Ronald E. Wood

[email protected]

T: (213) 406-2910
F: (213) 613-0550



Partner, Proskauer LLP (2007-2015); Principal, The Wood Group (2005-2007); Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Law Division (1999-2005); Assistant Regional Director (Enforcement), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1989-1999); Associate, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown and Enersen (1987-1989).


Education and Honors

Howard Law School (J.D. 1987); Special Articles Editor, Howard Law Journal (Vol. 30, 1986-1987); Member, Howard National Moot Court Board (1985-1987); Howard University (B.A. Classics/English, 1984); Member, Eta Sigma Phi (National Classics Honor Society).


Professional Associations

Member, Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors (2014-present); Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni (Member 2006-present); Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Board of Directors (2007-2012); State Bar of California, Ethnic Minority Relations Committee (1998-2001).


Bar Admissions

California (1988); United States District Court, Central, Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of California; United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois; United States Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit.

Representative matters for Mr. Wood include:

Currently Representing
  • Investor relations firm in non-public SEC investigation;
  • Counseling investor relations professional in possible insider trading matter
  • Real estate developer in managing the wind-down of, and lender claims concerning, several unsuccessful projects;
  • General contractor in employment litigation with former employee.
Recent Results
  • Currently navigating prominent businessman through criminal case charging passing of fraudulent checks
  • Favorably resolved allegation of academic dishonesty made against client by prominent Southern California university, with no adverse action
  • Favorably resolved construction company’s long-running (12 year) workman’s compensation dispute with former employee and state agency concerning future benefits for workplace injury
  • Favorably resolved major mortgage broker’s litigation with medical professional concerning past financial transactions

SEC defense:

Private Investment Managers
  • Successfully defended venture capital firm in connection with SEC’s recent general solicitation rule amendment.
  • Successfully defended private equity fund manager in SEC investigation and post-Wells briefings and negotiations concerning competing claims to performance track record and related advertising issues in connection with $2 billion fund raising.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Counseled and defended Chinese reverse-merger company and its board in SEC, Department of Justice and FINRA investigations, and NASDAQ listing review, concerning financial reporting, related-party transactions and internal control issues.
  • Led internal investigation into U.S. public company’s tax and payroll reporting practices, and suspected kickback payments to officials in several international jurisdictions.
  • Investigated suspected receipt by U.S. representative of international private company of kickback payments from international suppliers/manufacturers.
  • Led internal investigation into possible improper payments by U.S. company representative to Chinese officials to obtain variances to local zoning laws.
Financial Reporting
  • Represented CFO of a company whose CEO cause the company to make false and misleading disclosures to investors.
  • Defended U.S.-listed foreign issuer in SEC investigation of a range of financial reporting and internal and financial control issues.
Placement Agents/Pay-to-Play
  • Represented private equity manager in action filed by former state pension fund official who alleged the manager engaged in improper and undisclosed pay-to-play activity, leading to the pension fund official’s ouster.
  • Counseled and defended several private fund managers in federal and state investigations concerning political contributions and use of placement agents in soliciting asset management business from public pension funds.
  • Counseled and defended commodities firm partner in parallel Commodity Futures Trading Commission, SEC and National Futures Association investigations concerning possible kickbacks, pay-to-play and improper use of introducing brokers.
  • Defended global financial services firm in SEC investigation concerning allocation of initial public offering shares to big-city mayor concurrent with firm’s bid to underwrite two city bond offerings.
Insider Trading
  • Defended private equity client in SEC and FINRA investigations into suspected insider trading.
  • Defended former public-company executive in SEC investigation and settlement of insider trading matter.
Options Backdating
  • Successfully defended former public-company board member in federal and state derivative actions related to alleged option backdating.
  • Led nine month internal investigation into U.S. public company’s historical option-granting practices and financial accounting for several international acquisitions, and related bonus and profit-sharing arrangements.
Stock Manipulation
  • Defended foreign-national hedge fund trader in SEC investigation of suspected stock manipulation by offshore hedge fund.
  • Represented national broker-dealer in investigation of employee suspected of conspiring with several others to manipulate a U.S. listed stock, in which the broker and his clients held substantial positions.


