Mike Perlis

Michael F. Perlis




Mike Perlis joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1974 and, since that time, has consistently been engaged in securities-related litigation. During his six and one-half years at the SEC, Mike investigated and prosecuted a wide range of cases, including insider trading matters, foreign payment cases, financial fraud cases, and cases relating to organized crime involvement in legitimate business. Moreover, Mike was called upon to oversee and review between 50-100 internal investigations conducted as part of the Commission's Voluntary Disclosure Program. In addition, Mike assisted in the Commission's investigation of the financial affairs of New York City and participated in preparation of the Commission's report to Congress, which ultimately resulted in the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Subsequent to entering the private practice of law, Mike continued his involvement in securities litigation from the defense perspective. Since 1980, he has defended numerous class actions, derivative actions and SEC investigations and proceedings. In these matters, he has represented directors, officers, corporations, accountants, and directors and officers liability and comprehensive general liability insurance carriers. He also has represented special committees of boards of directors in connection with derivative matters. In that regard, he conducted several investigations in response to shareholder claims on a variety of matters. Each investigation resulted in a successful termination of derivative litigation. In addition, he has represented various persons and entities including investment banking and brokerage firms in SEC investigations and litigation.

From the insurance perspective, Mike frequently represents, in connection with securities class actions and other litigation, both directors and officers liability insurance carriers and comprehensive general liability insurance carriers. Specifically, Mike has represented the interests of those carriers in monitoring securities litigation and participating in settlement efforts; defending such carriers when sued by insureds and/or third parties; and has litigated disputes between D&O insurers and their reinsurers relative to settlement of D&O claims. In addition, Mike has represented the interests of D&O carriers in bankruptcy proceedings relative to issues of policy cancellation and claims.

Mike frequently lectures and has written extensively on various topics relative to officer and director liability, complex business litigation, the federal securities laws, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Professional History

  • Partner, Locke Lord LLP
  • Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement:
    • Assistant Director, 1977-1980
    • Branch Chief, 1975-1977
    • Staff Attorney, 1974-1975 
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, 1979-1980 

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, Southern California Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine (2005-2012)