Neil Smith is the co-leader of the firm’s Investigations, Enforcement, and White Collar practice group and a resident in the Boston office. His practice focuses on government investigations, securities enforcement, internal investigations, and white collar defense representations. He has extensive experience advising clients in global investigations involving potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws.
Neil represents corporations and individuals in a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters, including investigations conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, FINRA, and other federal and state authorities. His practice also involves counseling clients on best practices and risk mitigation strategies in securities regulation, compliance policies and controls, accounting practices, cryptocurrency issues, regulatory examinations, and FCPA and anti-corruption compliance.
Prior to joining the firm, Neil 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, Neil also had extensive experience investigating financial services firms and other companies for violations including securities fraud, investor misrepresentations, and marketing violations. Since joining K&L Gates, Neil has continued to represent clients in securities enforcement matters, complex, cross-border investigations involving government investigations, and proactive risk assessments and reviews.
In 2017, Neil was the recipient of the Ferdinand Pecora Award for tenacity, creativity and efficiency under difficult circumstances during an SEC investigation, and the SEC’s Director of Enforcement Award for outstanding service in 2016.
Before joining the SEC, Neil 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.
- ACI's 37th Annual FCPA Conference: Speaker, “The Intensifying Enforcement of the FCPA's Internal Control's Provision: Expanding, Interpretation, Strict Liability, and Expectations for Industry” (2021).
- ACI's 36th Annual FCPA Conference: Moderator, “Strengthening an Ethical Culture in Good Times- and in Bad: Real-Life Examples of Wins and Misses on Messaging, Training, and Monitoring” (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).
- Boston Bar Association: Moderator, “Enforcement and Exam Priorities for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)" (2019 and 2020).
- 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, “Developments in SEC Enforcement and Examinations.” (2017-2020).
- 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)
- “Challenges, Opportunities, and the Future of FCPA Enforcement After Liu v. SEC”, Global Investigations Review, 29 June 2020
- Mentioned, "PNC Bank Urges Judge To Leave It Out Of TelexFree Suit," Law360, 25 October 2022