Marc D. Powers

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4216
F +1.212.589.4201

"The ‘smart and strategically astute’ Marc Powers in New York leads ‘a vibrant practice’ that is prominent among investment banks and hedge funds."

— Legal 500 United States 2015

Overview

Marc Powers understands the legal, business and regulatory environment surrounding his clients, where he confidently and creatively acts on behalf of his diverse client base. The former leader of the firm's Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement practice team, as well as the Hedge Fund Industry practice team, Marc is retained for complex securities and business litigation and SEC enforcement investigations, especially those involving high-profile parallel proceedings and insider trading.

Marc often acts as offsite General Counsel to emerging and established companies in varied industries, guiding them on their legal issues and strategic decisions to achieve their business, regulatory and compliance goals. Marc also advises clients specifically on regulatory compliance with blockchain technology and the federal securities laws, and in forming cryptocurrency investment funds. He is an active member of the Security Token Working Group of Global Digital Finance, an international body dedicated to the adoption of digital finance through establishment of best practices for capital raising, token offerings, trading and taking custody of digital assets.

For hedge funds, Marc's broad experience advises on all aspects of a fund's operation, from formation to regulatory compliance to unavoidable litigations. He is an invited participant with the Risk, Legal and Compliance Working Group of the North American Fund Administration Association.

Marc is ranked by Chambers USA and Legal 500 as one of New York's leading lawyers in securities and shareholder litigation, and is commended by Chambers "for his impressive handling of high-stakes disputes, in particular in the securities area" (Chambers USA 2015). He is described by clients as an attorney who "has a wealth of knowledge in his field” and the ability “to couch things in a way that businesses can understand” (Chambers USA 2018). Marc formerly worked at the SEC and has been recognized as a New York "Super Lawyer" every year since 2006.

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Marc frequently speaks at conferences for the securities and hedge fund industries, and appears regularly in the media. He has spoken at SIFMA and MFA Compliance Conferences, and presented at SALT. Marc has also been a featured speaker at programs and a webinar involving blockchain technology and digital assets throughout 2018, including “Handling the Evolving Challenges of Digital Assets,” “The Intersection of Blockchain, Securities Regulation and Token Sales,” "Emerging Blockchain Strategies" and "How to Effectively Handle U.S. Regulatory Investigations and Litigation by the SEC, CFTC and FTC." He has appeared on Fox Business News, CNBC and Bloomberg Television's Money Moves. His representation of Douglas Faneuil in the government's insider trading and perjury cases against Martha Stewart is chronicled in James B. Stewart's book Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff (2011). 

Select Experience

  • Marc and his team are acting as U.S. counsel for a global blockchain development, capital raising and marketing business based in Canada, outside general counsel for a cryptocurrency forum group seeking to expand its audience, influence and revenue base, and regulatory counsel for a public merchant bank focused in the digital assets space.
  • Marc is representing several directors and employees of an international hedge fund manager focused on Latin America companies in parallel SEC and criminal investigations.
  • Marc is representing a joint venture manager in a complex commercial litigation seeking $25-$40 million in damages before the AAA for wrongful termination, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, misappropriation and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
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Experience

