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Claudius O. Sokenu

Partner
  • Shearman & Sterling’s Recent Trends and Patterns in the Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)/FCPA Digest

    3 Jan 2017
    Shearman & Sterling’s bi-annual Trends & Patterns in FCPA Enforcement report provides insightful analysis of recent enforcement trends and patterns in the US, the UK and elsewhere, as well as helpful guidance on emerging best practices in FCPA and global anti-corruption compliance programs.
  • Supreme Court Affirms That Pecuniary Benefit Not Required For Family Member Tips, But Declines to Address What Constitutes a Benefit in Other Contexts

    7 Dec 2016

    Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous, but narrow, ruling in Salman v. United States,[1] regarding criminal tipper/tippee liability for insider trading, which the Supreme Court had not significantly addressed since its decision in Dirks v. United States in 1983.[2] Following Dirks’ holding that a tippee cannot be held liable for insider trading unless the tipper receives a “personal benefit,” the Supreme Court ruled in Salman that a jury can infer that an insider receives an inherent personal benefit when making a gift of confidential information to a relative who trades on that information. The Court declined to adopt the Government’s argument that “a gift of confidential information to anyone, not just a ‘trading relative or friend,’ is enough” to establish liability, and noted that ultimately the question of whether a benefit was received will be a factual one for the jury.[3] The Court also expressly left intact the Second Circuit’s crucial ruling in United States v. Newman[4] that a remote tippee who receives information second or third hand must know of the personal benefit received by the insider in order to be liable.

  • Second Circuit Accepts Controversial “Inflation-Maintenance” Theory of Securities Fraud Liability

    5 Oct 2016

    In so-called “price maintenance” securities fraud cases, plaintiffs argue that a misrepresentation that does not cause a stock’s price to rise can nevertheless be actionable under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) on the theory that the misrepresentation prevented a stock’s artificially-inflated price from falling.

  • Sokenu Authors Article on Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings

    7 Sep 2016

    Partner Claudius Sokenu (Litigation-New York/Washington, DC) published an article in the New York Law Journal on September 6 titled “D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings."

  • D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings

    16 Aug 2016
    On August 9, 2016, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued Lucia v. SEC, a significant decision that holds that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC” or “Commission”) use of administrative law judges (“ALJs”) is constitutional.  In so doing, the D.C. Circuit ruled that the SEC’s use of ALJs does not violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution because, rather than acting as officers of the United States, the SEC’s ALJs act as employees who lack the authority to issue “final decisions.”  With at least one similar case pending in another Circuit, and a number of appeals challenging the constitutionality of Administrative Proceedings (APs) pending before the Commission itself, Lucia is an important precedent-setting decision.
  • Securities Enforcement: 2016 Mid-Year Review

    Jul 2016
    The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted over 400 enforcement actions in the first half of 2016 and is on pace to surpass its record of 807 enforcements actions in a single fiscal year, which it set last year. In our 2016 mid-year review, we examine key developments in the SEC’s enforcement program through June 2016, and how those developments will shape the rest of 2016, including:

    • fairness and constitutionality of the SEC’s use of administrative proceedings;
    • continuing debate on cooperation credit;
    • enforcement actions against compliance professionals;
    • SEC’s ability to obtain disgorgement for long past conduct;
    • whistleblower program;
    • SEC’s requirement that defendants admit wrongdoing as a condition of settlements;
    • enforcement actions involving insider trading; and
    • enforcement actions involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, private equity and investment advisers, cybersecurity, accounting and financial disclosures, and broker-dealers
  • Second Circuit Holds a National Bank’s Citizenship Is Determined Exclusively by Location of Main Office, Not Principal Place of Business

    8 Jul 2016

    For purposes of assessing the existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship, national banking associations—i.e., corporate entities chartered not by any State, but by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bureau of the US Treasury—are deemed to be citizens of the State in which they are “located.”

  • Eleventh Circuit Rules Disgorgement Subject to Five-Year Limitations Period, Ruling Against SEC

    10 Jun 2016

    On May 26, 2016, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued SEC v. Graham, a significant decision that, at least in the Eleventh Circuit, limits the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) to obtain disgorgement of ill-gotten gains in civil injunctive actions filed more than five years after the allegedly violative conduct.

  • Second Circuit Reaffirms Its View That Extender Statutes Supersede Statutes of Repose

    23 May 2016
    The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (“FIRREA”) includes a so-called Extender Statute prescribing the limitations period for actions brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as conservator or receiver for a failed bank. 

  • Second Circuit Holds Sarbanes-Oxley’s Five-Year Statute of Repose Applies to Claims Under Sections 9(f) and 18(a), but Re-Affirms That Three-Year Repose Period Applies to Section 14 Claims

    3 May 2016

    Twenty-five years ago, in Ceres Partners, the Second Circuit held that the implied private right of action under Section 14 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) was subject to a three-year repose period, based on analogizing such claims to the express private rights of action in Sections 9(f) and 18(a) of the Exchange Act and then borrowing those statutes’ then-applicable three-year statutes of repose.

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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

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