Features Kevin J. O'Brien - Attorney at Law - Protects Companies from the SEC

Published on September 10th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Top Lawyer Kevin J. O’Brien Protects Companies from the SEC

No financial company, hedge fund, or equity fund has ever wanted to draw the attention of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), much less get investigated or face charges. But if this ever were to happen, leaders and professionals in the finance industry can take comfort in knowing that top lawyer Kevin J. O’Brien, one of the founding partners of boutique law firm Ford O’Brien Landy, is in their corner.

“I know how prosecutors at the Department of Justice think because I’ve been one,” O’Brien explains. “I’m also familiar with its internal processes. This background gives me the ability to predict what’s going to happen and why. I also understand how the people at the SEC think.”

Acquiring the counsel of a skilled lawyer with a track record of success in this field is vital when potential problems emerge with the SEC. If the SEC makes a referral to the US Attorney’s office, criminal charges could follow, as well as the possible threat of jail time. 

O’Brien helps clients handle SEC investigations, communicate with the SEC most effectively, and avoid charges. For those who have been indicted, he helps staunch the damage so that they can keep their customers, preserve their reputations, and stay in business.

What a top lawyer can do

Hiring a top lawyer like O’Brien ensures not only that you claim your rights to the fullest extent of the law, but also that you have recourse to your most robust defense. This gives you peace of mind during these trying times.

According to O’Brien, the best lawyers in this field get ahead of the investigation, establish good lines of communication, are responsive, and gain the client’s trust. They need to make good decisions on the spot, be adept at reading people, know how to connect with others, and craft questions to elicit the right responses.

O’Brien’s reviews from previous clients indicate that he excels at all these things. As former Platinum Partners Chief Executive Officer Joseph SanFilippo put it after O’Brien won him a complete acquittal from five felony charges, hiring him “was the best and most important decision in my life.” In particular, SanFilippo praises O’Brien’s expertise, command over the courtroom, and ability to connect with the judge and jury. “Kevin fought for me like he would fight for a close family member,” he says.

The benefits of personal attention

The top lawyers at large firms tend to pass the work to their subordinates in order to spend most of their time getting new business. When those lower-level staff members aren’t experienced or careful, costly mistakes can result.

“It happens all the time,” O’Brien says. “Sometimes, the biggest firms make the dumbest mistakes. They transpose the date in a document, so they have the wrong date. They leave a zero off the dollar amount — that just happened recently. When you push work down, you’re going to miss a lot. Things can also fall through the cracks when too many people get involved.”

Conversely, O’Brien handles his cases personally. He doesn’t just worry about the details — he double-checks them himself, reviewing documents carefully before filing. “I’m crazy, though,” he jokes. When skipping a decimal point can mean the difference between $100,000 and $1 million, however, the benefits of a small firm with brilliant legal minds who pay attention to detail seem clear.

In addition, discretion is of paramount importance in the world of white-collar criminal law. Large legal firms have more potential for leaks, whether advertent or inadvertent, but working with a small office reduces this exposure. “We don’t talk about these things,” O’Brien explains. “Not at home. Not at the office.”

Keep calm and call Kevin J. O’Brien

With characteristic humility, O’Brien declined to answer when asked why he is better than other lawyers in this field. Luckily, his track record of success speaks for itself. He has argued over 25 cases that went to trial as well as numerous arbitrations. 

In addition to winning the SanFilippo case, he represented Michael Rigas, whose six-month trial resulted in acquittal on some counts and a hung jury on the rest. He secured a $100 million verdict in Central Illinois Public Service v. Allianz, et al., and more than $30 million in commercial arbitration decisions.

If you do find yourself being investigated by the SEC, O’Brien gives the following advice: “Stay calm. You can call me. While you might not see the solution now, if you talk to me and give me time to think about it, we’ll come up with something that works.”


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About the Author

Journalist, Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and Media Consultant. Ph.D. and retired military. Member of ForbesBLK, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and the United States Press Agency. Partner at THM Media Group. Connect with Jerry across social media @jerrydoby_

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