Howard R. Elisofon is co-chair of Herrick's Securities, Futures & Derivatives Litigation Group where he concentrates his practice in securities and commodities litigation, arbitration and mediation. Howard regularly defends individuals and companies in the financial sector including: broker-dealers, brokerage firms, investment advisers and investment companies, venture capital firms, insurance companies, investment advisory firms, securities traders and securities professionals, in litigation, investigations and enforcement proceedings. He regularly represents clients before the SEC, Offices of the U.S. Attorney, State Attorney General, District Attorneys, FINRA, various exchanges, and various state securities and insurance departments.
Howard is routinely called on by securities professionals and broker-dealers to advise on the interpretation of and compliance with laws and the rules governing the trading of securities both for publicly and privately held companies. Howard also represents employees and firms in the securities industry in broker-dealer related issues and in employment matters, including employment, compensation, severance agreements, employment contracts, wrongful termination cases, Form U-5 issues and recruitment disputes. Howard is also involved in all facets of Complex Commercial Litigation.
Howard was lead counsel in the historic law suit brought against the United States of America and the Securities and Exchange Commission championing the cause of the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Though the case was ultimately dismissed by the Second Circuit, it was instrumental in leading to major changes in SEC policies and practices on conducting investigations, as well as changes in the tax law, providing greater tax relief to Ponzi scheme victims.
Howard has been retained by senior executives in connection with numerous high profile government investigations including the Drexel Burnham - Ivan Boesky matter, the Prudential Securities Limited Partnership scandal, the Prudential market timing investigation and most recently the Stanford Ponzi scheme matter.
Howard counsels clients on sales and trading issues and assists them in planning comprehensive compliance programs including: branch office supervisory issues; clearing issues and practices; communications with the public; conflict of interest reviews; equities and options sales practices; firm supervisory procedures; gifts and gratuities compliance; FINRA and state licensing issues; margin rules; records retention; suitability and churning; trading practices rules; variable annuity suitability and compliance and private placements.
Howard has more than 35 years of securities law and enforcement experience. He commenced his career as a trial counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement. He subsequently served in a variety of senior in-house positions, both as Senior Counsel at Prudential Securities and General Counsel of First New York Securities where we was Series 7 and Series 24 licensed. Prior to joining Herrick, Howard was a senior shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, where he was instrumental in the founding of their New York office.
Howard is a frequent speaker on securities and enforcement related topics, and a sought-after authority on broker dealer issues. He has authored numerous publications, been interviewed and provided commentary on litigation and enforcement matters - including Madoff and Ponzi schemes - in the financial press and on television broadcasts. Howard was named as a Best Lawyer in America in the litigation category in the 2013 US News - Best Lawyers Report.