Bradley J. Bondi leads the Securities Enforcement and Investigations Group and is a partner in the White Collar Defense and Investigations and Securities Litigation practices, residing in the Washington, D.C. and New York offices. He focuses on a wide range of complex civil and criminal matters involving securities and financial laws, corporate governance, and business laws. Brad represents boards, companies, financial institutions, and individuals in internal investigations, domestic and foreign government inquiries, and adversarial proceedings, including enforcement actions involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and complex private litigation from trial to appeal. In a counseling role, he advises boards of directors, audit committees, special committees, and senior management of public companies and financial institutions on matters of corporate governance, securities and financial regulation, fiduciary duties, compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts, and crisis management. For his work with boards of directors, Brad was named to the National Association of Corporate Directors' 2012 Directorship 100 list of "People to Watch." He was named to Securities Docket’s inaugural “Enforcement 40,” which recognizes the 40 “best and brightest” securities enforcement attorneys in the country. Securities Docket described 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." Brad also was selected as one of the Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers in the State of New York in 2014 and 2015, and was included in the 2014 list of the Best Lawyers in America for Financial Services Regulation Law. He was also named among the Top 40 Investigative Lawyers in the world under the age of 40.
Brad specializes in representing clients through complex, multifaceted crises that often involve regulatory enforcement actions, private lawsuits, government and congressional investigations, and business and reputational risks. He counsels and defends clients in enforcement actions and investigations initiated by various federal and state agencies and departments, including the SEC, 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"), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"), and Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). Such matters may involve allegations related to securities, banking, and accounting fraud; insider trading; antitrust violations; whistleblowers; adequacy of disclosures; broker-dealer and investment adviser compliance; fiduciary duties; mortgages and lending; complex financial products; securitization; deceptive trade practices; and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and other anti-bribery laws, anti-money laundering laws, export control laws, and national security laws. He also handles various civil and criminal litigation, such as securities litigation, corporate control litigation, commercial litigation, contractual disputes, arbitrations, and criminal proceedings.
At the investigative stage, he designs and leads internal investigations for international companies in different regions of the world and on a variety of topics, including suspected violations of securities laws, accounting irregularities, internal controls, market manipulation, revenue recognition issues, tax-related matters, suspected violations of the FCPA, commercial bribery, and potential antitrust concerns. He also assists companies in ensuring appropriate reporting and remedial steps are taken to address any discovered problems.
Brad has earned a positive reputation with regulators and clients for his thorough and efficient internal investigations. For example, a recent internal investigation for the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit received widespread praise from the client and the media for its integrity, thoroughness, and efficiency. A Board resolution observed that the four-month "Investigation was conducted with the highest integrity, that the issues have been thoroughly investigated, and the report's findings are well-documented." The Editorial Board of the Washington Post wrote that the investigation by Brad's team uncovered "incontrovertible evidence" and that the investigative report was "meticulous." A columnist for the Washington Post wrote, "The rigorous report [by Cadwalader] sets the standard," and proclaimed, "This, fellow District residents, is how dedicated, smart people do it."
Prior to joining Cadwalader, Brad was a member of the executive staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission, serving as Counsel to SEC Commissioners Troy Paredes and Paul Atkins for enforcement actions and regulatory rulemaking. He routinely advised on SEC enforcement matters and regularly interacted with SEC Enforcement staff in the home and regional offices. He also served on the steering committee for the SEC's "Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2015" and on several working groups related to enforcement initiatives. While at the SEC, Brad was detailed to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission ("FCIC"), a bipartisan commission established by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial crisis, where he served as deputy general counsel and assistant director. In that role, he led one of the three FCIC investigative teams and focused primarily on credit ratings, mark-to-market accounting, regulatory supervision, and government housing policies. Brad also served briefly as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for criminal prosecutions in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Before his government service commenced, Brad was a litigation partner at Kirkland and Ellis LLP and an associate at Williams and Connolly LLP, where he was involved in a number of high-profile criminal trials and civil litigation, including the following civil cases: serving as counsel of record for an investment bank before the Supreme Court, Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd. v. Billing, 127 S. Ct. 2383 (2007) (reversing Second Circuit decision denying antitrust immunity and reinstating district court dismissal); representing a major underwriter in district court and on appeal in the largest securities class action lawsuit to date, see, e.g., Miles v. Merrill Lynch (In re IPO Securities Litigation), 483 F.3d 70 (2d Cir. 2007) (denying rehearing of Second Circuit's reversal of district court's grant of motion for class certification); successfully representing energy trade association in multi-district civil discovery dispute, see, e.g., U.S. v. Duke Energy Corp., Nos. 1:00 CV 1262, 2006 WL 2547986 (D.D.C. 2006) (denying government's motion to compel production); successfully representing corporate-plaintiff at trial and on appeal in an insurance broker malpractice case, Archer Daniels Midland Co. v. Aon Risk Services, Inc. of Minnesota, No. 97-2185, 2002 WL 31185884 at *3 (D. Minn. Sept. 27, 2002), aff'd, 356 F.3d 850 (8th Cir. 2004) (affirming jury verdict and award of $20 million damages in favor of corporate client).
