Former Rajaratnam Prosecutor Reed Brodsky Discusses the Application of Insider Trading Doctrine to Hedge Fund Research and Trading Practices

For at least the last five years, Reed Brodsky has been at the epicenter of the evolution of insider trading law as it applies to hedge fund managers.  As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, he was one of the three prosecutors who tried the largest criminal hedge fund insider trading trial in history, U.S. v. Raj Rajaratnam, which resulted in Rajaratnam’s conviction and sentence of 11 years.  See “Implications of the Rajaratnam Verdict for the ‘Mosaic Theory,’ the ‘Knowing Possession’ Standard of Insider Trading and Criminal Wire Fraud Liability in the Absence of a Trade,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 18 (Jun. 1, 2011).  Also, he was one of two prosecutors who tried the insider trading case against Rajat Gupta, the former McKinsey Chairman, which resulted in Gupta’s conviction; and he worked on the prosecution of former FrontPoint Partners portfolio manager Joseph Skowron for insider trading in connection with a drug trial.  See “Morgan Stanley Sues Former FrontPoint Partners Portfolio Manager Joseph F. ‘Chip’ Skowron III for Losses Allegedly Caused by Skowron’s Insider Trading and Subsequent Cover-Up,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 44 (Nov. 21, 2012).  Based on this experience, Brodsky’s command of insider trading doctrine as it applies to hedge fund managers is recent, relevant and deep.  The Hedge Fund Law Report recently had the opportunity to interview Brodsky in connection with the Regulatory Compliance Association’s upcoming Regulation, Operations & Compliance 2013 Symposium, at which Brodsky is scheduled to participate.  (The details of the Symposium are discussed below.)  Our interview did not focus on insider trading doctrine per se, although Brodsky is eminently equipped to discuss doctrine in depth.  Rather, our interview focused on the application of evolving insider trading doctrine to a range of research and trading practices commonly undertaken by hedge fund managers.  Specifically, we explored with Brodsky: how insider trading law should inform the efforts of hedge fund managers with respect to the use of expert network firms, channel checking firms and political intelligence firms; the application of insider trading law to commodities, derivatives and trades in private company stock; the practicability of “walling off” employees with material nonpublic information; trends in investigative methods and enforcement topics; how to generate goodwill from witness cooperation; and the value of self-reporting discovered insider trading violations.  In addition, we posed a number of challenging hypotheticals to Brodsky – which were hypothetical only in the sense that we did not name names, although the fact patterns are quite real.  Brodsky’s answers were insightful, business-minded and candid, and provide invaluable insight into how prosecutors think about the hedge fund industry.  The RCA Symposium will be held at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on April 18, 2013, and is scheduled to include a panel covering government investigations and prosecutions of hedge fund and private equity fund managers entitled “Post SAC Capital – Investigation, Enforcement & Prosecution of Hedge & PE Managers.”  Subscribers to the Hedge Fund Law Report are eligible for a registration discount.  Brodsky will soon join Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner.  See “Rajaratnam and Gupta Prosecutor Reed Brodsky to Join Gibson Dunn,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 6, No. 5 (Feb. 1, 2013).

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