Russ Ryan, a Partner in King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations practice, is a nationally-recognized securities lawyer and thought leader with more than 25 years of experience focused primarily on securities enforcement and regulation, corporate internal investigations, FCPA compliance, and related matters.
Russ offers clients the perspective and judgment drawn from his rare blend of experience as both a private practitioner and regulator. In addition to representing and advising clients at King & Spalding for over a decade, Russ has served in leadership roles with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Russ was a partner with King & Spalding from 2004 until early 2015, when FINRA recruited him to lead its Washington, DC-area enforcement team as Senior Vice President and Deputy Enforcement Chief. While at FINRA, Russ oversaw hundreds of enforcement investigations and disciplinary matters addressing sales practices, supervision, internal controls, and AML issues involving hundreds of financial services firms across the country. He was also a key player in developing and implementing FINRA’s enforcement policies and procedures, collaborating with senior leaders from other FINRA departments, and coordinating with the SEC and other securities regulators. Among other special projects, Russ led a cross-departmental staff team that worked closely with members of FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council in adopting recent amendments to FINRA’s Sanction Guidelines, served as the Enforcement Department’s senior participant on a cross-department committee reviewing FINRA examination findings relating to cybersecurity issues, and managed a special team of attorneys dedicated to the expeditious processing of a large docket of broker-disclosure cases arising from FINRA’s comprehensive review of public records concerning its registered brokers.
Before his prior tenure with King & Spalding, Russ served for nearly 10 years in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including his last three years as Assistant Director. At the SEC, Russ investigated, supervised, and litigated a wide range of suspected violations of federal securities law, including public-company accounting and disclosure cases, broker-dealer misconduct cases, insider trading cases, and matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Russ is a widely-recognized thought leader with more than 50 published articles and speaking engagements addressing a wide range of topics in securities enforcement and regulation, including numerous op-ed commentaries published in The Wall Street Journal advocating for enforcement policy reforms.