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Image: Brad Bondi

Brad Bondi

Partner, Litigation Department

Overview

Brad Bondi is Global Co-Chair of the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice at Paul Hastings and a nationally recognized litigation partner. He focuses on securities and financial investigations (SEC and DOJ) and securities and complex litigation. He also advises boards of directors and audit committees concerning significant governance matters. He is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and New York offices.

The publication Law360 recognized Brad as a national MVP in white collar in 2022, 2021, and 2019, Benchmark Litigation lists him as “national practice area star” in both securities and white collar, and The National Law Journal named him a Washington D.C. Trailblazer in 2020 to recognize his significant contributions to the field of securities law. The National Association of Corporate Directors has twice honored him for his work in the board room. Securities Docket describes Brad as “the first choice among Boards of Directors and Audit Committees of the Fortune 500 when their company is faced with SEC or DOJ problems.”

Mr. Bondi has two decades of experience representing and counseling companies, financial institutions, boards of directors, audit committees, and senior executives in a broad range of investigations and complex business litigation, with an emphasis on securities and financial regulations and corporate governance matters. He previously held senior positions in government, including at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Bondi leads the representation of significant legal matters including major litigation in trial and appellate courts and in arbitrations (securities litigation, derivative litigation, and complex business litigation), SEC, FINRA, and PCAOB enforcement matters, criminal inquiries (including FCPA, DOJ, and USAO matters), and various investigations (including independent investigations overseen by audit committees and special committees).

Mr. Bondi regularly serves as a senior advisor to boards of directors, audit committees, special committees, independent directors, and senior executives during corporate crises, significant transactions, and governance challenges. He has guided boards and board committees through the most extraordinary corporate events, including independent investigations, defense of derivative lawsuits against directors and officers, class actions, accounting irregularities and Restatements, auditor disputes, hostile takeover attempts and activist shareholders, mergers and acquisitions disputes, cyber intrusions and data breaches, and investigations of alleged misconduct by executives.

Mr. Bondi advises clients in connection with regulatory enforcement actions, private lawsuits, and governmental and congressional investigations arising from suspected violations of securities laws, accounting irregularities, auditor disputes, internal controls, market manipulation, revenue recognition issues, tax-related matters, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other commercial bribery law compliance, matters involving LIBOR and other reference rates, compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts, potential antitrust concerns, and cybersecurity. He also oversees complex civil and criminal litigation, such as securities litigation, corporate control litigation, commercial litigation, contractual disputes, arbitrations, and criminal proceedings. Mr. Bondi has litigated significant legal disputes in various state and federal courts, including serving as counsel of record for successful briefs before the Supreme Court of the United States: for an investment bank in Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd. v. Billing (interpreting securities laws as implicitly precluding the application of antitrust laws in the IPO process) and for an amicus curiae in Yates v. United States (construing Sarbanes-Oxley’s criminal provision for document destruction, 18 U.S.C. § 1519). He also served as counsel of record for an amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court of the United States in Salman v. United States (concerning the personal benefit element of insider trading law) and Liu v. SEC (concerning the SEC’s authority to seek disgorgement), and he has advised on other cases before the Court.

Mr. Bondi regularly advises financial institutions, including banking institutions, broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual funds, and hedge funds, and their respective boards on issues relating to compliance with securities laws, criminal laws, SEC and FINRA rules, and governance requirements.

Mr. Bondi defends clients in enforcement actions, prosecutions, and investigations initiated by federal and state agencies and departments, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), United States Attorneys and grand juries, State Attorneys General, Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC), Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Federal Reserve, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On occasion, he has served as an expert witness regarding issues relating to securities law and insider trading law. 

Mr. Bondi formerly served as a member of the executive staff of the SEC as Counsel to two Commissioners for enforcement actions and regulatory rulemaking. In this capacity, he advised on enforcement matters and regularly liaised with SEC Enforcement staff in the home and regional offices on numerous enforcement actions. He also served on the steering committee for the SEC’s “Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2015” and on working groups related to enforcement initiatives. While at the SEC, Mr. Bondi was detailed to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, where he served as deputy general counsel and led one of the three investigative teams examining the causes of the financial crisis. In that role, he interfaced with various other regulators and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Bondi also briefly served on detail as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, handling criminal prosecutions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District of Virginia, and as a state criminal prosecutor in an externship while in law school. Following law school, Mr. Bondi served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward E. Carnes, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 