  • Prevailed in Ninth Circuit challenge of a successful motion to dismiss claims of breach of contract and breach of duty by national broker-dealer alleged to have participated in a complicate stock lending Ponzi scheme
  • Recently prevailed on motion to dismiss a federal complaint alleging that broker-dealer participated in a nationwide stock-loan Ponzi scheme.
  • Defended former Lehman Brothers CFO in post-bankruptcy arbitration naming all former officers and directors for control person liability and failure to supervise.
  • Defended broker-dealer in litigation concerning oil and gas joint venture investments.
  • Represented national clearing firm in arbitration alleging breach of fiduciary duty, elder abuse, breach of contract and
  • Successfully dismissed federal claims against broker-dealer for holding funds alleged to have been fraudulently obtained by account holder.
Non-Securities, Commercial Disputes
  • Recently secured dismissal of state-court complaint that alleged numerous tort claims against an international jeweler.
Intellectual Property
  • Church & Dwight v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc. Served as co-lead counsel in successful patent infringement case.
Trade Secrets
  • Won arbitration victory against former investment bank partner who secretly downloaded and transferred firm’s proprietary trade secret files. Injunctive relief and money damages awarded to client.
  • Represented private equity client in several state-court matters relating to misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and ownership disputes.
  • Arbitration: Mr. Wood has successfully defended dozens of securities arbitration cases

Additional Information:

Representative Corporate Clients

Ares Management
Bank of America
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

Cohen Financial Group

DAK Construction

Deckers Outdoor Corp.
ff Venture Capital
Knighthead Capital Management, LLC
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Merrill Lynch
Morgan Stanley
MRV Communications
Newstone Capital Partners, LLC
Ossur Americas
Reynaldo’s Mexican Food Company, LLC
Swatch Group
Wat Thai of Los Angeles
Wachovia Securities LLC
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., LLC

Speaking Engagements

Honoree at annual SIFMA Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast

March 20, 2018


50th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar, Los Angeles County Bar Association

October 20, 2017

Topic: “Ethical Considerations for the Securities Lawyer”


49th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar, Los Angeles County Bar Association
October 21, 2016

Topic: “Whistleblowers”


SIFMA Regional Seminar
August 4, 2016, San Francisco, California

Topic:  “Litigation and Arbitration Updates and Trends”


SIFMA Compliance and legal Annual Conference
March 14, 2016, Orlando, Florida

Topic:  “The Inside Job and the Outside Threat:  Protecting Your Firm Against Fraud”


SIFMA Denver Regional Seminar
January 28, 2016, Denver, Colorado

Topic:  “Navigating Senior Investor Issues”


48 Annual Securities Regulation Seminar, Los Angeles County Bar Association

October 23, 2015
Topic: Ethics for Securities Lawyers


National Bar Association Annual Conference
July 18, 2015
Topic: Emerging Issues in Securities Law and Regulation


Securities Enforcement Forum West 2015
May 13, 2015, San Francisco, CA
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Securities Litigation


RCA’s Enforcement, Compliance & Operations Symposium
May 6, 2015, New York, NY
Speaker: Ronald Wood
Topic: Current SEC Priorities


SIFMA Compliance and Legal Annual Conference
March 17, 2015, Phoenix, AZ
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Securities Litigation


47th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar, Los Angeles County Bar Association
October 24, 2014, Los Angeles, CA
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Whistleblowers


University of Southern California Business Law Society Financial Services Panel Discussion
October 14, 2014, Los Angeles, CA
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Securities Regulation and Enforcement


Hedge Fund Luncheon Series
October 9, 2014, New York, NY
Speakers: Robert Leonard, Michael Mavrides, Christopher Wells, Ralph Ferrara, Sigal Mandelker, Ron Wood
Topic: Anatomy of an Enforcement Action


Hedge Fund Luncheon Series: 2014 Mid-Year Regulatory Review
June 4, 2014, New York, NY
Speakers: Martin Hamilton, Robert Leonard, Kristen Mathews, Michael Mavrides, Christopher Wells, Ron Wood and Erica Moscarello
Topic: Regulatory Topics Currently Affecting Hedge Fund Managers


ABA’s 2014 Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference
April 9, 2014, Scottsdale, AZ
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Corporate Responsibility


SIFMA’s Compliance & Legal Society 46th Annual Seminar
April 1, 2014 Orlando, FL
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Examinations by Regulators: Can We all Get Along?


