Law, Policy & Markets

SEC Enforcement Powers Expanded With New Disgorgement Law – “Unjust Enrichment Just Adjusted”

January 14, 2021
Law, Policy & Markets
SEC Enforcement Powers Expanded With New Disgorgement Law – “Unjust Enrichment Just Adjusted”
Show Notes

Last year, disgorgement accounted for $3.6 billion in monetary remedies for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, or three-quarters of all monetary remedies in SEC enforcement actions.  Two recent Supreme Court decisions – in 2017 and 2020 – sharply curtailed the SEC’s authority to pursue disgorgement.  To affirm the SEC’s powers, a new law on January 1, 2021 amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to grant the SEC express statutory authority to pursue disgorgement of ill-gotten gains to prevent unjust enrichment.  The law also extended the applicable statute of limitations.  In this episode, Milbank Global Project Energy & Infrastructure Finance partner Allan Marks and Milbank’s Global Head of Litigation & Arbitration, George Canellos, discuss the new law and its impact in detail. George brings extra insight, having served in a variety of senior positions at the SEC most recently as Co-Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement. 

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About the speakers:

George S. Canellos is a partner in the New York office of Milbank and Global Head of our Litigation & Arbitration Group. He represents financial institutions, public companies, asset management firms, and individuals in government investigations and contested litigation in federal and state courts, and advises clients on corporate governance and compliance with the securities and banking laws. He has more than two decades of experience prosecuting and defending white collar criminal cases and civil actions arising under the securities laws, having served twice in federal law enforcement — most recently in top positions such as Co-Director of the Division of Enforcement at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and earlier as a federal criminal prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Podcast host Allan Marks is one of the world's leading project finance lawyers, with special expertise in the power and renewable energy, transportation and airports, oil and gas, water, and telecommunications sectors. He advises developers, investors, lenders, and underwriters around the world in the development and financing of complex infrastructure projects, as well as related acquisitions, restructurings and capital markets transactions. Mr. Marks also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley at both the Law School and the Haas School of Business.

More details at Milbank.com.

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