Jonathan A. Forman

Counsel

New York
T +1.212.847.2855
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

Jonathan Forman works with hedge fund and private equity fund managers, investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other regulated and non-regulated financial services companies and their employees to respond to regulatory examinations and government investigations as well as to resolve complex disputes. Jonathan has successfully guided companies and individuals through investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), resolving many without charges ever being brought against them. Jonathan also advises clients with respect to their compliance programs and transactional due diligence relating to litigation, bribery, money laundering, and other legal and reputational risks. In addition, Jonathan has experience representing investment managers in connection with domestic and foreign fund offerings.

Jonathan writes and speaks on the topic of securities and financial regulation and enforcement, highlighting significant developments for legal and compliance personnel, including cybersecurity and other regulatory priorities and trends. He has been published and/or quoted by:

  • American Bar Association's Business Law Today
  • Bloomberg BNA's Privacy & Data Security Resource Center
  • Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report
  • Columbia Law School's Blue Sky blog
  • Compliance Reporter
  • Corporate Governance Advisor
  • Georgetown University's Advanced eDiscovery Institute
  • The Hedge Fund Law Report
  • Legaltech News
  • New York Law Journal
  • NSCP Currents
  • The Practising Law Institute
  • ThinkAdvisor
  • Wall Street Lawyer
  • Wolters Kluwer Securities Regulation Daily

Select Experience

Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement
  • Guided a global pharmaceutical company through an SEC investigation of alleged insider trading involving extensive document collection, review and production; submission of chronology and other advocacy pieces; and coordination with third-party counsel pursuant to a joint defense agreement.

  • Achieved a no-admission settlement of an SEC municipal bond disclosure investigation of a state issuer after extensive document collection, review and production; submission of advocacy pieces; preparation of senior state officials for SEC testimony; and lengthy settlement negotiations. No civil penalty or monitor was imposed.

White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigation
  • Guided individuals, including a hedge fund CEO, through various DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged insider trading. The investigations were terminated favorably for all clients.

  • Guided a global investment bank through a DOJ investigation of a private equity investment involving extensive document collection, review and production; fact-gathering interviews of senior managers; and preparation of a senior manager for a proffer. The investigation was terminated favorably for the client.

Commercial Litigation
  • Obtained an arbitration award for a real estate investment and finance company granting specific performance of a disputed joint venture agreement relating to a portfolio of Manhattan properties with an approximate value of $500 million. The representation involved extensive document collection, review and production; several depositions; and significant motion practice and hearings before the commercial division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), including temporary restraining order (TRO) proceedings and a five-day trial before JAMS.

  • Won summary judgment for a real estate merchant bank dismissing claims relating to a joint venture investment in a Chicago skyscraper. The representation involved significant motion practice and hearings, including TRO proceedings, before the commercial and appellate divisions of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

More »

Experience

Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement
  • Guided a global pharmaceutical company through an SEC investigation of alleged insider trading involving extensive document collection, review and production; submission of chronology and other advocacy pieces; and coordination with third-party counsel pursuant to a joint defense agreement.

  • Achieved a no-admission settlement of an SEC municipal bond disclosure investigation of a state issuer after extensive document collection, review and production; submission of advocacy pieces; preparation of senior state officials for SEC testimony; and lengthy settlement negotiations. No civil penalty or monitor was imposed.

  • Advised a global investment bank in connection with an SEC examination of its municipal securities business involving extensive document collection, review and production, and coordination with co-counsel with respect to related parallel investigations conducted by various federal and state regulators.

  • Represented a global investment bank in connection with various FINRA irregular trading inquiries involving extensive document collection, review and production; fact-gathering interviews; and submission of chronology and other advocacy pieces.

  • Conducted an expedited internal investigation of a registered investment adviser involving coordination with law enforcement personnel, its auditor and the SEC, and devising and overseeing the implementation of remedial measures. No investigation was initiated by the SEC, and no charges were brought against the adviser or its executives.

  • Counseled registered investment advisers in connection with routine SEC examinations by preparing executives for and representing them during regulatory interviews, supervising document collection and production, and guiding clients' responses to the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations' questions and concerns.

  • Obtained a no-admission settlement for a registered investment adviser in connection with an SEC enforcement action brought in federal court.

  • Obtained a favorable FINRA settlement for a broker-dealer and its executives relating to its private-offering disclosures, sales practices and supervisory systems. No charges were brought against the executives.

  • Advised financial services firms on federal and state cybersecurity regulations, including revising policies and procedures, drafting incident response plans, conducting tabletop exercises and training, and negotiating agreements with service providers.

  • Obtained expungement of reference to FINRA arbitration proceeding from Central Registration Depository (CRD) records of broker-dealer’s top-performing financial advisors involving successful motion to confirm arbitration award in state court and negotiations with state financial regulator.