Regulatory Compliance Association: Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) and Anti-Corruption
March 26, 2014
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Foreign Corrupt Practice Act


46th Annual Securities Regulation Seminar, Los Angeles County Bar Association
November 22, 2013, Los Angeles, CA
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Self-Reporting, Cooperation and Remedies in Government Investigations


RCA Regulation, Operations & Compliance 2013
April 18, 2013, New York, NY
Speaker: Ron Wood
Topic: Post SAC Capital – Investigation, Enforcement & Prosecution of Hedge & PE Managers


University of Southern California Lecture Series: The Law of Mass Communication
February 13, 2012, Los Angeles, CA
Speaker: Ronald Wood
Topic: The SEC And Laws Governing The Communications Of Public Companies


Transnational Criminal Law 2011
November 28, 2011, Vancouver
Speaker: Ronald E. Wood
Topic: Managing SEC And Canadian Securities Commission Investigations That May Give Rise To Allegations Of Criminal Conduct


Webinar for Private Investment Fund Managers
October 14, 2010, Boston, MA
Speakers: Laurier Beaupre, David Tegeler, Ronald Wood
Topic: Recent Regulation of Campaign Contributions


PLI Conference
November 23, 2009, New York, NY
Speaker: Ronald Wood
Topic: Hedge Fund Enforcement and Regulatory Developments


National Bar Association’s 84th Annual Meeting
August 5, 2009, San Diego, CA
Speaker: Ronald Wood
Topic: Securities Law and Regulatory Compliance 2009: Current Perspectives


2009 International Legal Trends Conference
June 18, 2009, New York, NY
Practical solutions for protecting your company’s global interests, managing risk and navigating cross-border litigations, investigations and enforcement proceedings in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Ethics in Private Equity: Keeping Your Firm Out of Trouble (and the Headlines)
June 11, 2009
Speakers: Laurier Beaupre, Ron Wood

Selected Publications

July 12, 2018
Brown White & Osborn LLP Blog
“Executive Order On Administrative Law Judges Not As Alarming In Context”


June 25, 2018
Brown White & Osborn LLP Blog
“The Supreme Court’s Majority in Lucia Makes For Strange Bedfellows”


June 22, 2018
Brown White & Osborn LLP Blog
“Supreme Court Rules SEC ALJs Subject to Appointments Clause”


December 4, 2017
Daily Journal
“About-face on SEC in-house judges is startling”


February 22, 2017
Daily Journal
“DC Circuit Will Rehear Challenge to SEC’s In-House Judges”


January 2015
Los Angeles County Bar Association, County Bar Update
“Not Your Standard Pro Bono Matter”


July 23, 2014
Daily Journal
“SEC May Ramp Up Administrative Proceedings”


July 26, 2013
Dow Jones LBO Wire
“Calpers Weighs in on Capital Dynamics Dispute with Former HRJ Executives”
Ronald Wood is noted for representing the California Public Employees’ Retirement System


May 29, 2013
The FCPA Report
“The Expanding Definition of ‘Foreign Official’ and its FCPA Compliance Implications”


May 2, 2013
Corporate Secretary
“Hedge Funds to Strengthen Compliance Programs”
Ron is featured in a Q&A on hedge fund compliance programs in light of structural and staffing changes at the SEC


January 14, 2013
Bloomberg BNA
“SEC Rule 206(4)-8; Steadman Revisited”


October 17, 2012
Law 360
“Death Knell of Placement Agent Outcome-Based Pay”


June 12, 2009
LBO Wire
“Pension Scandal Puts PE Ethics Under Magnifying Glass”
Ron Wood is quoted on the needs and difficulties associated with private equity firms setting up formal ethics policies.


February 4, 2009
The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation
“SEC’s Fiscal 2008 Focus on Hedge Funds”
Discusses the SEC’s continued efforts to monitor improper trading by hedge funds and their employees.


September 12, 2007
Los Angeles Lawyer
“Arbitration and the Poor Loser Syndrome”
Discusses the narrow grounds on which an arbitration award may be challenged.