Kokesh v. SEC


Adam Unikowsky of Jenner & Block LLP represented Charles Kokesh on the case

Mr. Unikowsky (Picture) unanimously won a decision that the five-year statute of limitations in a general federal statute of limitations governing penalties and forfeitures applies to SEC claims seeking disgorgement of illegally obtained profits. The Court rejected the Justice Department’s view that there was no statute of limitations applicable to disgorgement claims. The Court’s landmark ruling reduced the liability of Mr. Unikowsky’s client by at least $29 million, and will dramatically affect the SEC’s ability to obtain disgorgement in enforcement actions under the securities laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Court rejected the views not only of the Justice Department, but of the vast majority of lower-court cases to have considered the question. And the Supreme Court’s specific basis for its holding—that, as Mr. Unikowsky argued, disgorgement was a “penalty”—had never been accepted by any lower court prior to the Court’s ruling.

Involved fees earner: Adam Unikowsky – Jenner & Block;

Law Firms: Jenner & Block;

Clients: Charles Kokesh;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti