Robert W. Pommer III is a partner in the Government & Internal Investigations Practice Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice focuses on a broad range of issues related to regulatory enforcement, corporate governance and financial reporting. As an experienced trial attorney, Bob represents individuals and companies in enforcement investigations and litigation conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other governmental entities and financial services regulators. In addition, Bob conducts internal investigations and counsels companies on regulatory compliance, corporate governance and other SEC-related issues.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Bob served as an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the SEC's Division of Enforcement. During his nine years of service with the SEC, Bob was responsible for investigating and litigating several high-profile cases involving complex financial frauds and audit failures. Bob acted as first-chair trial attorney in other enforcement actions involving insider trading, investment adviser and broker-dealer issues, market manipulation, and other violations of the federal securities laws.
As a staff attorney and senior counsel at the SEC, Bob conducted the financial fraud investigation involving Waste Management, Inc., and its auditor Arthur Andersen. The $1.7 billion fraud at Waste Management resulted in what was then the largest restatement in history. Bob helped negotiate the landmark settlements with five top officers of the company, Arthur Andersen and four of its audit partners. Bob went on to successfully litigate an 11-week jury trial against the former CFO of Waste Management. Bob also investigated and litigated several other accounting and auditing cases, including a two-week Rule 102(e) administrative trial against two auditors responsible for the audits of U.S. Foodservice, Inc. (Royal Ahold matter).
BP plc and related entities in connection with parallel SEC and DOJ criminal investigations arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico
A leading health care service provider in connection with an internal investigation on behalf of its Audit Committee and related SEC investigation related to accounting restatement and revenue recognition issues
Internal investigation in connection with proposed acquisition on behalf of global engineering products manufacturer related to accounting and revenue recognition issues
A large multinational company in an SEC investigation regarding the accounting and disclosure for litigation contingencies
A leading health care provider in an SEC investigation into alleged accounting and disclosure fraud and potential Regulation FD violations
A global chemical manufacturing company in connection with an SEC investigation regarding accounting for environmental liabilities and related disclosures
A large hospitality company in an internal investigation related to potential whistleblower claims and a related SEC investigation related to certain asset-backed securities offerings and related disclosures
A leading health care company in conducting FCPA due diligence related to the acquisition of global medical technology company
A public company in an SEC investigation into accounting fraud and disclosure violations arising from a restatement of its public filings, and in a related NASDAQ de-listing proceeding
Private Equity/Hedge Funds
A private equity fund manager in an SEC investigation into potential misallocation and excess charging of fees and expenses, conflicts of interest, and breaches of fiduciary duty
A hedge fund manager and its CEO in parallel insider trading investigations by the SEC and DOJ
A private equity fund manager and its principal in an SEC investigation into potential breaches of fiduciary duty, conflicts of interest, and misallocation of expenses
The Chief Operating Officer of a leading activist hedge fund in an SEC investigation and litigation related to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and conflicts of interest
A private equity fund manager and portfolio company in parallel investigations by the CFPB and Massachusetts Attorney General involving online lending program
A leading investment adviser and its associated hedge funds in an SEC investigation into securities trading by certain investors in the funds
A private equity fund manager in an SEC inquiry regarding various business practices and disclosures, including the valuation of assets and charging of management fees
Private equity fund managers in an investigation by the New York Attorney General related to management fee waiver arrangements
A private equity fund manager in an arbitration involving breach of contract and conflicts of interest claims
A leading investment adviser and its associated hedge funds in an SEC investigation related to trading in certain credit default swaps
A hedge fund manager in an SEC investigation into short selling practices and potential violations of Rule 105 of Regulation M
Senior executives and a portfolio company of a private equity firm in connection with an SEC investigation regarding vendor rebates and related accounting and disclosure issues
Various private equity fund managers and registered advisers in connection with the SEC's "presence exam" initiative
Various private equity and venture capital firms in connection with SEC investigations into alleged violations of the pay-to-play rules
A leading investment company in parallel investigations by the SEC and DOJ related to expert network consultants and potential insider trading claims
The former Chief Financial Officer of a leading manufacturer of personal computers in an SEC administrative proceeding under Rule 102(e)
