Michael D. Birnbaum

Partner | New York

mbirnbaum@mofo.com | (212) 336-4233

(212) 336-4233

My extensive experience at the SEC gives me unique insight when counseling financial institutions and issuers through investigations and potential litigation.

Michael regularly counsels U.S. and global financial institutions, including commercial and investment banks, audit and accounting firms, investment advisers, broker-dealers, and securities issuers in internal and government investigations, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and private civil litigation.

As a former Senior Trial Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Michael has extensive experience overseeing securities litigation before federal and administrative courts. During his 11 years at the SEC, he investigated and litigated matters arising under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and others.

Throughout his tenure at the SEC, Michael also worked closely with SEC investigative units, including the Asset Management Unit, the Market Abuse Unit, and the Complex Financial Instruments Unit. He also worked with attorneys at various U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and foreign securities regulators.

A seasoned trial lawyer, Michael obtained significant results – including at trial – against hedge funds and other investment funds for fraudulent securities offerings and registration violations, as well as supervisory failures related to the sale of securities.

 Michael’s notable experience includes:

  • RD Legal Capital, LLC, et al., SEC File No. 3-17342 (2016): Led litigation effort – including five-week trial – and advised investigative team in fraud case against a hedge fund found liable for violating Securities Act §17(a) for misrepresenting the nature and value of litigation funding investments.
  • Reliance Financial Advisors, LLC, et al., SEC File No. 3-16311 (2015): Won bench trial as first chair against investment adviser for fraudulent securities offerings.
  • Donald Anthony, et al. (2014):  Won bench trial against brokers at McGinn, Smith & Co., Inc. for fraud, registration violations, and supervisory failures relating to the sale of $100+ million in McGinn securities.
  • SEC v. Reserve Mgmt. Company, Inc., 09 Civ. 4346 (PGG) (2012):  Obtained verdicts against investment adviser and broker dealer after three-week jury trial; in earlier phases of litigation, obtained unprecedented relief in first contested action brought by the Commission under Section 25(c) of the Investment Company Act.
  • SEC v. Empire Development Group, LLC, 07 Civ. 3896 (PKC) & SEC v. Clean Care Technologies, Inc., 08 Civ. 01719 (HB) (2008):  In cases involving fraudulent securities offerings, awarded judgment with all requested relief in both cases.

Before joining the SEC, Michael was an associate at two U.S. AmLaw 100 firms advising on commercial litigation and regulatory investigations. During law school at New York University, he served as the editor for the Annual Survey of American Law.

Show More


Unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Morrison & Foerster will not be considered confidential, may be disclosed to others pursuant to our Privacy Policy, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Morrison & Foerster. If you are not already a client of Morrison & Foerster, do not include any confidential information in this message. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so.