SUSAN MERRILL assists broker-dealers, investment advisers, financial institutions, exchanges and Fortune 500 companies across the United States in investigations before the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and state securities regulators. Susan also conducts internal investigations and advises clients on regulatory compliance matters. She is a member of Sidley’s global Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice, which received the 2019 Chambers USA Award for “Financial Services Regulation,” and was named the “Law Firm of the Year” for Securities Regulation in 2020 and 2017 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers.
Susan is the former head of enforcement at FINRA, where she oversaw the establishment and development of its enforcement program. She joined FINRA from her position as enforcement chief at New York Stock Exchange Regulation when it merged with the NASD in 2007. Before she became a regulator, Susan was in private practice for 17 years and represented clients in some of the highest-profile matters on Wall Street.
Recent assignments include:
- Representing the lead underwriter in multiple regulatory investigations relating to a high-profile IPO
- Representing a senior executive in investigations by the SEC, CFTC and DOJ relating to MF Global
- Representing a major broker-dealer in a settled SEC enforcement action relating to the sale of CDOs
- Representing a national securities exchange in an internal investigation relating to the use of error accounts
- Successfully defended a research analyst in a FINRA investigation resulting in no action
- Representing a swaps trader in a CFTC investigation relating to manipulation of swap index
Strong leadership on behalf of her clients has earned Susan many accolades from leading publications. Chambers USA noted “The ‘very knowledgeable’ Susan Merrill is praised for the ‘good practical and strategic advice’ which she is able to offer to broker-dealer clients.” Other major awards include:
- Law360’s 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law: The profile showcases many of the highlights of her career, including having served as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s first head of enforcement and establishing the Credit for Cooperation policy at the New York Stock Exchange.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Compliance) (2012)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Enforcement) (2013–2020)
- The Best Lawyers in America – Securities Regulation (2013–2020), including “Lawyer of the Year” in Securities Regulation (New York, 2020)
- The Legal 500 US – Financial services: litigation (2013–2017)
Admissions & Certifications
- New York
- Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1986 (summa cum laude)
- University of Maryland, B.A., 1979 (cum laude)
- Francis L. Van Dusen, U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit (1986 - 1987)