  • Marc and his team are acting as U.S. counsel for a global blockchain development, capital raising and marketing business based in Canada, outside general counsel for a cryptocurrency forum group seeking to expand its audience, influence and revenue base, and regulatory counsel for a public merchant bank focused in the digital assets space.
  • Marc is representing several directors and employees of an international hedge fund manager focused on Latin America companies in parallel SEC and criminal investigations.
  • Marc is representing a joint venture manager in a complex commercial litigation seeking $25-$40 million in damages before the AAA for wrongful termination, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, misappropriation and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Marc advised one of his foreign blockchain clients in establishing one of the first joint venture arrangements to comply with U.S. broker-dealer securities laws and FINRA rules.
  • Marc and his team advised a public company's special committee with respect to efforts by an activist hedge fund manager to achieve substantive changes within the company, including on strategic alternatives and a possible proxy contest. 
  • Marc is advising clients on structuring investment funds managing digital assets to comply with evolving SEC/FTC/FINCEN/CFTC/IRS issues on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, building relationships with blockchain technology thought leaders and first movers.
  • Marc represented an international investment bank in a securities class action and related parallel civil and criminal international investigations by the SEC, U.S. Attorney’s Office and foreign regulators. The matters arose from the liquidation of an $850 million U.K.-based hedge fund with purported inflated portfolio valuations. Marc developed a strategy to avoid regulatory legal liability for the investment bank, and ultimately settled the class action for the payment of $500,000.
  • Marc is representing a Vancouver defendant in an SEC civil injunction proceeding alleging unlawful touting of securities in a “pump and dump” market manipulation. He successfully resolved a related SEC investigation against clients from Canada and Hong Kong involving an alleged penny stock “pump and dump” scheme without admissions and a small penalty.
  • Marc represented a court-appointed receiver in an NYS Dept. of Financial Services federal action against an automobile subprime lender and its owner accused of consumer fraud. He successfully defeated several applications by the owner to enjoin or defeat the receiver's sale of the $600 million loan portfolio, and successfully argued four appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals since 2015.
  • Marc represented the former chairman, CEO and founder of an energy company in a consolidated securities class action filed in Houston, alleging fraud arising from financial restatements and a secondary preferred stock offering. The case was successfully settled for under $6 million with no contribution by the client.
  • Marc represented Russian hedge funds in a civil SEC injunctive action where parallel criminal proceedings were brought against Ukranian cyber hackers accused of improperly obtaining public company earnings at news wire services for insider trading use. Settled with no admissions or penalty.
  • Marc represented a Latin American investment fund in an insider trading investigation by the SEC's Los Angeles office concerning the fund's purchases of a public company's stock and options prior to a tender offer announcement. He negotiated testimony and document production in such a way to successfully close the matter without action.
  • Marc has represented a well-known and highly successful Peruvian businessman and his companies in several related federal and state litigations arising from an investment fraud involving a Swiss bank. He filed an appeal of an international arbitration lost by the client's former counsel to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which resulted in an eight-figure settlement in favor of the clients.
  • Marc has advised a private equity firm and multifamily office with proprietary investment funds, each in connection with SEC routine examinations, including preparing clients for likely examination issues, mock interviews, document production, interfacing with SEC staff and assisting in responses to the SEC. Both exams concluded with no negative effects upon either business. 
  • During a CFTC investigation of a commodity pool operator alleged to have cornered the market in Treasury futures, Marc relied on his sophisticated understanding of the markets to ensure that no manipulation charges were brought against his client in conjunction with the case's settlement, based on books and records violations.
  • Marc represented a high-profile media mogul from both Canada and the United Kingdom accused of misusing assets of his public company -- which owned newspapers worldwide -- in various legal matters, including civil litigation in New York concerning property subject to criminal forfeiture, and habeas corpus proceedings in Chicago.
  • Marc was a member for five years of the BakerHostetler team serving as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS). One of the largest financial frauds in recorded history. Marc's primary focus was the investigation and coordination of legal strategy for the SIPA Trustee's actions involving the Rye Select, Tremont and Merkin families of feeder funds. The Tremont settlement resulted in a recovery for the Customer Fund of more than $1 billion. 
  • Marc represented the broker's assistant who became a star witness in a high-profile SEC and criminal insider trading investigation, securities class action and criminal trial of Martha Stewart. While Marc's client purportedly tipped Stewart and initially misled authorities about the stock trades, his testimony played a crucial role in the convictions. Marc's representation assisted in saving his client from prison.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Litigation: Securities in New York (2014 to 2018)
    • Band 4 (2014 to 2018)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2015 to 2019)
    • Recommended in Dispute Resolution: Securities Litigation – Defense
  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2019)
  • SEC Sustained Superior Performance Award
  • Hofstra University Distinguished Alumni Award (2006)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

Memberships

  • Wolters Kluwer (CCH) Securities Regulation Advisory Board (2010 to present)
  • American Bar Association: Presidential Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege (2005 to 2009)
  • New York State Bar: Presidential Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege (2005 to 2009)
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association
    • Board of Directors (2002 to 2005)
    • Committee on Securities and Exchanges: Co-Chair (1997 to 2002)

News

News

Press Releases

Community

  • The Center for Arts Education
    • Board Member
    • Nominations Committee: Chair

Prior Positions

  • United States Securities and Exchange Commission (1980 to 1985)
    • Enforcement Division Staff Attorney
    • Branch Chief

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1981
  • New York, 1981

Education

  • J.D., Hofstra University School of Law, 1980
  • B.B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977, Finance, with honors

Blog

In The Blogs

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Blockchain Monitor
Interbank Settlement Initiative and Crypto Payment Solutions Expand, SEC and International Enforcement Actions Continue
By Robert A. Musiala Jr., Marc D. Powers, Joanna F. Wasick
September 20, 2019
In this issue: • Blockchain Developments in Interbank Settlement, Capital Markets, Cryptocurrency Payments • Multiple SEC Enforcement Actions, New Treasury Sanctions, More Crypto-Mining Malware Detected • International Crypto Developments...
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Blockchain Monitor
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Applications Gain Adoption, Enforcement Actions Continue
By Marc D. Powers, Diana J. Stern, Joanna F. Wasick
May 31, 2019
In this issue: • Established Firms Implement Cryptocurrency Payments, Blockchain Tracking and Data Management Systems • Unlicensed Money Transmitter Sentenced, P2P Exchange Retreats From Iran and a Benevolent 51% Attack • SEC Enforcement...
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Blockchain Monitor
Manipulation Detected on ‘DEXes,' Regulations Develop, Industry Initiatives Advance, Hacks, Money Laundering and Enforcement Continue
By Marc D. Powers
April 19, 2019
In this issue: • Academics Detect Manipulation on ‘DEXes’ as Cryptocurrency Trading Expands • New Tokenized Securities Announced; Global Regulatory Regimes Develop • Food Supply Chain Initiatives Grow, Government Spending Expected to Rise...
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Blockchain Monitor
Blockchain Announcements Across Industries, Cryptocurrency Exchanges Receive Approvals, More Regulatory Actions, More Hacks and Crypto Malware Attacks
By Marc D. Powers
March 29, 2019
In this issue: • Adoption of Blockchain Solutions Spreads Across Industries • New Cryptocurrency Exchanges Receive Approvals in US and Foreign Jurisdictions • Enforcement and Regulatory Actions by the US, FATF, Mexico, Finland and...
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Blockchain Monitor
New Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Reporting Tools, International Developments, and Crypto Crime Reports
By Marc D. Powers
March 8, 2019
In this Issue: • New Cryptocurrencies Announced, Difficulties Integrating Crypto With Banks Persist • International Market Developments, New Blockchain Reporting Tools Announced • Updates on QuadrigaCX, New Reports on Crypto Crimes From...
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