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Neil T. Smith

Fax +1.617.261.3175

Neil Smith is a partner in the firm’s Boston office, where he is member of the Investigations, Enforcement and White collar practice group. His practice focuses on government investigations, securities enforcement, internal investigations, financial regulatory enforcement, and white collar defense. In particular, he has extensive experience conducting global investigations involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws.

Mr. Smith represents corporations and individuals in a wide range of criminal and civil matters, including investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal and state criminal and civil regulatory authorities. His practice also involves counseling clients on best practices and risk mitigation strategies in securities regulation, anti-corruption policies, and FCPA compliance.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Smith served as senior counsel in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for more than six years, where he was a member of the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act specialized unit. He is a recognized expert in FCPA enforcement and a frequent speaker at industry conferences. His experience includes extensive collaboration with U.S. and foreign criminal and regulatory authorities in complex, cross-border investigations. While at the SEC, Mr. Smith also had extensive experience investigating financial services firms and other companies for violations including securities fraud, investor misrepresentations, and marketing violations.

Professional Background

Since joining K&L Gates, Mr. Smith has represented clients in the following representative matters:

  • Represented a major international construction company in responding to FCPA and related inquiries from the DOJ and SEC FCPA Units in multiple countries.
  • Represented a public company in responding to state criminal investigation involving its subsidiary and successor entity.
  • Represented an investment manager and its principals in an SEC investigation into possible Advisers Act violations.
  • Represented a global financial services client in responding to an SEC sweep investigation into accounting and financial reporting issues.
  • Represented an individual an SEC-led cross-border accounting fraud investigation.
  • Advised multiple international financial services, medical devices, pharmaceutical, and construction clients on FCPA compliance and controls issues.Represented investment management clients in responding to SEC examination requests.
  • Advised board members of investment fund regarding Advisers Act issues and SEC enforcement actions.
  • Represented medical devices company in internal investigation involving foreign subsidiary.
  • Represented a group of bondholders in a dispute over debt conversion rights.
  • Advised a financial services client on anti-corruption, anti-graft, and anti-kickback regulations in more than 15 countries.
  • Represented multiple individuals in responding to government and internal investigations.

During his time at the SEC, Mr. Smith’s notable accomplishments included:
  • Leading the SEC’s investigation in a landmark FCPA enforcement action against hedge fund and its employees for extensive FCPA and Advisers Act violations relating to conduct in Africa
  • Initiating and leading the investigation and groundbreaking enforcement action against investment bank for illegal hiring practices in Asia.
  • Developing and leading industry sweeps involving financial services firms interacting with the sovereign wealth funds in high-risk jurisdictions.
  • Commencing and directing industry sweep of investment banks regarding referral hiring practices and other conduct in Asia-Pacific region.
  • Investigating and bringing enforcement action against financial services firms for improper marketing of CDOs during the financial crisis.
  • Collaborating extensively with U.S. criminal authorities and regulatory agencies and foreign authorities across multiple investigations.
  • Litigating against individuals and companies for violations relating to issuer fraud and investor misrepresentations.
In 2017, he was the recipient of the Ferdinand Pecora Award for tenacity, creativity and efficiency under difficult circumstances, and the Director of Enforcement Award for outstanding service in 2016.

Before joining the SEC, Mr. Smith was a senior associate in the litigation department of a global law firm, where his practice focused on securities litigation, internal investigations, trade secret and intellectual property disputes, and white collar defense.

Speaking Engagements

  • Boston Bar Association: Moderator, “2019 Enforcement and Exam Priorities for the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) (2019)
  • ACI’s 35th Annual FCPA Conference: Moderator, “Russia: How Multinationals Are Addressing the Most Pressing ABAC, Sanctions and Antitrust Issues Keeping them Up at Night,” (2018)
  • ACI’s 34th Annual FCPA Conference: Moderator, Town Hall Discussion with Government Enforcers (2017).
  • Practicing Law Institute: Panelist at “FCPA and International Corruption Developments Conference” (2015 – 2018).
  • Practicing Law Institute: Panelist at “White Collar Crime 2016: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak” (2016).
  • Boston Investment Management Conference: Panelist with Christopher Nasson, “Developments in SEC Enforcement and Examinations.” (2017).
  • Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice: Panelist at the Foreign Bribery and Corruption Conference (2014)
  • Boston Bar Association: Panelist for a Continuing Legal Education panel discussion on whistleblowers and the FCPA (2014)