Paul Maco defends municipal bond issuers, underwriters, municipal advisors, lawyers, rating agencies, companies and their employees in government enforcement matters as well as advises on regulatory and compliance matters. Paul brings his combined experience as a former senior official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in SEC enforcement, regulatory, and policy formation, private sector enforcement defense and transactional work. He provides clients with a comprehensive perspective in enforcement, regulatory, and compliance matters before the SEC, Department of Justice (DOJ), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and states Attorneys General. He brings this same comprehensive perspective when advising clients on matters with the Office of Credit Ratings and corporate governance matters, as well as when conducting internal investigations or serving as special disclosure counsel for complex matters such as pension funding or large infrastructure projects. He coordinates public finance activities in the firm’s Washington office.
Currently, Paul represents several investment banks in separate SEC and FINRA enforcement investigations. He recently successfully represented a city in an SEC formal investigation; secured an Order Granting Reinstatement to Appear and Practice before the SEC as an Accountant for a CPA client; represented several state and local government issuers and underwriters in the SEC's MCDC enforcement initiative, including three settled proceedings with underwriters; and successfully defended a rating agency in an SEC enforcement investigation.
Paul’s direct involvement in SEC enforcement in the municipal bond market parallels the evolution of SEC activity in this market, beginning with his participation as a young attorney in the Division of Enforcement in the SEC’s New York Regional Office in the preparation of the Staff Report and final report on the SEC’s investigation of New York City up to his present day practice in defending market participants in SEC enforcement and regulatory matters. In between he chaired bar committees, authoring and commenting on proposed municipal market regulations, while practicing in New York and Boston as a securities and public finance lawyer. He returned to the SEC to work for Chairman Levitt and establish and serve as first Director of the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities. In addition to advising the Commission on enforcement proceedings against approximately 150 municipal market participants, activities relating to the Orange County, California bankruptcy, drafting continuing disclosure amendments to Rule 15c2-12, and MSRB rulemaking, Paul accompanied and advised the Chairman in Congressional testimony and testified himself before Congress. He coordinated SEC efforts to end "pay-to-play" practices in the U.S. municipal securities markets and initiated a program providing technical assistance in developing sub-sovereign debt markets. In October 2000 he returned to the private sector to build his current practice.
Recent Notable Matters
State of Rhode Island — successful defense in the formal investigation by SEC into pension disclosure concluding with a closing letter without recommendation of further action from the Division of Enforcement
CPA — secured Order Granting Application for Reinstatement to Appear and Practice Before the Commission as an Accountant for a previously suspended CPA
State of Kansas — disclosure and securities counsel
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (the Big Dig) — special disclosure counsel after initiation of SEC enforcement investigation
City in Southwestern US — successful defense in an SEC enforcement investigation
Investment banks — ongoing SEC and FINRA enforcement investigation
Rating agency — successful representation in SEC enforcement investigation
Rating agency — regulatory counsel in corporate restructuring
State and local government issuers — counsel in SEC MCDC Initiative
Three investment banks — counsel in SEC MCDC Initiative
Investment bank — defense in combined DOJ SEC investigation
Investment bank and employee — defense in pre-MCDC SEC enforcement investigation
Investment bank — defense in Massachusetts AG investigation of potential state false claims and consumer protection statutes relating to Build America Bonds
Investment bank — defense in Massachusetts AG investigation of potential state false claims and consumer protection statutes relating to alleged pay-to-play activities
Investment bank — defense in New York AG investigation of potential state securities law relating to Build America Bonds
Fortune 500 former Chief Accounting Officer — SEC enforcement action following Court of Appeals reversal of jury verdict finding of two counts of trading on inside information, fraudulent financial statements, successfully negotiating settlement limited to injunction, without admission or denial, on aiding and abetting reporting violation and dropping all sanctions
Investment bank — defense in SEC and DOJ investigation into municipal market bidding practices
Investment bank and individual — Wells response to FINRA enforcement investigation of MSRB rule violations seeking broad multi-million dollar penalties and individual sanctions, successfully negotiating entity-limited resolution with substantially reduced monetary fine and censure and no individual charges
Investment bank — defense in SEC enforcement investigation into pricing of municipal bonds
Fund principal and employee — defense in SEC enforcement inside trading investigation
United Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority — revision of Corporate Debt Regulations
Solar energy developer — secured "not a security" SEC no-action letter
Investment bank — defense in SEC enforcement investigation of auction rate securities
Investment bank employee — Wells submission in FINRA investigation regarding alleged MSRB Rule G-37 violations
Publications and Speeches
“Playing Well in the Sandbox,” National Association of Municipal Advisors Annual Conference, October 2018.
"Deadline Near for Passing the Municipal Advisor Qualification Exam," The Bond Buyer, July 26, 2017.
"What the SEC is Seeking in Additional Event Disclosures," The Bond Buyer, March 9, 2017.
"SEC Turns Its Attention To Municipal Adviser Fraud," Law360, November 9, 2016.
"Takeaways From the SEC’s MCDC Settlements," The Bond Buyer, September 12, 2016.
"Allen Park Ruling May Spur More SEC Cases Against Muni Officials," The Bond Buyer, February 12, 2015.
"SEC Case Shows Liability Without Participation," The Bond Buyer, November 17, 2014.
"First MCDC Settlement Leaves Much To Be Desired," Law360, July 17, 2014.
“A New Safe Haven,” International Financial Law Review, December 2011-January 2012.
"Federal Securities Law," a quarterly column, The Bond Lawyer, 2001 – present.
SIFMA Annual Compliance & Legal Conference Municipal Securities panelist and outline author 2012-2017.