With a background in senior positions at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and as in-house counsel at a financial services firm, Ivan Harris brings insights to securities investigations, examinations, and litigation. He represents public companies, financial services firms, and individuals before the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and various stock exchanges. Clients in the securities industry regularly seek Ivan’s advice on compliance and regulatory matters.
Ivan represents public companies, financial institutions including investment banks, regional broker-dealers, hedge funds and private equity funds, municipal issuers and their employees in investigations by the SEC, FINRA, CBOE and other securities regulators. In the public company and municipal arena, Ivan has handled matters for clients involving financial accounting practices, issuer disclosures, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, and insider trading. He regularly counsels large investment banks, clearing firms and other broker-dealers on complex investigations involving trading practices, market structure issues, anti–money laundering compliance, and other rules and regulations. Ivan has also represented hedge fund and private equity firms facing regulatory investigations and examinations relating to valuation practices, complex trading issues, potential use of inside information, and issues relating to fees and expense practices.
Ivan previously served at the SEC from 1998 to 2005, and from 2001 to 2005 was an assistant regional director for enforcement in the SEC's Miami office. While at the SEC, he led the investigation of a major hedge fund collapse, brought the first SEC case involving illegal hedge fund short selling, and prosecuted cases involving accounting fraud, insider trading, FCPA violations, market manipulation and broker-dealer/investment adviser violations. Several of those cases involved cross-border issues and investigative efforts throughout Europe and Latin America.
Also before joining Morgan Lewis, Ivan was regulatory counsel for a financial services firm, where he advised on trading issues and compliance matters. He also served on several securities industry committees that focused on fixed income trading and securitized products.
Ivan frequently speaks at securities industry and hedge fund conferences.
Broker-Dealers, Investment Advisers, and Investment Companies
Represented a mutual fund and its officers and trustees in significant SEC and DOJ investigations involving an alleged mispricing of complex assets, including representation of the fund in obtaining a rare SEC order under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, suspending redemptions
Represented a broker-dealer in a favorable SEC settlement involving the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act
Represented, and continues to represent, numerous investment advisers in SEC investigations involving mutual fund fee disclosure practices, including mutual fund and 529 plan share class selection, cash sweep revenue sharing, marketing fees, and other revenue sharing arrangements
Conducted numerous internal investigations for financial services firms involving trading practices, information barriers, electronic communications, and other potential misconduct
Lead counsel at trial and on appeal in the successful defense of a high frequency trading firm and its senior executives accused by the CBOE of various trade surveillance, anti-money laundering and margin rule violations. The firm’s chief compliance officer was cleared of all charges by the CBOE, and on appeal, the SEC overturned the CBOE’s adverse findings against the firm and two other officers. (In the Matter of the Application of Electronic Transaction Clearing, Inc., et al., SEC Admin. Proc. File No. 3-16285 (June 16, 2016).
Represented investment adviser to wrap program clients in SEC investigation involving disclosure of trade-away costs. Investigation closed without action.
Represent broker-dealer in SEC investigation involving mark-ups on fixed income transactions.
Represented numerous fixed income broker-dealers and bond traders/salespersons in SEC and FINRA investigations involving potential misrepresentations to customers. All investigations were closed without action.
Represent numerous broker-dealers in AML-related investigations before the SEC and FINRA, and counsel broker-dealers and investment advisers on AML compliance issues.
Represent high-frequency trading firms in investigations by the SEC, FINRA, and CBOE involving trade surveillance, sponsored access, and suspicious activity reporting.
Represented a global investment bank in SEC investigation and settlement involving the sale of FX-related products.
Represent global investment bank and asset manager in numerous SEC and FINRA investigations and examinations involving the sales and trading of structured products and other fixed income securities.
Represent numerous regional broker-dealers with LatAm focus in FINRA and SEC investigations and examinations involving foreign finders, tri-party clearing arrangements, and sales practices involving high-net-worth foreign customers.
Represented global investment bank and its employees in SEC investigation that was closed without action involving the sale of asset-backed commercial paper to state pension fund.
Represented former senior officer of major investment bank in hearings before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Represented a prominent hedge fund adviser and its personnel in SEC and DOJ investigations involving alleged insider trading; all investigations were closed without action
Represented a private equity fund adviser in a SEC examination involving expense allocation practices and disclosures
Represented an investment adviser in a SEC investigation involving disclosure of capital commitment amounts; SEC closed the investigation as to the client without action
Successfully represented prominent hedge fund manager in SEC investigation and related litigation involving fund performance. SEC investigation was closed without action and the litigation was resolved through favorable settlements.
Represented a global private equity fund manager in SEC investigation involving potential violations of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Investigation closed without action.
Represent a hedge fund manager in connection with SEC investigation of asset valuation practices and NAV restatement.
Represented Latin American-focused hedge fund manager in investigation and settlement of SEC investigation involving related party transactions and investor disclosures.
Represented Brazilian-based hedge fund manager in investigation and settlement of SEC investigation involving alleged Rule 105 violations.
Represent senior officer of prominent hedge fund manager in SEC examination and investigation of trading practices.
Represented hedge fund manager and its officers in SEC investigation of MBS and CDO trading practices.
Represented numerous private equity advisers in SEC presence examinations and initial examinations of new registrants.
Public Companies and Their Officers
Retained by the CFO of a public company after receipt of a Wells notice from the SEC. Based on the Wells submission, the SEC closed the investigation without action as to the client, while pursuing actions against the public company and other officers
Conducted internal investigations involving public company revenue recognition and expense reporting practices and other alleged employee misconduct
Represented public company CEO in investigation and settlement of SEC investigation arising from accounting restatement.
Represent bank holding company CEO in SEC investigation of accounting issues.
Conducted internal investigation for public company of alleged channel stuffing.
Conducted internal investigation for audit committee of public company of senior officer's submission of expenses for reimbursement.
Duke University School of Law, 1994, J.D.
University of Pennsylvania, 1991, B.A., Cum Laude
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, 1991, B.S., Cum Laude
District of Columbia
US District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Securities/Capital Markets Law, South Florida Best Lawyers Magazine (2023)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Securities Regulation, US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Recognized, Litigation – Securities, Miami, The Best Lawyers in America (2018, 2019, 2022–2024)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2012–2016)
Member, Duke Law Alumni Association Board of Directors