Mr. Bondi is nationally recognized in multiple areas of the law: securities enforcement defense, board counseling and representation, criminal law, financial and securities regulation, and litigation. Mr. Bondi is recognized for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Nationwide Securities: Regulation: Enforcement by Chambers USA, where clients note he is “a highly experienced, smart and energetic lawyer,” “a great strategist,” “a masterful tactician,” “terrific writer,” and “a gifted and dynamic lawyer who knows how to best position his client before regulators and counterparties.” He is recommended for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Litigation: Defense by The Legal 500 US, where clients describe him as “tenacious, knowledgeable and highly effective,” the “best lawyer I have ever encountered,” and “a sharp business adviser” with “in-depth knowledge of the SEC and how to deal with it.” In the field of securities enforcement defense, Mr. Bondi has been named to Securities Docket’s current “Enforcement 40,” the list of the top 40 “best and brightest” securities enforcement attorneys in the country (regardless of age). He is one of only 22 lawyers in the country to receive this distinction twice. Securities Docket describes Mr. Bondi as “the first choice among Boards of Directors and Audit Committees of the Fortune 500 when their company is faced with SEC or DOJ problems.”

Mr. Bondi is a frequent speaker at business and legal conferences, and he has authored articles and book chapters on securities law, criminal law, corporate governance, and the attorney-client privilege and work-product protection. Articles that he authored have been published by the law journals of Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, the University of Virginia School of Law, and Fordham Law School. He has authored two book chapters on white-collar criminal defense strategy for Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books, 2007), and he formerly served as an associate editor of the Business Crimes Bulletin. He also has co-authored, among other pieces, a definitive piece on insider trading law, “The Law of Insider Trading: Legal Theories, Common Defenses, and Best Practices for Ensuring Compliance,” and, with SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins, wrote an extensive account of the SEC Enforcement program, “Evaluating the Mission: A Critical Review of the History and Evolution of the SEC Enforcement Program.” He routinely writes on issues pertaining to directors for the National Association of Corporate Directors.

In addition to his practice, Mr. Bondi teaches advanced securities law classes as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Mason University School of Law, and he is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He serves as an elected member of the steering committee of the Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Community section of the D.C. Bar. Mr. Bondi has provided expert testimony to Congress on securities law enforcement and has aided Congress in drafting legislation. He serves as a senior fellow at the Center for Financial Stability, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent think tank focusing on financial markets for the benefit of investors, officials, and the public. He is involved in international regulatory issues as a member of the Pallanza Group, an annual gathering of U.S. and European leaders hosted by the Istituto Bruno Leoni of Milan, Italy. In 2012, Mr. Bondi served as a delegate to the 34th Annual American Council on Germany Young Leaders Conference in Germany. He also is a member of the board of advisers of the Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Institute, which supports education and research in economic crime and information security and functions as a resource for corporate, government, and law enforcement entities, and he is a member of the Exchequer Club of Washington.

Mr. Bondi is active in charitable and civic organizations. He currently serves on the board of directors of the University of Florida Foundation and the Piedmont Environmental Council. He previously served as a “Big Brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters and on the board of directors of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. In 2019, Mr. Bondi endowed “The Bondi Family Land Conservation and Battlefield Preservation Fund” to promote the conservation of historic land. In 2021, he endowed the “Bradley J. Bondi Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Fund” at the University of Florida Levin College of Law for law students who demonstrate a commitment to advancing the causes of diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Bondi is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C., New York, and Florida, as well as several federal courts. He also is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Recognitions

  • Law360, White Collar National MVP (2019, 2021, 2022)
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Securities: Regulation: Enforcement
  • Chambers USA, Washington, D.C. Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • The Legal 500 US, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense
  • The Legal 500 US, Securities Litigation: Defense
  • Benchmark Litigation, Securities and White Collar Crime Litigation Star
  • The National Law Journal, Washington D.C. Trailblazer (2020)
  • Securities Docket, “Enforcement 40” (2013, 2017, 2020)
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Litigators in America
  • Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense “Super Lawyer” (2015-2023)
  • Best Lawyers, Financial Services Regulation Law “Best Lawyer” (2015-2023)
  • The National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship 100 (2012, 2019)
  • The National Institute of Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers in the State of New York (2014, 2015)
  • Global Investigations Review, “40 Under 40”
  • Legal Force, Financial Securities Law “Best Lawyer”
  • Martindale-Hubbell, “AV Preeminent” for Securities Law, Litigation, and Corporate Law
  • BTI, “Client Service All-Star” (2018)
  • Lincoln Financial Group, Efficiency award

Education

Mr. Bondi earned his LL.M., with distinction, in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, where he finished with an unprecedented perfect grade-point average and seven book awards. He received Georgetown's Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, S.J. Prize for having the best academic record in his class. Mr. Bondi earned his J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, and Intramural Best Trial Advocate, M.B.A. (dual concentrations in both Finance and Management), and B.S., with highest honors, the Outstanding Male Graduate, Beta Gamma Sigma, and undergraduate honors program, from the University of Florida. He was admitted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame, received numerous academic and leadership awards, and finished in the top of the class in each academic degree while matriculating early. In addition, Mr. Bondi studied at Oxford University for a semester during law school; he earned a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University and a Certificate in Management Excellence from Harvard Business School. In 2020, Mr. Bondi received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, recognizing him for typifying the UF Law ethos of excellence through professional achievement.

