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Steven R. Peikin


Steven R. Peikin

New York +1-212-558-4636 +1-212-558-4636 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]

Steven Peikin leads Sullivan & Cromwell’s Securities & Commodities Investigations Practice. Mr. Peikin brings decades of experience at the most senior levels of government and in private practice to his representation of clients in a wide range of regulatory enforcement investigations, white-collar criminal matters, and internal investigations. He has particular expertise in matters involving the federal securities and commodities laws.

From 2017 to 2020, Mr. Peikin served as Co-Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, where he oversaw all aspects of the SEC’s national enforcement program, supervising its more than 1400 attorneys, accountants, and staff across its 12 offices. Among other duties, Mr. Peikin was responsible for executing the Commission’s enforcement priorities, overseeing its thousands of investigations and hundreds of litigations, responding to complex cyber threats, developing a comprehensive enforcement approach to initial coin offerings and other digital assets, and protecting the long-term interests of retail investors. He also coordinated SEC enforcement activities with the Department of Justice, the CFTC, and numerous foreign securities regulators around the world.

During his prior tenure at the Firm, Mr. Peikin led S&C’s Criminal Defense & Investigations Group, advising clients in nearly every major enforcement initiative brought over the course of more than a decade. He represented institutions and individuals in numerous high-profile matters, including those involving alleged violations of federal securities and commodities laws, the FCPA, price-fixing, and compliance with economic sanctions and anti-money laundering regimes. 

Before joining S&C, Mr. Peikin served for eight years as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. He oversaw 40 prosecutors, investigators, and staff responsible for some of the nation’s highest-profile financial statement fraud, insider trading, and obstruction of justice cases. As a prosecutor, Mr. Peikin also investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of securities, commodities, and other investment fraud schemes; an insider trading and money laundering case that resulted in the seizure and repatriation of $200 million; and cases involving racketeering, murder, and other violent crimes.

Mr. Peikin has tried more than 20 criminal jury cases in federal court and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Government Service
  • Co-Director, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement (2017-2020)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York (1996-2004); Chief of the Securities and Commodities Task Force (2003-2004)
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable J. Edward Lumbard, United States Circuit Judge, Second Circuit (1992-1993)
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Jr., United States District Judge, Southern District of New York (1991-1992)
 Professional Activities and Community Involvement
  • Visiting Scholar, Harvard Business School (2020)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU Law School (2013-2020)
  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (2006-2017)
  • Frequent featured speaker at bar association and professional organization conferences on issues relating to securities and commodities fraud and internal investigations, including the American Bar Association, SIFMA, New York City Bar, Federal Bar Council, and PLI
  • President, Center for Hearing and Communication, a nonprofit rehabilitation and human services agency for the deaf and hard of hearing


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Recognized as a leader in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2007-2016, 2022), Nationwide Securities Regulation: Enforcement (2022) and FCPA (2014-2016)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Recognized as a leader in FCPA (2015-2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States, Volume 3: Litigation – Recommended Lawyer for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2007, 2009-2014) 
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Recognized for Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2008-2017) 
  • New York Super Lawyers – Recognized for Criminal Defense: White Collar (2007-2017) 
  • Who’s Who Legal: Global Investigations Review – Recommended Lawyer for Criminal and Government Investigations
  • Lawdragon 500: New Stars, New Worlds – Named one of the top 500 up-and-coming lawyers in America (June 2006)
  • The National Law Journal – Selected as one of 40 top lawyers under age 40 in the United States in the publication’s annual “40 Under 40” ranking (May 2005) 
  • Recipient, Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2009)
  • Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (New York) – Cited as a Rising Star in Litigation (2009-2013), a Local Litigation Star (2014-2017, 2022-2023), a National Litigation Star in Appellate (2017), and a National Litigation Star in White Collar Crime (2016)
  • Expert Guides: White Collar Crime – Recommended Lawyer for White Collar Crime (2016)