Paul Robert Eckert

Paul Robert Eckert

Professor of the Practice of Law
Degrees: J.D., College of William & Mary Law School; B.A., Tulane University
Email: [[preckert]]
Office phone: (757) 221-5746
Office location: Room 229B
Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Paul R. Eckert teaches courses on securities regulation and the regulation of financial services firms such as broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, and unregistered hedge funds and liquidity providers.

Professor Eckert is a 1996 graduate of William and Mary Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the William and Mary Law Review, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and received the Lawrence W. I’Anson award. After graduation, he clerked for the Honorable William Lockhart Garwood on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Professor Eckert was previously a partner in Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP’s Securities Group. He retired from the partnership in 2022.

While in private practice at WilmerHale, Professor Eckert represented many of the world’s top financial services firms, corporations, and their leaders and executives in mission-critical investigations and enforcement proceedings by the SEC, the DOJ, state attorneys general and securities regulators, and foreign regulatory authorities. Professor Eckert has represented the Nation’s leading securities trading firms (including high frequency electronic market makers and FinTech firms), investment banks, and asset management firms in a variety of matters involving novel issues under federal and state securities laws.

From 1989 through 1993, Professor Eckert served as a US Navy Lieutenant onboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1). In 2006–2007, he served as an Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush.

For many years Eckert served on the Board of Trustees for the William and Mary Law School foundation, chaired the Investment Committee, and was a board member of the 1693 Partners Fund, the principal endowment vehicle for The College of William and Mary.

Experience

  • Represented broker-dealers, investment advisers and their associated persons in connection with investigations of IPO allocation practices; research analyst conflicts of interest, SRO conflict disclosures and Regulation AC; mutual fund trading practices; proxy voting practices; information barriers; fair pricing and mark-ups; trade reporting obligations; registration and licensing; personal trading practices; sales practices; and the adequacy of supervision.

  • Represented public companies in connection with investigations of a variety of accounting issues, including merger and purchase accounting reserves; goodwill and long-term asset impairment issues; extraordinary and other one-time charges; the use of special purpose entities and other off-balance sheet arrangements; revenue recognition practices in a variety of contexts; the adequacy of internal accounting and disclosure controls; expense capitalization practices; and auditor independence.

  • Represented public companies and their officers and directors in connection with investigations of disclosure practices concerning executive and director compensation, perquisites, and related party transactions; compliance with line-item disclosure requirements; the issuance of earnings and other forward-looking guidance; and Regulation FD compliance.

  • Represented public companies, their officers and directors, and underwriters in securities actions alleging violations of federal and state securities laws.

  • Professional Activities

      Mr. Eckert has been a guest lecturer on emerging issues in securities enforcement matters and writes regularly on securities law topics:

      • 10 Years On, SEC's Market Access Rule Still Lacks Clarity, WilmerHale Alert, Oct. 11, 2021.
      • COVID-19: Key Considerations for Corporate Insiders Who Trade During the Pandemic, WilmerHale Alert, Apr.6, 2020.
      • SEC Holds Kokesh Does Not Impact FINRA Industry Bar, WilmerHale Alert, Aug.28, 2019.
      • FINRA Issues New Guidance on Credit for Extraordinary Cooperation, WilmerHale Alert, July.15, 2019.
      • FINRA and the MSRB Issue FAQs on Bond Mark-Up Disclosure, WilmerHale Alert, July.24, 2017.
      • SEC Approves Bond Mark-Up Disclosure Rules, WilmerHale Alert, Nov. 29, 2016.
      • Q&A With Wilmer Hale's Paul Eckert, Law360's Q&A Series, Mar. 7, 2013.
      • FINRA Now Authorized to Seek SAR Materials from Member Broker Dealers, WilmerHale Alert, Feb.24, 2012.
      • SEC Proposes Bad Actor Disqualification to Popular Private Placement Safe Harbor, WilmerHale Alert, June 2, 2011.
      • SEC Approves Sweeping Changes to FINRA's Regulatory Reporting Rules, WilmerHale Alert, Nov. 22, 2010.
      • SEC to Review Performance of Boards in Financial Crisis, WilmerHale Alert, Mar. 11, 2009.
      • Nine Years After - SEC Approves NASD Mark-Up Guidance for Debt Securities, WilmerHale Alert, Apr. 25, 2007.
      • NASD Amends Proposed Debt Mark-Up Policy To Exclude Certain Transactions with Insitutional Customers, WilmerHale Alert, Nov. 1, 2006.
      • NASD Expands Broker-Dealer's Duty of Best Execution, WilmerHale Alert, Sept. 12, 2006.
      • Sarbanes-Oxley and the SEC’s Enforcement Program, THE PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT (ABA Press 2004) (with William R. McLucas).
      • The SEC's Revised Auditor Independence Rules, 56 Bus. Law. 877 (2001) (with William R, McLucas).
      • The Battle Over Auditor Independence and the SEC’s Recent Rule Proposal, 1213 PLI/CORP. 459 (2000) (with William R. McLucas).
      • Note, Utilizing the Doctrine of Adverse Inferences When Foreign Illegality Prohibits Discovery: A Proposed Alternative, 37 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 749 (1995).

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