  • Obtained favorable SEC settlement for a foreign individual to resolve a microcap stock market manipulation investigation involving a Wells submission and expedited settlement negotiations.

White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigation
  • Guided individuals, including a hedge fund CEO, through various DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged insider trading. The investigations were terminated favorably for all clients.

  • Guided a global investment bank through a DOJ investigation of a private equity investment involving extensive document collection, review and production; fact-gathering interviews of senior managers; and preparation of a senior manager for a proffer. The investigation was terminated favorably for the client.

  • Conducted an internal investigation of a global investment bank relating to a private equity offering involving expedited interviews of senior managers.

  • Conducted an internal investigation of a global investment bank relating to alleged misappropriation of trade secrets involving extensive document collection and review and fact-gathering interviews.

Commercial Litigation
  • Obtained an arbitration award for a real estate investment and finance company granting specific performance of a disputed joint venture agreement relating to a portfolio of Manhattan properties with an approximate value of $500 million. The representation involved extensive document collection, review and production; several depositions; and significant motion practice and hearings before the commercial division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), including temporary restraining order (TRO) proceedings and a five-day trial before JAMS.

  • Won summary judgment for a real estate merchant bank dismissing claims relating to a joint venture investment in a Chicago skyscraper. The representation involved significant motion practice and hearings, including TRO proceedings, before the commercial and appellate divisions of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

  • Achieved settlement of parallel proceedings before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the commercial division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York involving more than $30 million in creditor claims.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • New York Metro Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2014 to 2016)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association: Business Law Section
    • Civil Litigation and SEC Enforcement Subcommittee
    • White Collar Crime Committee
    • Economic Crimes Subcommittee
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Compliance and Legal Society
  • National Society of Compliance Professionals

News

News

Publications

Alerts

Articles

Community

  • Humanity in Action
    • Senior Fellow
    • American Planning Board 
    • Executive Committee 
  • Anti-Defamation League Lawyers Division

Pro Bono

  • Defended the city of New York in depositions conducted in connection with a class action gender discrimination case.
  • Obtained vacatur and dismissal of a half-million-dollar default judgment erroneously entered against an indigent client.
  • Won asylum for a Nepalese democratic student leader who was persecuted by Maoist paramilitary groups.
  • Represented indigent criminal defendants before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, including probation interviews and plea allocution and sentencing hearings.
  • Advised the Rwandan government on the transition of cases from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to the court system in Rwanda.
  • Advised an international nonprofit on trademark, information governance and corporate governance.

Industries

Prior Positions

  • United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Office of the Prosecutor: Intern
  • U.S. Court of International Trade, Chief Judge Donald Pogue: Intern

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2009
  • New York, 2007

Education

  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2006, cum laude, American University Law Review, American University Mediation Services, Legal Rhetoric Dean's Fellow
  • B.A., Emory University, 2003, IBM T.J. Watson Scholar

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
SEC Cybersecurity Risk Alert Emphasizes Proactive Compliance and Ongoing Vigilance
By Jonathan A. Forman, Melinda L. McLellan
August 16, 2017
On August 7, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its latest cybersecurity risk alert, detailing findings from the examination of 75 broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment companies carried out by its...
Read More ->
Discovery Advocate
Cost Shifting Ordered Due to Inadequate Meet and Confer
By Nichole L. Sterling
July 26, 2017
Discovery is not about gamesmanship, and parties are expected to engage in meaningful negotiation about the terms of discovery agreements. That is the message from Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the Eastern District of New York, who...
Read More ->
Discovery Advocate
E-Discovery Standards and the 26(g) Signature That Drives the Market
By James A. Sherer
July 10, 2017
We begin with three quick questions: 1. Which legal practice has created and fueled a multibillion-dollar support industry? 2. Which legal practice employs incomprehensible acronyms that require a glossary apart from Black’s Law...
Read More ->
Discovery Advocate
Attorneys’ Professional Duty of Care When Representing Clients in Litigation or an Investigation Requires Higher Technological Literacy
By May Tal Gongolevsky
June 14, 2017
The legal practice and technology go hand in hand, and a solid understanding of technology is crucial to satisfy the ethical duties owed by attorneys to their clients. In an opinion published on Feb. 21, the New York County Lawyers...
Read More ->
Discovery Advocate
It Lurks in the Last Place You Look – Preventing (or at Least Mitigating) Employee Data Leakage
By James A. Sherer
May 3, 2017
Outside hacking attacks grab headlines. Data breach concerns cause sleepless nights within the C-suite of many organizations. And ransomware strikes fear into companies without sound backup practices and true Information Governance...
Read More ->