David W. Porteous



David Porteous routinely counsels clients in the investment management, broker-dealer and financial services industries on regulatory matters including examinations, investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as complex civil and securities-related litigation. In addition, he assists clients in developing and implementing compliance and regulatory risk management plans and represents clients in complex civil and securities litigation.

Regulatory Agency Background

Before entering private practice, David was a staff attorney in the Securities & Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Enforcement and clerked for regional counsel for the National Association of Securities Dealers Regulation — Enforcement Division (now FINRA).

Industry Experience Background

Before going to law school, David worked in the legal and compliance departments of a large, full-service retail brokerage firm as well as a large investment bank in New York.

Enforcement & Investigations

David advises on investigations and enforcement proceedings involving the Department of Justice (DOJ), SEC, FINRA, Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), state securities regulators and other self-regulatory organizations (NFA). He has defended investment advisers, broker-dealers, auditors, public companies and their principals as well as registered personnel against allegations of:

  • Failure to supervise
  • Inadequate and failure to observe policies and procedures
  • Best execution failures
  • Custodial compliance failures
  • Asset misappropriation
  • Books and records violations
  • Earnings management
  • Insider trading
  • Selling unregistered securities
  • Fraudulent or manipulative conduct in the securities and commodities futures markets
  • Invalid initial public offerings and reporting

Risk Management & Compliance Counseling

David helps public and private companies develop and implement systems to comply with regulations to avoid litigation and enforcement actions. He conducts gap analyses, reviews and tests compliance programs, responds to audits, trains key personnel, and upgrades policies related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering laws, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Sarbanes-Oxley, Securities Exchange Act and Investment Advisers Act.

Litigation & Arbitration

David has litigated complex commercial matters in federal and state courts involving hedge fund governance, redemption and lockup provisions, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with business agreements and partnership disputes — such as freeze-outs, accountings and breach of fiduciary duty.


Bar Admissions

New York

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Tulane University Law School
J.D. cum laude (1997)

University of Wisconsin - Madison
B.A. with honors (1991)

Insights & Events

Media Mentions July 2022

ThinkAdvisor Shares Takeaways From Fred Reish and David Porteous on DOL Prohibited Transaction Exemption

1 min read  
Media Mentions June 2022

David Porteous Discusses SEC Enforcement and Regulation of SPAC Companies With Business Insider

1 min read  
Media Mentions June 2022

PLANADVISER Turns to Fred Reish and David Porteous for Insight on DOL’s Prohibited Transaction Exemption

2 min read  
Media Mentions June 2022

David Porteous Addresses Unauthorized Use of Messaging Apps With Business Insider

1 min read  
Blog Post March 2022

SEC Examinations 2022 Priorities: Reg BI, ESG, Private Funds, Information Security & Operational Resiliency, and Crypto

1 min read  
Blog Post March 2022

FINRA Wades into the Controversial Deep-End of CCO Supervisory Liability

2 min read  
Blog Post March 2022

The SEC Sues Investment Advisory Firm in Connection with Alleged Failure to Disclose Revenue Sharing and Other Financial Conflicts, as Well as Converting Clients to Wrap Accounts Without Considering Whether it is in Clients’ Best Interests

2 min read  
Media Mentions March 2022

David Porteous Addresses SEC, DOL Cybersecurity Regulations With WealthManagement.com

2 min read  
Updates February 2022

Capping Cyber Casualties: Steps to Avoid Cyberattacks Flowing From Hostilities in Ukraine

12 min read  
Blog Post February 2022

SEC Proposes New Cybersecurity Risk Management Rules for Registered Investment Advisers and Funds

1 min read  
Other Perspectives
  • UK Supreme Court Rules in Google’s Favor in Data Privacy Group Litigation with Major Implications for Data Breach Cases
    Republished in Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, April 2022
  • Inside/Outside Regulatory Outlook
    INTL FCStone’s 11th Annual Dairy Outlook Conference, June 2014
  • Data, Risk Analytics and Surveillance: Aligning Compliance Resources for Advisory Organizations
    Ascendant Compliance Conference, March/April 2014
  • Due Diligence in Business Transactions
    Guest Lecturer, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, October 2013
  • SEC Examination Interviews
    Ascendant Compliance Conference for Investment Advisors and Private Fund Managers, September 2013
  • Private Fund Managers’ Duties to Investors: Rule 206 (4)-8 and Reducing the Risk of Regulatory Action
    Investment Adviser Regulation, Third Edition, Practising Law Institute, July 2013
  • Litigation — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Speaker and panelist, Financial Markets Association’s 22nd Annual Securities Compliance Seminar, April 2013
  • Opening Exam Interview
    Speaker and panelist, Ascendant Compliance Management National Conference: Mock SEC Examination for Investment Advisers, April 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA) — Regulatory and Compliance Advisory Board
  • National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP) — Board of Directors, 2008-11


  • Best Lawyers® — Litigation - Securities, 2023
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers — Commercial Litigation, Securities & Venture Finance Law, 2008-19
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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