About Danette R. Edwards

As a former Senior Counsel in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Enforcement Division, Danette Edwards offers clients deep insight into antifraud and other securities laws, and is a trusted resource for navigating investigations and enforcement matters.

Valuable perspective in the most complex cases

During her time with the SEC, Danette helped the agency obtain judgments ordering companies and individuals to pay more than $595 million to investors and the U.S. Treasury. She received multiple awards from the Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division for her work on investigations and litigation, and a trio of cases that she recently prosecuted were included in a select group of matters highlighted in the SEC Enforcement Division's 2020 Annual Report to Congress.

Having recently rejoined the private sector after more than a decade on the front lines of the SEC's enforcement efforts, Danette offers sound guidance to companies and individuals on SEC-related matters of all types, including suspected financial and disclosure fraud; alleged misconduct by auditors, broker-dealers, and investment advisors; and violations in areas of new interest to the SEC. Her practice includes advising clients involved in SEC Enforcement Division investigations and litigation, with a related focus on internal, special committee and non-SEC government and regulatory investigations; securities class action defense; and complex economic litigation. Danette draws on her significant SEC experience in examining witnesses and analyzing complicated data sets, and she uses her former regulator mindset to identify potential risks and promising theories and defenses so that she can make sound recommendations to clients in high-stakes matters.

Danette's practice also includes a cross-disciplinary compliance and risk management component that is critical for public companies as well as private sector and nonprofit clients. Danette advises on records and information management (RIM) best practices; cybersecurity; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) questions concerning environmentally sustainable finance, and diversity and inclusion as components of social governance.

Danette frequently writes and presents on topics such as enforcement risks related to SEC rulemaking, significant SEC enforcement actions and other cases involving challenges to core aspects of the SEC's enforcement program.

Prior to joining the SEC, Danette was a white collar and commercial litigator at a national law firm, where she defended market participants and other players in public and private actions, and helped to establish the firm's records management practice. She also worked for the Honorable Catherine C. Blake, Senior District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

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Practice Focus

  • Securities fraud litigation and enforcement defense
  • Financial services litigation
  • White collar and internal investigations
  • Compliance and records management
  • Cybersecurity and risk management
  • ESG and diversity and inclusion

Representative Experience

  • Led an SECĀ investigation resulting in settled charges against a public company for allegedly recognizing false revenue, manipulating earnings and carrying intangible assets at amounts hundreds of millions of dollars above their true market value. *
  • Led an SEC investigation resulting in charges against the former CEO and COO of a public company for alleged securities fraud violations. Related parallel criminal charges were also brought by another agency. *
  • Led an SEC investigation resulting in settled charges in an administrative proceeding filed against a former public company CFO. *
  • Successfully enforced an SEC administrative subpoena requiring investigative testimony from the founder of a fashion company with ties to a publicly traded licensing company. *
  • Investigated and successfully litigated a federal court action on behalf of the SECĀ against a privately held company and its CEO for perpetrating a massive, cross-border Ponzi scheme victimizing thousands of overseas investors. This case culminated in a summary judgment win for the SEC and an order for more than $580 million in monetary relief, one of the largest financial awards ever obtained by the SEC in a litigated matter. Related parallel criminal charges were also brought by another agency. *
  • Led an SEC investigation resulting in settled charges in a pair of administrative proceedings filed against a foreign private issuer, senior accountants and an audit professional for alleged violations of auditor independence requirements and multiple U.S. GAAP provisions. Obtained a $5 million corporate penalty and multi-year practice bars against the accountants. *
  • Litigated and tried to successful verdict a multimillion-dollar market manipulation case in the Eastern District of New York. *
* Experience prior to Katten

Publications

  • May 22, 2009
    United States v. Nicholas: Expanding the Upjohn Suppression Remedy | BNA White Collar Crime Report | Co-Author
  • December 12, 2008
    Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, Final Commission Report to the General Assembly | Contributor
  • September 19, 2008
    Navigating the Perils of FCPA Investigations in Emerging Markets | New York City Bar Center for CLE | Co-Author
  • May 23, 2008
    Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain: United States v. Stringer and the Government's Obligation to Disclose | BNA White Collar Crime Report | Co-Author
  • April 18, 2008
    Avoiding the Next "Spygate": Critical Records Management Advice for Your Company in the Wake of the Destruction of the NFL and CIA Tapes | Mealey's Litigation Report: Discovery | Author
  • December 12, 2003
    When Used Responsibly, Instant Messaging Can Be a Valuable Tool | Baltimore Business Journal | Co-Author

Presentations and Events

  • October 13, 2022
  • January, 2021
    SEC Enforcement Attorneys and Accountants Seminar: Working with Criminal Authorities
    Panelist
  • June 5, 2008
    Records and Information Management and Retention | Harvard Club, New York City
    Panelist
  • June 29, 2005
    Document Retention and Destruction in Maryland | Lorman Education Services
    Panelist
  • June 7, 2005
    What Nonprofits Need to Know About the Sarbanes-Oxley Act | Maryland Association of Non-Profit Organizations
    Panelist
  • January 19, 2005
    Working With Sarbanes-Oxley: Applying New Corporate Governance Rules to Payroll, Benefits, and Human Resources | Lorman Education Services
    Panelist