Stephen Ehrenberg is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Group and is a co-head of the Firm’s Securities & Commodities Investigations & Enforcement Practice. He represents global and U.S. companies and financial institutions in complex securities, commodities and antitrust litigation, regulatory enforcement matters and corporate internal investigations.
Mr. Ehrenberg has recently represented corporate and individual clients before the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Congress, numerous state attorneys general and various exchanges and self-regulatory organizations.
Mr. Ehrenberg was a member of the S&C team in Cole v. Arkansas, a lawsuit that successfully challenged the constitutionality of a voter-initiated Arkansas statute prohibiting cohabiting couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. He serves as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee of the New York American Inn of Court.
Rankings and Recognitions
- New York Super Lawyers – recognized as a “Rising Star” (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- RPM International Inc. in a disclosure and accounting fraud action filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in which the Staff challenges the timing of RPM’s accrual under ASC 450 for a contingent legal liability.
- Moody’s Investor Services in a first-of-its-kind SEC action involving alleged violations of Rule 17g-8(b), promulgated under Dodd-Frank. The SEC alleged that Moody’s failed to clearly define its rating symbols and consistently apply those rating symbols to a class of complex structured finance instruments known as Combination Securities. Although Moody’s rated $2 billion worth of Combination Securities, it paid only a $1.25 million penalty to resolve these claims, with no disgorgement, no admission of wrongdoing, and no bar from rating any type of security as has been a feature of other significant SEC settlements with credit rating agencies.
- A regional financial institution in an SEC Enforcement investigation regarding earnings-per-share calculations in the company’s periodic filings with the Commission, and related accounting matters.
- A global asset manager and investment adviser in an enforcement investigation regarding impermissible cross-trades between client accounts.
- A global asset manager and investment adviser in an examination and enforcement investigation focusing on purported “errors” in a quantitative investment model, which concluded with no action taken against the firm.
- A global asset manager and investment adviser in an examination focusing on misreporting of fund yields, which concluded with no action taken against the firm.
- A global asset manager and investment adviser in an ongoing enforcement investigation focusing on conflicts of interest in the private equity space, which concluded with no action taken against the firm.
- A global financial institution in an SEC investigation regarding potential differences in fees and disclosures associated with separately managed accounts offered by a registered investment adviser, and a product offered by an affiliate under a different regulatory regime.
- Lead counsel to The Bank of Nova Scotia, and Court appointed Liaison Counsel on behalf of all defendants, in twenty-six class actions consolidated in the Southern District of New York, alleging claims under the Commodity Exchange Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act for purported manipulation of gold and gold derivatives prices.
- Lead counsel to The Bank of Nova Scotia in six class actions consolidated in the Southern District of New York, alleging claims under the Commodity Exchange Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act for purported manipulation of silver and silver derivatives prices.
- Lead counsel to a financial institution in five class actions consolidated in the Southern District of New York, alleging claims under the Commodity Exchange Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act for purported manipulation of platinum and palladium and platinum and palladium derivatives prices.
- Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC, one of the world’s largest cotton merchandisers, in a high profile class action asserting claims against LDC and its affiliates for alleged manipulation and monopolization of the cotton futures market during the turbulent summer of 2011.
- Moody’s Investors Service in a variety of matters arising out of the company’s role in the subprime securitization market, including:
- before several state attorneys general in connection with inquiries into practices for rating subprime instruments, including publicly announced investigations conducted by New York, California, Connecticut and Ohio;
- before the SEC in a much-publicized investigation – that ended with no charges being filed against the Company – of an alleged cover-up of an error in the model used for rating constant proportion debt obligations;
- in proceedings conducted in June 2010 by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which focused on Moody’s as the Commission’s “test case” for examination of the credit-rating industry; and
- in shareholder class action and derivative litigation concerning Moody’s ratings of mortgage-backed securities.
- A prominent high frequency market maker in foreign and domestic regulatory investigations.
- A major international investment bank in a global investigation by banking authorities, securities and commodities regulators, and criminal prosecutors around the world regarding alleged manipulation of foreign currency exchange rates.
- A broker in a week-long FINRA arbitration where the claimant sought over $1 million in disgorgement and compensatory damages for a variety of claims including churning, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence in personal securities accounts and accounts for which the claimant was a trustee. The Panel’s decision denied all claims with prejudice, and allocated all hearing fees to the claimant.
- A former director of a major video game publisher in the successful resolution of internal and governmental investigations of alleged “backdating” of stock options. Obtained the settlement or dismissal of all related civil litigation, with S&C’s client not required to contribute anything to the settlement.
- The former CEO of Affiliated Computer Systems, Inc. (“ACS”) in connection with an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York relating to the company’s practices involving grants of stock options. The SEC settled fraud charges against ACS but did not bring charges against S&C’s client. Also successfully represented the former CEO in related shareholder derivative litigation brought in federal court in Texas.