Regulatory and Enforcement Group

Representation of Accounting Firms

The Regulatory and Enforcement Group at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) specifically serves the needs of accounting firms, with a focus on:

  • Representation in regulatory inquiries and investigations;
  • Representation in enforcement actions;
  • Regulatory and risk management advice;
  • Advice on special accounting issues relating to the securities industry (broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment companies).

A Different Approach To Regulatory Investigations And Enforcement Actions

JMBM has successfully handled many regulatory investigations and enforcement actions for accounting firms and their professionals.

JMBM's Regulatory and Enforcement Group takes a different approach to regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings than many other law firms do. We believe the only real victory is to avoid charges being brought, to avoid actions being instituted and to avoid negative information about a client becoming a matter of public record.

Of course, we staff our matters with appropriate litigation attorneys and we are always prepared to litigate an enforcement action if necessary. At the same time, our years of experience have also taught us that substantive regulatory experts should be involved from the start, even leading the legal team where appropriate. We open up lines of communication as early as possible with regulatory officials and seek to quickly obtain a complete understanding of the basis for the regulator's concerns, both factual and legal. Our practice is to request meetings with the regulators and submit substantive written materials well before there is a staff recommendation of action. While some law firms might consider revealing arguments and strategy at an early stage to be a poor litigation practice, we have found it to be an effective strategy to avoid ending up in enforcement litigation at all.

Many of our clients are regulated entities. We understand the need to avoid strategies that may adversely impact a client's ongoing relationship with regulators who have substantial discretionary authority over them. We always seek to preserve our client's reputation and dispel any possible misunderstandings about our client, whatever the outcome of a particular matter. We believe that in most cases this approach is more cost-effective, and results in lower legal fees and superior settlement terms, than a purely adversarial and litigation-oriented approach. Our track record speaks for itself.

Representative Engagements

  • Regulatory counseling for more than 40 accounting firms throughout the U.S. on state accounting board, AICPA, PCAOB, ERISA and SEC requirements.
  • Representation of accounting firms and accounting firm partners in investigations and enforcement actions by the SEC, including issues of GAAP, GAAS, revenue recognition, going-concern qualification, surprise inspections of investment advisers and securities fraud.
  • Formation of and ongoing consultation with affiliated businesses for more than 25 accounting firms, including investment advisers, lenders, leasing companies and insurance agencies.
  • The purchase, sale and merger of numerous accounting firms.
  • Consultation on the separation of attest and non-attest services and combination of accounting services with other businesses for several national roll-ups.
  • Specialty consulting on accounting issues relating to broker-dealers and investment advisers, including surprise inspection requirements and procedures, audits of private funds, investment company disclosure, custody rules, GIPS certification and net capital calculation.

Other JMBM Legal Services For Accounting Firms

JMBM lawyers routinely work with accountants and accounting firms in a wide array of engagements in addition to regulatory and enforcement matters.

For example:

  • JMBM's Corporate Group works with accountants in connection with transactional and other business matters.
  • JMBM's Litigation Group has defended accounting firms in professional negligence cases, class actions and other civil litigation matters.
  • JMBM's Trust and Estates Group routinely works with accounting firms on complex tax and estate planning matters.

Please Contact Us

We would be pleased to discuss your accounting practice and issues and how we can be of service to you.