Accountants Liability and Securities Litigation
SEC and PCAOB Defense Practice
Securities Investigations, Enforcement, and Litigation
DOJ and SEC Enforcement
We have represented clients in criminal and regulatory matters involving accounting fraud, bank fraud, false public statements, false claims, and insider trading. In SEC matters, we seek to eliminate or minimize charges through persuasive responses to a Wells notice of securities law violations. Our experience as former regulators and prosecutors allows us to effectively defend our clients in regulatory and criminal investigations and proceedings. We represent clients in the following areas:
- DOJ and SEC enforcement matters
- Grand juries and investigations by federal and state prosecutors
- SEC and FINRA regulatory matters
- Audit committees, directors, and senior management in conducting independent investigations involving derivative claims, whistleblower allegations, fraud, and potential securities law violations
Briglia Hundley represents accounting professionals in civil, criminal, government regulatory enforcement, and state disciplinary actions.
SEC, PCAOB, and State Disciplinary Boards
Heightened enforcement standards of the SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), new auditing standards of the PCAOB, and new FASB accounting standards have resulted in increased scrutiny of the work performed by auditors. Our attorneys represent accounting firms and individual accounting professionals, including Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), in investigations and disciplinary proceedings brought by federal regulators, such as the PCAOB and SEC. Our attorneys have represented accounting firms and accountants in all stages of PCAOB and SEC investigations and disciplinary proceedings, including recently trying a case before the PCAOB hearing officer. In addition, our attorneys have represented CPAs before state boards of accountancy, such as the Virginia Board of Accountancy (“VBOA”), including representing CPAs in Informal Fact-Finding Conferences. We understand the audit process, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and PCAOB auditing standards. That understanding helps us effectively defend auditors’ and CPAs’ conduct. Our firm includes former prosecutors and a former Assistant Director of the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations.
We have the following experience:
- SEC enforcement
- PCAOB enforcement
- State disciplinary proceedings (i.e., state boards of accountancy such as the VBOA).
- Parallel proceedings (i.e., SEC and PCAOB investigations, PCAOB and foreign audit regulator investigations, government investigation and private securities litigation, etc.).
- Audits of public companies and broker-dealers
- Multi-location audits
- International investigations involving overseas firms and foreign affiliates of the Big Four and other global accounting network firms (i.e., Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Spain, etc.).
Accounting firms and CPAs are facing increasing professional liability litigation brought by former clients and third parties including creditors, investors, receivers, and bankruptcy trustees. We understand the relevant laws, professional standards, accounting concepts, and auditing issues at issue in accounting malpractice actions. Briglia Hundley works with accounting firms, CPAs, and their insurers to provide a comprehensive and coordinated defense in complex accounting and auditing matters. We defend the quality of our client’s work in such areas as:
- Revenue recognition
- Lease accounting
- Going concern considerations
- Quality control
- Breach of professional obligations such as conflicts of interest, independence, and confidentiality
We have tried numerous cases as prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and civil litigators in federal and state courts throughout the United States. While we work aggressively to defeat claims before trial, our vast experience as trial lawyers gives us the skills and knowledge needed to successfully try cases in federal or state court, administrative proceedings, or arbitrations.
Private Securities Litigation
Our attorneys have represented companies and individuals in private securities class action cases, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations, and criminal matters involving allegations of securities fraud. We aggressively pursue a quick resolution of disputes at the earliest stages of litigation by requesting dismissal on the pleadings, objecting to the class certification, or seeking full or partial summary judgment. When it is in our client’s best interest, we will seek to end litigation through settlement on favorable terms. When necessary and appropriate, our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to successfully take a case through a full trial on the merits. Our experience includes:
- Private securities class action matters: Representation of companies, directors, and senior officers in complex Rule 10b-5 actions with allegations of fraud involving complex accounting and disclosure issues.