James Martignon counsels clients in the investment management, broker-dealer and financial services industries on regulatory enforcement proceedings and investigations, including proceedings by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA, state securities regulators and other government entities. James assists clients with compliance and regulatory risk management and represents them in complex civil and securities litigation.

Regulatory and Compliance Counseling

James provides regulatory and compliance counseling on such matters as:
  • Systemic risk management on product due diligence processes, sales and supervisory systems
  • Dodd-Frank compliance for hedge funds
  • Preparation of Form ADV brochures and annual updates
  • Regulatory structuring of advisory programs such as wrap fee account program
  • Structuring of client advisory agreements and disclosure documents
  • Onboarding and discontinuance of advisory products for adviser platforms
  • Custody matters with respect to the Investment Advisers Act

Financial Services Investigations, Enforcement and Litigation

James represents investment advisers, broker-dealers and financial services firms and professionals in regulatory proceedings and complex civil litigation, involving:
  • Alleged Ponzi schemes and insurance fraud
  • Selling away activities by registered representatives
  • Sales, supervision and product due diligence of fixed-income products
  • The Securities Act of 1933, California Blue Sky Laws and the Bankruptcy Code
  • Charges of operating as an unregistered broker-dealer
  • Failed advisory firms

Past International Experience

Before his legal career, James worked as a financial analyst in international finance and consulting, including in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Faculty Positions

  • Mt. Sierra College, Online Division — Adjunct Instructor of Business Law and Ethics & the Law


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

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


Washington University School of Law
J.D. (2002)

Georgetown University
B.S.F.S. (1991)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Conducting Due Diligence
    National Society of Compliance Professionals, Midwest Regional, May 2015
  • Professional Responsibility Code of Conduct
    National Society of Compliance Professionals, National Conference, October 2014
  • Regulatory Exams
    National Society of Compliance Professionals, Midwest Regional, May 2014
  • Insider Trading, Information Flows and Research Practices
    National Society of Compliance Professionals, Denver Regional, April 2014
  • Conflicts of Interest/Insider Trading
    Financial Markets Association, Annual Securities Compliance Seminar, April 2014
  • Custody Issues
    National Society of Compliance Professionals National Meeting,  October 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
  • Ethics Are Important, But How Do I Make It Practical?
    National Society of Compliance Professionals, Midwest Regional, April 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • National Society of Compliance Professionals


  • Illinois Super Lawyers — Rising Star, 2014
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