Daily News: February 6, 2019

Former SEC Senior Counsel Moustakis Joins Seward & Kissel


SEC veteran Philip Moustakis joined law firm Seward & Kissel. He will work closely in several practice areas in both New York and Washington, D.C., including the Government Enforcement and Internal Investigations Group, the Investment Management Group, and the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group.

Moustakis most recently served as a senior counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he spent more than a decade in the Division of Enforcement in New York, including as a member of the Asset Management Unit and of the Cyber Unit since its formation in 2017.

As a member of the SEC’s Asset Management Unit, his notable matters included work investigating two wealth management subsidiaries of a global financial services and banking firm for failing to disclose conflicts of interest across the company’s wealth management franchise, as well as investigating an adviser to private funds for insider trading and a mismarking scheme. For these and other cases, Moustakis frequently worked with the Department of Justice.

Moustakis was also instrumental in cryptocurrency-related matters, initiating the SEC’s involvement in the space in 2013 with the Commission’s first Bitcoin-related enforcement action against the operator of a Bitcoin-denominated Ponzi scheme. He advised the Commission on cryptocurrencies, and conducted trainings on the emerging technology for the SEC, FBI, and FINRA.

Before joining the SEC, Moustakis served as an assistant attorney general in the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, where he helped bring a landmark case against a global insurance organization over deceptive business practices, ultimately securing an $818 million settlement.

“Philip has earned great respect within the securities bar for his proven ability to investigate and prosecute major enforcement actions, often at the cutting edge of the law,” said Jim Cofer, managing partner of Seward & Kissel. “The insights he has gained from years of government practice at the highest levels will strengthen our existing capabilities and be immensely valuable to our clients across all areas of the firm.”

“I’m very eager to join Seward & Kissel’s well-regarded team,” Moustakis said. “I look forward to working with this great collection of lawyers, and bringing my experience to bear on our clients’ most pressing legal issues across a variety of practice areas.”