Leading Securities Enforcement Lawyer Philip Khinda Joins Cadwalader’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice

July 07, 2021

Top adviser on SEC investigations will enhance Cadwalader’s global litigation capabilities, working with the firm’s market-leading securities regulatory and corporate practices.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP announced today that Philip Khinda, one of the nation’s top advisers to C-suite executives and boards on SEC matters, has joined the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice. He will split his time between Cadwalader’s Washington, D.C. and New York offices.

Khinda joins Cadwalader from Steptoe & Johnson, where he led its corporate governance and crisis management practices and served as co-head of the firm’s securities enforcement practice. Earlier in his career, Khinda served with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and at Morgan Stanley.

Khinda has successfully represented leading institutions, boards and senior executive clients in many of the most significant securities enforcement matters over the last 25 years, including investigations and litigation involving Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, UBS, and State Street Bank, as well as Rite Aid, Enron, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Time Warner, and Yahoo!, among others, appearing before U.S. and international securities regulators and prosecutors on their behalf.

“With the expected increase in SEC enforcement activity, it is critical to provide our clients with best-in-class securities defense capabilities to enhance our renowned securities regulatory practice,” said Pat Quinn, Cadwalader’s Managing Partner. “With his experience in SEC matters and corporate crises and internal investigations, Phil is the kind of go-to lawyer that the leaders of financial institutions, funds and corporations want and need on their team.”

Added Jodi Avergun, head of the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice, “In hiring counsel when the SEC comes calling, experience and track record matter most. Phil has a stellar reputation both before regulators and with practitioners in Washington and New York. He has led a number of the highest-profile SEC assignments in recent years and has produced exceptional results for his clients. Phil is a great addition to our firm.”

Among his many notable engagements in his investigations and governance work, Khinda led the CalPERS Special Review, a 2011 examination into the fees paid by CalPERS external money managers to placement agents. Khinda’s work led to the recovery by CalPERS, the nation’s largest state pension fund, of more than $200 million and its public report on pay-to-play and public corruption issues.

In his white collar and investigations work, Khinda has served as special counsel to the boards of the Bank One investment funds (now part of JPMorgan), whose investment adviser was named in the New York Attorney General's first mutual fund market timing complaint, and the board of the AmSouth Funds, whose adviser was "Adviser A" in the SEC's landmark action against BISYS Fund Services and others for mutual fund marketing kickbacks.

Khinda is vice-chair of the American Bar Association’s Corporate Governance Committee, and chair of its Ethics and Investigations Subcommittee. He has also been an adjunct professor at Georgetown law school for over 20 years. Securities Docket has named him to each of its “Enforcement 40” lists, its compilation of the 40 leading securities enforcement defense attorneys in the country. He is also a fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel.

“I am thrilled to be joining Cadwalader and its extraordinary litigators and corporate practitioners,” Khinda said. “For me, it’s a return to my New York and capital markets roots and, with all that’s coming from the new administration, the timing is perfect.“

The lawyers in Cadwalader’s white collar defense and investigations practice represent financial institutions, investment firms, broker-dealers, corporations, boards of directors, audit committees, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings, trials, and appeals, as well as before Congress. The group’s attorneys include a deep bench of former federal prosecutors and regulators who have extensive expertise defending clients in court and before regulators, conducting internal investigations, managing risk assessments of U.S. and foreign entities and markets, and advising clients on developing, implementing, and training on corporate compliance programs.

The lawyers in the firm’s securities enforcement and crisis management practices represent clients in securities and accounting fraud investigations and proceedings brought by the SEC, the Department of Justice, the New York State Attorney General, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the UK Serious Fraud Office, as well as self-regulatory proceedings by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The team represents a broad array of clients, including public and private companies, boards of directors and audit and compliance committees, banking institutions, financial services companies, hedge funds, broker-dealers, investment advisers, and their officers and directors. The group also regularly conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporate management, boards, audit committees, and special committees.  

Khinda’s arrival follows a number of significant partner additions to Cadwalader’s Global Litigation Group, including: market-leading teams from Boies Schiller – a commercial and antitrust litigation team led by Nicholas Gravante and including Philip Iovieno, Karen Dyer and Lawrence Brandman and a trials team led by Sean O’Shea and including Michael Petrella and Amanda Devereux; London partners Mark Beardsworth and Kevin Roberts and former CFPB lawyer Rachel Rodman in white collar defense and investigations; and Douglas Gansler to lead the State Attorneys General practice.