Representations

Internal Investigations and Counseling for Boards of Directors

  • Represented and counseled dozens of audit committees in many independent investigations and in connection with various government investigations including by the DOJ and SEC.
  • Counseled several boards of directors regarding the removal of executives.
  • Represented the audit committee of a global company in connection with an independent investigation and SEC Enforcement investigation.
  • Represented the audit committee of the board of directors of a transportation authority for an independent, internal investigation into conduct of board members, management, and employees.
  • Counseled boards of directors on various issues relating to governance, activists, proxy access, 10b5-1 plans, removal of executives, removal of directors, insider trading law, and cybersecurity.

 SEC Enforcement

  • Represented the audit committee of a Fortune 150 company in an independent, international investigation and in interfacing with SEC Division of Enforcement in its investigation.
  • Represented an investment company in connection with SEC investigation that resulted in the SEC closing the matter without action.
  • Represented a hedge fund in connection with SEC investigation that resulted in the SEC closing the matter without action.
  • Represented a leading automotive manufacturer in connection with SEC investigations that resulted in the SEC closing the investigations without action.
  • Represented a trading firm and trader in connection with SEC Enforcement action for alleged Reg SHO (short selling) violations that resulted in successful resolution.
  • Served as an expert witness in a matter involving alleged violations of federal securities law, including failure to supervise and insider trading.
  • Represented the audit committee of a global company in connection with an independent investigation and SEC Enforcement investigation.
  • Represented an investment firm in connection with investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • Represented a financial services firm in an ongoing basis in various SEC, FINRA, and State Attorneys General Investigations.
  • Represented a power generation company in connection with SEC investigation that resulted in the closing of the SEC investigation without action.

 Criminal Defense

  • Represented a large international food manufacturer in FCPA investigation involving the DOJ, SEC and foreign law enforcement agencies.
  • Represented an international travel, tourism, and hospitality company in connection with a criminal environmental investigation and prosecution.
  • Represented a leading automotive manufacturer in connection with U.S. Attorney investigation that resulted in no action taken.
  • Represented a former head of mortgage finance in connection with a New York State Attorney General Investigation and civil litigation.
  • Represented an investment banker in connection with multi-national criminal and civil LIBOR investigation.
  • Represented a former “Big Four” audit firm executive in criminal prosecution in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented a senior government official in connection with Special Counsel Fitzgerald investigation.
  • Represented an individual in connection with Special Counsel Mueller investigation.
  • Represented an individual against insider trading charges.

 Litigation

  • Represented board of directors of company in a derivative lawsuit brought under Delaware law and in an SEC investigation.
  • Represented directors/shareholders in governance litigation and change-of-control litigation.
  • Represented a power generation company in connection with a securities class action lawsuit that resulted in a dismissal of the litigation.
  • Represented insurance company in litigation against two hedge funds over PIPE transaction.
  • Represented many executives and directors in various securities litigation.
  • Represented an investment bank before the U.S. Supreme Court in Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd. v. Billing, reversing Second Circuit decision denying antitrust immunity and reinstating district court dismissal.
  • Represented an underwriter in district court and affirmance in Miles v. Merrill Lynch,In re IPO Securities Litigation, denying rehearing of Second Circuit's reversal of district court's grant of motion for class certification.
  • Represented amicus curiae as counsel of record in Supreme Court of the United States in Yates v. United States (construing Sarbanes-Oxley’s criminal provision for document destruction, 18 U.S.C. § 1519).
  • Represent amicus curiae as counsel of record in Supreme Court of the United States Salman v. United States (concerning the personal benefit element of insider trading law).

Matters may have been completed before joining Paul Hastings.

Practice Areas

Investigations and White Collar Defense

SEC Enforcement Defense and Regulatory Counseling

Litigation

Securities Litigation

Complex Litigation and Arbitration

Anti-Corruption and FCPA

Class Actions

Financial Services

Financial Services Litigation


Languages

Englisch


Admissions

New York Bar

District of Columbia Bar

Florida Bar


Education

Harvard Business School, Certificate in Management Excellence

Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M.

University of Florida, Levin College of Law, J.D. 1998

University of Florida, M.B.A. 1998

University of Florida, B.S. 1995


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