A senior executive for a large credit-oriented alternative asset manager in connection with an SEC investigation into bond trading and potential conflicts of interest
A former loan servicer in parallel investigations by the CFPB and SEC involving for-profit student loan program
A fixed-income sales executive for a leading investment bank in an SEC investigation into the sales and marketing practices relating to asset-backed and synthetic collateralized debt obligations and associated credit default swaps
The collateral manager in an SEC investigation into portfolio selection, disclosure and credit rating practices relating to asset-backed and collateralized debt obligations and associated credit default swaps
An executive of a large mortgage lender in connection with an SEC investigation related to subprime financial reporting and disclosures issues
The Chief Compliance Officer of a leading online broker dealer in an SEC investigation into violations of Regulation SHO arising from alleged naked short-selling
A large investment management firm in certain investigations by state attorneys general related to foreign currency trading practices
A broker-dealer in a FINRA statutory disqualification proceeding
A public accounting firm in connection with an SEC investigation into the audit client's restatement
A public accounting firm in an SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) investigation into accounting misconduct by one of its financial institution audit clients
Internal investigation on behalf of a special committee of the Board in connection with potential obstruction of justice claims in a prior governmental investigation
A school district in connection with the SEC's Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative and related SEC investigation regarding alleged disclosure violations in connection with municipal bond offerings
An individual in parallel insider trading investigations by the SEC and DOJ
A large wholesale distributor of construction materials in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into alleged anticompetitive practices and other industry activities
Various other corporations and individuals in regulatory enforcement matters, including insider-trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, market manipulation and other potential violations of the federal securities law
Prior Representative SEC Matters
During his tenure in the SEC's Division of Enforcement, Bob was responsible for the following selected matters:
SEC v. Arthur Andersen, et al.: Staff attorney responsible for the Waste Management/Arthur Andersen financial fraud investigation. The investigation resulted in federal district court and administrative settlements with Arthur Andersen and four of its audit partners. The judgment against the audit firm included a record civil penalty and antifraud injunction.
SEC v. Buntrock, et al.; SEC v. Koenig: Trial counsel in accounting fraud action against senior officers of Waste Management, Inc. Negotiated settlements with five defendants and litigated 11-week jury trial against non-settling defendant, Waste Management's CFO. The jury found in favor of the SEC on all counts. The verdict was later affirmed on appeal.
In the Matter of Hall & Meyer: Lead trial counsel in administrative Rule 102(e) proceeding against two auditors responsible for the audits of US Foodservice, Inc. (Royal Ahold matter) in a two-week administrative trial.
SEC v. Kenney: Lead trial counsel in enforcement action against CEO of a software company involving improper revenue recognition. A favorable settlement reached shortly before trial.
SEC v. Mondschein: Lead trial counsel in enforcement action against a broker/dealer alleging fraud and violations of customer privacy provisions of the federal securities laws. The case was one of the first SEC enforcement actions ever filed for violations of Regulation S-P. A favorable settlement reached shortly after the filing of the complaint.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Director's Award (December 2003, 2005 and 2007) awarded to Bob for his outstanding contribution to the enforcement of the federal securities laws.
WHF Securities Task Force, "The SEC Enforcement Division's Not-so-New Asset Management Unit — How has the initiative fared, what does the future hold?" panel presentation (January 10, 2012)
Securities Docket, "Insider Trading and the Use of Expert Networks," webcast presentation (March 22, 2011)
Chicago Bar Association, Investment Management Subcommittee, "SEC Enforcement Developments," presentation (January 13, 2011)
California Society of CPAs, Litigation Sections Steering Committee meeting, "Trends in SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Cases," presentation (January 14, 2010)
ABA 4th Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, Washington, D.C., "Reserve Accounting Cases," panel presentation (October 15, 2009)
Chicago Bar Association, Investment Management Subcommittee, "SEC Enforcement Developments, Investment Companies and Advisers," panel presentation (September 15, 2009)
California Society of CPAs, Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards Committee meeting, "The Anatomy of SEC Auditor Investigations," panel presentation (May 15, 2008)
DC Bar Association, Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section, "The Impact of Stoneridge and other Recent Supreme Court Cases on the SEC's Enforcement Program," speaker (January 29, 2008), reported in BNA Securities Regulation & Law Reporter, (February 4, 2008)
Anderson, Kill, Olick & Oshinsky and later Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky
Litigation Associate 1993-1999