Kelly Gibson is the co-leader of the Morgan Lewis' securities enforcement practice. She previously held numerous national and regional leadership roles at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including serving as the acting deputy director of the Division of Enforcement, as leader of the Enforcement Division’s nationwide Climate and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Task Force, and as director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office. Kelly advises and defends public companies, financial services clients, and their executives in SEC, self-regulatory organization (SRO), and state enforcement matters, and in internal investigations. She is admitted in Pennsylvania and New Jersey only, and her practice is supervised by NY Bar members.
Leveraging her government and private practice experience, Kelly works in collaboration with the firm’s corporate and business transactions, investment management, white collar defense, and labor and employment practices to advise clients on regulatory and litigation matters.
She also uses her broad ESG enforcement and policy experience to counsel public companies and registrants as they develop proactive ESG strategies, create investment products, consider disclosure requirements, and identify investment opportunities.
As acting deputy director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Kelly helped set enforcement priorities and assisted in supervising approximately 1,300 staff who investigate and litigate across a broad spectrum of nationwide securities matters, including issuer disclosure and accounting abuses; foreign bribery; investment advisory and broker-dealer violations; securities offering; market manipulation; insider trading; and crypto- and cyber-related misconduct. In this role, Kelly also oversaw the division’s Office of Market Intelligence and Office of the Whistleblower.
In addition, Kelly served as leader of the Division of Enforcement’s newly formed nationwide Climate and ESG Task Force, where she led task force members from across SEC headquarters, regional offices, and specialized units to evaluate tips, referrals, and whistleblower complaints on ESG-related issues, and to develop initiatives to proactively identify potential ESG-related misconduct involving public companies and registrants. Kelly also served as a resource for, and coordinated enforcement ESG efforts with, other SEC divisions and offices, and she met with other federal, state, and international officials regarding respective ESG priorities.
As director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office, Kelly led a staff of approximately 160 enforcement lawyers, accountants, and industry specialists who investigate and litigate the federal securities laws nationwide, and examiners with oversight in the Mid-Atlantic region of nearly 1,200 investment advisers with more than $13.5 trillion in assets under management, over 150 investment fund complexes, and more than 290 broker-dealers with over 14,275 branch offices.
Earlier in her tenure, Kelly served in the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit as an assistant regional director and then as associate regional director of the SEC’s Philadelphia office, where she supervised enforcement efforts. Kelly began her career at the SEC in 2008 as a staff attorney and received the SEC’s Analytical Methods Award in 2016. During her tenure at the SEC, Kelly supervised, investigated, and filed actions involving a wide range of securities violations, and she closely coordinated with state and federal criminal authorities on numerous parallel investigations. Before joining the SEC, Kelly was in private practice, advising clients on internal investigations and commercial litigation matters.
(The views expressed are my own and not those of Morgan Lewis.)