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Dan Hawke is a partner in the Securities Enforcement & Litigation Group and counsels clients on all manner of SEC and FINRA enforcement, examination and regulatory compliance matters.  With a focus on defending financial industry companies and individuals anticipating or facing investigation by their regulators, Dan regularly counsels clients on a wide range of securities enforcement issues, individual conduct concerns, corporate reporting and disclosure questions, compliance problems, internal investigations and remediation efforts.  

Dan assists senior executives, legal departments and compliance officers in navigating complex regulatory compliance, corporate governance, internal control, and whistleblower questions. He offers deep insight, analysis and perspective into the inner-workings of the SEC, its enforcement, examination and rulemaking priorities, how the Commission operates, the Commission’s legal and statutory authority, and what to expect during an SEC examination or investigation.

Before joining the firm in 2015, Dan spent 16 years in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, including ten years as a Senior Officer. In his role as the first Chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit, he established the unit, oversaw the Division’s investigation of the “Flash Crash” and supervised groundbreaking insider trading, market structure and market manipulation investigations. As Director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office for eight years, he supervised a broad range of cutting edge enforcement investigations and oversaw the SEC’s broker dealer and investment adviser examination programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Dan began his SEC enforcement career investigating the SEC’s Arthur Anderson and Waste Management accounting cases which involved, at the time, the largest financial restatement in U.S. history. He supervised hundreds of other investigations, including numerous high profile insider trading investigations utilizing novel investigative approaches and methods, and often worked in parallel with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those inquiries included innovative "trader-based" insider trading investigations and new methods of conducting trading and market surveillance. To this end, as Market Abuse Chief, Dan established the unit's Analysis and Detection Center to identify potential violations of the federal securities laws including those involving complex, organized insider trading, hacking and cybersecurity schemes.

Prior to joining the SEC, Dan was a commercial litigation partner at a prominent Washington, D.C. business law firm. Dan received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tulane University and his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Boston University International Law Journal and the recipient at graduation of the law school’s Sylvia Beinecke Robinson Award.

Dan is also the recipient of the SEC's Stanley Sporkin Award (2008) for “exceptionally tenacious and insightful contributions to the SEC’s efforts to enforce compliance with the federal securities laws” and the Ellen B. Ross Award (2001) for “exemplary commitment, enthusiasm and performance in working to fulfill the Commission’s responsibilities for the fair and effective enforcement of the federal securities laws.” He received two Chairman Awards as a member of the Cutillo/Galleon/Stephanou and "Flash Crash" investigation teams, (2009 & 2010), respectively, and he is the recipient of multiple Division of Enforcement Director's Awards.


  • Large Private Health System: advise re design and implementation of insider trading policy;
  • Large Asset Manager & Hedge Fund: counsel re MNPI controls and data vendor due diligence;
  • Special Committee of Public Company Board: conducted internal investigation into executive trading;
  • National Securities Exchange: counsel re compliance with Reg. NMS.
  • Investment Advisor: assistance with SEC examination;
  • Wealth Manager: preparation for and assistance with SEC examination;
  • Broker Dealer: advise on implementation of written supervisory policies and procedures;
  • Investment Advisor: conduct internal investigation.


Benchmark Litigation
National Practice Area Star – Securities, White Collar Crime (2024)
Litigation Star – Securities, White Collar Crime (2017, 2024)
Chambers USA
Securities: Regulation & Enforcement (Nationwide) (2021-2023)
Best Lawyers
Financial Services Regulation Law (2021)



  • J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1989
  • B.A., Tulane University, 1985


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Government & Military Service

  • Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Philadelphia Regional Office, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


  • Project Volunteer, Compass Pro Bono -- pro bono consulting on projects for the Adventure Theatre, U.S. Capitol Historical Society; Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound Program.
  • Trustee, SEC Historical Society