Publications and Scholarship
A frequent speaker at business and legal conferences, Brad is also a prolific author of articles and book chapters on securities law, criminal law, corporate governance, and the attorney-client privilege and work-product protection. Articles that he exclusively wrote have appeared in 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 the popular Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books, 2007), and he previously 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," a chapter on internal investigations for Lofchie's Guide to Broker-Dealer Regulation, 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." For an article he co-authored with other Cadwalader partners on the FCPA, Brad and his co-authors received the 2012 Burton Award for Legal Achievement.
Outside a client relationship, Brad is sought frequently for his views on pressing legal and policy issues. Brad has appeared as a commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, PBS, and other media outlets to discuss criminal and civil enforcement of the federal securities laws and issues pertaining to the SEC and DOJ. He is quoted often by news sources such as The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, Law360, and the Washington Post on those areas. In addition, Brad has advised lawmakers and policymakers on contemplated and proposed legislation and rules.
Brad is actively involved in academia and public policy as a thought leader in the fields of securities and financial regulation and economic crime. Brad teaches advanced securities law classes as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Mason University School of Law. 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 actively 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, he served as a delegate to the 34th Annual American Council on Germany Young Leaders Conference in Germany. He also is an active member of the board of advisors 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. Brad previously served two, three-year terms as an elected member of the steering committee for the Corporation Finance and Securities Law Section of the D.C. Bar.
Brad has received recognition in several practice areas. In addition to being named to the NACD Directorship 100 list of "People to Watch," and to the Securities Docket's "Enforcement 40," he has achieved the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell of "AV Preeminent," with an overall peer rating of "5.0 out of 5.0" in securities law, litigation, and corporate law. Benchmark Litigation, a publication focused exclusively on U.S. litigation, five times identified Brad as a "future star" based on consistent recommendations by peer firm partners, competitors, and clients. Super Lawyers selected Brad for its "rising star" list on four occasions, and LegalForce identified him as a "best lawyer" in Washington, D.C. in finance securities law. Global Investigations Review previously named Brad to the "GIR: 40 Under 40," recognizing him as one of the top 40 investigative lawyers in the world under the age of 40. The National Institute of Trial Lawyers has listed him in the Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers in the State of New York. Best Lawyers in America selected him in 2014 for inclusion under Financial Services Regulation Law.
In recently naming him to the “Enforcement 40,” the list of the “best and brightest” securities enforcement attorneys of all ages in the country, Securities Docket wrote the following:
“Brad Bondi is the first choice among Boards of Directors and Audit Committees of the Fortune 500 when their company is faced with SEC or DOJ problems. From his experience at the SEC and in private practice and from being a ‘good and honest guy,’ Bondi has earned the respect of scores at the SEC, including in the highest ranks, and throughout the private bar and has established the utmost trust of devoted clients that keep him on speed dial. His peers and clients praise his tireless work ethic and his top-notch investigative skills, especially in complicated matters, and they say his creative strategies, his confident and calming demeanor, and his appreciation of the big picture in the corporate world make him the ‘go-to’ lawyer for crisis situations and bet-the-company enforcement actions. Also known for his ‘razor-sharp questioning of witnesses,’ his ‘professorial knowledge of the federal securities laws,’ prolific writing, and ‘attention to every fact and detail,’ Bondi has the rare ability to cooperate fully and effectively with regulators and law enforcement when the situation dictates, or if necessary, battle it out to victory in court.”
Education, Clerkship, and Bar Admissions
Brad earned his LL.M (with distinction) in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, where he finished with a 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. He earned his J.D. (with high honors, Order of the Coif, 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, 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, he studied at Oxford University for a semester during law school, and he earned a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.
Following law school, Brad served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edward E. Carnes, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York, and Florida, and before the Supreme Court of the United States, and various United States Courts of Appeals and District Courts.
Civic and Charitable Work
Aside from his professional responsibilities, Brad is active in charitable and civic organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, for which he has served as a Big Brother for over ten years. He also serves as a board member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about the needs of children without families and to remove policy barriers that hinder children from knowing the love and support a family provides. In 2008, President Bush honored him and others at the White House for volunteerism.