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Claudius O. Sokenu

Partner

Selected Significant Representation

  • Led the representation of Bank of America in the civil (SEC) and criminal (SDNY) investigation of Impath, Inc. for accounting fraud in which the SEC and the United States Attorney’s Office for the SDNY declined to institute charges against Bank of America.
  • Representing GlaxoSmithKline in connection with a global anti-corruption investigation by the Department of Justice, SEC, and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
  • In re Herald, Primeo and Thema Securities Litigation, No. 09-289, 2011 WL 5928952 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 2011), aff’d, No. 12-162-cv (2d Cir. Sept. 16, 2013): Lead counsel for Ernst & Young Global Limited in a number of securities class actions in the Southern District of New York stemming from the Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal.
  • Led the representation of Bank of America in the civil (SEC) and criminal (SDNY) investigation of Impath, Inc. for accounting fraud in which the SEC and the United States Attorney’s Office for the SDNY declined to institute charges against Bank of America.
  • Led the representation of The Bank of New York and The Northern Trust Company in the civil (SEC) and criminal (SDNY) industry-wide investigation of certain allegedly illegal practices by proxy solicitation firms and stock watch companies.
  • Representing a regional head of sales for Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer, in a bribery and corruption investigation by the SEC, DOJ, and Brazilian prosecutors.
  • Led the representation of Northern Trust Corporation in connection with the SEC and New York State Attorney General’s industry-wide investigation of the auction rate securities market.
  • Representing a senior regional executive in the FCPA investigation of Biomet by the SEC and DOJ.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Fortune 10 company in connection with allegations of bribery and corruption in Brazil.
  • Representing certain regional senior executives of Walmart in a worldwide bribery and corruption investigation by the SEC, DOJ, and other prosecutors around the world.
  • Represented Ernst & Young LLP in connection with its audit of Allied Deals, Inc., a privately owned company that was accused of orchestrating a US$600 million international Ponzi scheme in which several global financial institutions were allegedly defrauded, Sterling National Bank v. Ernst & Young LLP, 62 A.D. 3d 584 (1st Dept. 2009).
  • Represented AXA in a Justice Department corruption, asset forfeiture and money-laundering action against Teodorín Nguema Obiang Mangue, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and Vice-President of the ruling party of Equatorial Guinea. Teodorín is also the eldest son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, U.S. v. One Gulfstream G-V Jet Aircraft, No. CV 11-1874 CRC.
  • Represented TV Azteca S.A. de C.V. in the first-ever up-the-ladder reporting case under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, SEC v. TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V., et al., Civil Action No.: 1:05CV00004 (EGS)(D.D.C.).
  • Led the representation of Avon Products, Inc. in a global anti-corruption investigation by the DOJ, SEC, and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.
  • Led the representation of a California-based hedge fund, Pacificor LLC (formerly known as Core Wealth Management LLC) in a civil and criminal investigation alleging potential violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with the SEC’s first-ever collateralized debt offering case.
  • Led the representation of Avon Products, Inc. in connection with an SEC investigation alleging potential violations of Regulation FD; SEC issued declination letter.
  • Represented CIBC World Markets Corp. in obtaining dismissal of fraud claims, in which the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, ruled for the first time that a clearing broker does not owe a fiduciary duty to customers of its introducing broker, Goldstein v. CIBC World Mkts. Corp., 776 N.Y.S. 2d 12 (1st Dept. 2004).
  • Led the representation of a private equity firm, Gilbert Global Equity Partners, and its executives in a civil and criminal investigation involving allegations of insider trading in connection with the proposed leveraged buyout of TNS, Inc.  SEC issued declination letter.
  • Led the representation of two hedge funds, Q Funding, L.P., and R² Investments, LDC, in obtaining a dismissal in a case involving settlement payment for securities transactions, PHP Liquidating, LLC v. Robbins, 291 B.R. 592 (D. Del. 2003).
  • Represented certain issuers in the initial public offering allocation cases, In re Initial Public Offering Sec. Litig., 214 F.Supp. 2d 281 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).
  • Global anti-corruption and other regulatory risks counsel to Valeo, one of the world’s leading automotive supplier.
  • Represented a former chief operating officer of Cardinal Health, Inc., a Fortune 20 company, in an SEC and SDNY investigation alleging accounting fraud relating to Cardinal Health’s revenue recognition practices.  Government declined to prosecute.
  • Represented Global Industries, Ltd. in an industry-wide civil and criminal FCPA investigation arising from the Panalpina Group's operations in West Africa, where the DOJ and SEC declined to press charges against Global Industries while levying fines and penalties of US$236.5 million on at least seven other oil and oil services companies.

     
  • Represented, in the first matter identified by the SEC as part of its “subprime” initiative, the former chairman and chief executive officer of First BanCorp of Puerto Rico, Angel Alvarez-Perez, in securities and derivative actions.  Fox v. First BanCorp, Civ. No. 05-2148 (GAG) 2006 WL 4128534 (D.P.R. Nov. 6, 2006) and In re First BanCorp Derivative Litigation, 465 F.Supp. 2d 112 (D.P.R. 2006).
  • Global investigations and anti-corruption counsel for KraftHeinz, the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world.
  • Led the representation of three hedge funds in the SEC’s investigation of the Private Investment in Public Equity industry involving, among others, allegations of insider trading, front-running, market manipulation, and trading in unregistered securities.  The SEC declined to recommend enforcement action against two of the three hedge funds.
  • Co-authored the Securities law arguments of the brief before the Second Circuit on behalf of well-known investment banker Frank Quottrone. 
  • Led the representation of a senior executive of insurance giant American International Group in an SEC and SDNY accounting and securities fraud investigation stemming from, among other things, the near-collapse of the derivatives market.
  • Represented a fund manager in connection with allegations of market timing, late trading, and insider trading in the industry-wide SEC, New York Attorney General, and SDNY civil and criminal investigation of the mutual fund industry.
  • Represented, in the first FCPA prosecution stemming from an antitrust investigation, a senior officer of Parker Hannifin Corporation in a criminal investigation by the DOJ regarding allegations of bribery, bid-rigging, price-fixing, and market allocation in the marine oil and gas hose industry.
  • Represented Arthur Andersen LLP in connection with a securities class action involving claims of accounting fraud by Global Crossing Ltd., In re Global Crossing Ltd. Sec. Litig., (S.D.N.Y. 2004).
  • Represented a foreign brokerage firm in an independent investigation involving potential violations of the FCPA.
  • Represented a major international insurance company in a civil and criminal investigation involving allegations of violations of the FCPA.
  • Represented an investment banking firm in connection with the civil and criminal investigation of Enron Corp.
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Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., Securities and Financial Regulations
  • London School of Economics & King's College London, LL.M., Corporate & Commercial Law
  • London South Bank University, LL.B., Upper Class Honors

Admissions/Qualifications

Courts

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