Russ Ryan is a partner with King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations group in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ryan's practice focuses primarily on SEC enforcement investigations, corporate internal investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance, and related corporate governance issues. Mr. Ryan currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Broker-Dealer and SEC Enforcement Committee of the DC Bar’s Corporation, Finance, and Securities Law Section.At King & Spalding, Mr. Ryan has advised and represented companies, accounting firms, law firms, and individuals in responding to SEC enforcement investigations involving accounting irregularities, FCPA issues, public company disclosure obligations, auditor independence, insider trading, auction rate securities, anticompetitive market practices, stock option backdating, late trading of mutual fund shares, investment adviser issues, and broker-dealer issues. In addition, he has conducted corporate internal investigations on behalf of companies and their audit committees in response to allegations of accounting irregularities, insider trading, FCPA violations, and other misconduct raised by whistleblowers, regulators, and independent auditors under Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Mr. Ryan also has advised companies and individual executives in connection with internal investigations being conducted by other law firms.
Mr. Ryan joined King & Spalding in 2004 after a 10-year career in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including his last three years as Assistant Director of the Division. While at the SEC, he investigated, litigated, and supervised a broad range of enforcement matters involving public company accounting and financial disclosure, FCPA compliance, auditor independence, Regulation FD, insider trading, broker-dealer regulation and supervision, Internet fraud, micro-cap stock manipulation, and “prime bank” fraud. Along with other members of the Division of Enforcement, he received the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence in 2002.
Before joining the SEC in 1994, Mr. Ryan was a corporate and securities litigator with Willkie Farr & Gallagher, where he represented companies, broker-dealers, accounting firms, and individuals in SEC enforcement matters, private securities litigation, and other proceedings in both federal and state courts.
Mr. Ryan has also been an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University School of Law, where he taught an upper-level course on securities enforcement issues, and he has been a guest lecturer for similar law school classes at Georgetown University and Catholic University of America. He frequently writes and speaks about topics relevant to securities regulation, the SEC enforcement process, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. One of his articles earned him the 2005 Burton Award for Legal Achievement.
He began his legal career as law clerk to the Honorable Henry Bramwell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Ryan earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, at Boston College, and his law degree at St. John’s University School of Law.
He is the author of Bloomberg BNA Securities Practice Portfolio Series No. 286, Compensation Clawbacks Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
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