
November 07, 2013 - Law360

Bar Admissions

New York


American University, Washington College of Law, 1991, J.D.
University of Michigan, 1986, B.A.