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Local Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

Practice area:

White collar crime

Michael J. Osnato, Jr., former Chief of the Complex Financial Instruments Unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division, is a Litigation Partner and member of the Firm’s Government and Internal Investigations Practice. Drawing on his deep breadth of experience at the SEC, Mike is also the Head of Simpson Thacher’s Funds Regulatory and Investigations group. He focuses on high-stakes regulatory and criminal matters, government investigations, sensitive whistleblower complaints and SEC examination and compliance counseling. Mike is recognized by Chambers USA in Securities: Regulation: Enforcement, where clients praise his “incredible depth of knowledge across regulatory issues,” and peers highlight his “very nice touch with regulators.” He is also recognized by Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation as a National and New York “Litigation Star” in white collar and securities. 

Mike’s representative matters include: 

  • Leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer in global anti-corruption investigation focused on alleged misconduct in multiple jurisdictions; matter ended with issuance of termination letter 
  • A Fortune 50 insurance company in SEC investigation of various accounting practices; matter ended with government issuance of termination letter 
  • Global bank in SEC investigation of the issuance and sale of structured products; matter ended with government issuance of termination letter 
  • Multi-billion dollar asset manager in successful resolution of wide-ranging cross-border investigation focused on disclosure and trading practices 
  • Prominent individual entrepreneur and investor in SEC and DOJ investigations focused on interactions with multiple public companies 

At the SEC, Mike was a member of various national leadership Committees, including the Enforcement Division’s Cooperation Committee, which oversees the SEC’s Cooperation Program for entities and individuals subject to SEC investigation. During his tenure on the Cooperation Committee, Mike played a leadership role in developing innovative uses of the Enforcement Division’s Cooperation Program and formulating national policy relevant to the resolution of high-stakes matters. Mike has extensive experience in evaluating the strength of corporate compliance and controls programs, the adequacy and value of corporate and individual cooperation in SEC matters, and has played a lead role in several of the SEC’s most prominent settlements involving admissions of wrongdoing. 

Throughout his tenure at the SEC, Mike worked in close partnership with multiple domestic and international law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice, FBI, CFTC, Federal Reserve, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. 

Mike received his J.D. with Honors in 1997 from Fordham Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, and his B.A. with Honors from Williams College in 1994, where he was a Distinguished Scholar. 


Updated Sep 2021