Steve Councill’s practice focuses on representing clients in SEC, DOJ, FDIC, FINRA, and other governmental and regulatory examinations, investigations, and enforcement actions and in related private litigation. Steve regularly advises investment advisers, banks, broker-dealers, and other financial services organizations and professionals on regulatory compliance, registration and data security.
Prior to joining Rogers & Hardin in 2003, Steve served as a Branch Chief in the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division in Atlanta where he supervised a group of attorneys and accountants who conducted investigations of possible securities law violations.
At Rogers & Hardin, Steve represents firms and individuals in the financial services industry, including investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, and their officers and directors. His securities industry representations have involved a broad variety of issues, such as failure to supervise, parking, securities sales practices, mutual fund switching, mutual fund market timing, excessive markups, wash-sale market manipulation, short-sale / PIPE transactions, mortgage practices, and margin regulations. The banking matters have included representing directors and officers in response to FDIC demands following bank failures, investigations into loan loss allowance accounting and compliance with the FDIC’s TLGP.
Steve defends public companies and their officers and directors in cases involving many different issues, including insider trading, SEC financial reporting and disclosure, revenue recognition, stock option backdating, and loan loss allowance calculations.
Steve also regularly conducts internal investigations on behalf of financial firms, public companies, and audit or special committees. The subjects of these investigations have included fraudulent accounting, embezzlement, stock option backdating, and securities sales practice issues. In conducting these investigations, Steve utilizes the extensive training and experience he received conducting and supervising investigations during his five years with the U.S. government. Steve also draws on his background in the information technology field, where he installed hardware and developed software for accounting, communications, and encryption applications.