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About Paul

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.



New York University School of Law,
Lehigh University,

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
New York


UAE Securities and Commodities Authority Board of Advisors
Advisory Board Member, 2007 - 2016
Morin Center for Banking Law Studies, Boston University School of Law
Instructor, Federal Securities Law, 1999 - 2003
American University Washington College of Law
Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Federal Securities Markets, 1997 - 1999
Morin Center for Banking Law Studies, Boston University School of Law
Instructor, Federal Securities Law International Securities Transactions, 1992 - 1996
National Association of Bond Lawyers Board of Directors
Board Member, 1989 - 1992
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Washington DC Parish Council Member, President, 2014 - 2015
Municipal Finance Journal
Editorial Board
American College of Bond Counsel
Association of the Bar of The City of New York



Outlook for 2017 Muni Enforcement

December 28, 2016
Bond Buyer Online, The

The Best Lawyers in America Recognize 74 Bracewell Attorneys

August 15, 2016
Best Lawyers, Woodward White, Inc.

Outlook for Municipal Securities Arena in 2016

December 28, 2015
Bond Buyer Online, The

More Individual, Secondary Market Enforcement in 2015

January 5, 2015
Bond Buyer - Arlington Bureau, The

SEC Could Halt Muni Bond Sales

September 18, 2014
Bond Buyer - Arlington Bureau, The

Muni Market Frustrated By Vague MCDC Settlement

July 9, 2014
Bond Buyer - Arlington Bureau, The

A Proposal to Freeze Pensions in Detroit

September 27, 2013
New York Times, The

SEC MA Rule Mostly Applauded

September 20, 2013
Bond Buyer

Detroit bankruptcy: A long time coming?

July 19, 2013
American Public Media - Online

Detroit Faces Long Road to Economic Health

July 19, 2013
U.S. News & World Report

SEC closes investigation into R.I. bonds

July 10, 2013
Providence Journal Online

An Ally of the Old Boss Also Goes Her Own Way

November 27, 2012
Wall Street Journal - Washington DC Bureau

Best Lawyers in America Recognizes Eighty-Eight Bracewell Attorneys

August 23, 2012
Best Lawyers, Woodward White, Inc.

SEC Targets Conduit Bonds, Again

August 22, 2012
Financial Planning

SEC Taps Treasury's John Cross to Head New Muni Office

August 2, 2012
Bond Buyer - Arlington Bureau, The

Vinson & Elkins to exit Public Finance

December 14, 2011
Bond Buyer Online, The

V&E’s Public Finance Group Moves To Bracewell

December 13, 2011
The Texas Lawbook



Spotlight on Public Finance, Spring 2018

Featured Article: Only You Can Prevent Cyber-attacks: How to Spot the Fires and Put Them Out



Euromoney PLC
Benchmark Litigation
Securities Law District of Columbia Local Litigation Star, 2013 - 2017
Woodward/White, Inc.
Best Lawyers
Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, Public Finance Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2006 - 2019
Thomson Reuters
Washington, DC Super Lawyers
Securities Litigation, 2007 - 2018
National Association of Bond Lawyers
The Carlson Prize, 2009
National Federation of Municipal Analysts Industry
Contribution Award, 2001
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Chairman's Award for Excellence, 1994


Past Events

SEC Taps Bracewell’s Maco to Speak

Washington, D.C.
December 6, 2018

NABL Teleconference

October 15, 2014

SIFMA's 2014 Compliance and Legal Annual Seminar

March 30, 2014
April 2, 2014

12th Annual Tax and Securities Law Institute

March 27, 2014
March 28, 2014

TASBO Annual Conference

February 24, 2014
February 28, 2014

GFOAT Conference

October 24, 2013