Jessica B. Magee
Jessica Magee is a litigation attorney, co-chair of the firm's Securities Enforcement Defense Team and a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Team. Ms. Magee focuses her practice on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal and state governmental investigations and enforcement actions, internal investigations, securities class actions, corporate governance and complex commercial litigation.
Ms. Magee is a seasoned trial attorney and has significant experience with SEC investigations and litigation involving alleged accounting or disclosure fraud, offering fraud, insider trading, alleged wrongdoing in connection with initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies, failure to register, investment adviser and broker dealer duties and conduct, and more. She also has significant experience advising clients on matters of strategic planning, regulatory compliance, disclosure, risk mitigation and matters involving corporate and shareholder rights, partnership disputes, director and officer disputes and federal receiverships.
Industry sources praise Ms. Magee on her white-collar crime and government investigations practice saying:
She is very helpful in representing individuals before the SEC because she knows the players and what arguments work and what don't. … (she) provides a level of service that is above and beyond what is normally expected. Her knowledge and awareness of matters is unmatched. She provides a fresh perspective to situations and possible outcomes, both positive and negative.
– Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2022 guide
Regarding her litigation: securities practice, industry sources say:
Her knowledge and awareness of matters is unmatched. She provides a fresh perspective to situations and possible outcomes both positive and negative. … (she) handles her assignments with great professionalism and thoroughness.
– Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2022 guide
In addition, Ms. Magee represents companies, their officers and directors, and others in government investigations and enforcement actions. She also has experience representing court-appointed receivers, private equity funds in multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration matters, and a leading oil and gas exploration and production company in a multimillion-dollar negligence and breach of contract action. She also manages, defends and resolves complex business, product liability and tort litigation matters on behalf of a variety of clients. She also serves as editor of the Holland & Knight SECond Opinion's Blog.
Chambers USA directories have praised Ms. Magee's experience in white-collar crime and government investigations, describing her as "extremely knowledgeable about securities law" and "very helpful in representing individuals before the SEC because she knows the players and what arguments work and what don't." In addition, she "provides a level of service that is above and beyond what is normally expected." In addition, Chambers USA said of Ms. Magee's Litigation: Securities experience, "Her knowledge and awareness of matters is unmatched." She also "provides a fresh perspective to situations and possible outcomes both positive and negative," and "handles her assignments with great professionalism and thoroughness."
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Magee was a senior officer with the SEC, where she led the organization's trial unit and regional enforcement program. Her experience includes investigating, litigating and supervising matters involving public company accounting, reporting and disclosures, as well as private and public issuer accounting and offering misconduct, insider trading, cryptocurrency and cybersecurity, and matters involving individuals, officers, directors, audit firms, broker-dealers, investment advisers, financial institutions, transfer agents and private funds.
Ms. Magee also previously served as in-house general counsel for a financial services company, where she led the legal and compliance department. In this role, she advised the board and senior leadership on a wide array of legal, regulatory and corporate governance issues, and led the company's legal efforts through numerous strategic transactions.
- Advise individuals and entities in active U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and other governmental investigations and enforcement actions, including responding to voluntary requests and subpoenas for documents, providing interviews and sworn testimony, negotiating settled resolutions and litigating claims
- Advised the audit committee of a publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production company in an internal investigation involving claims of possible accounting irregularity and gender discrimination
- Advised registrants and individuals in connection with current regulatory obligations and considerations arising from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lending and COVID-19 impacts
- Advised the audit committee of a Nasdaq-traded consumer goods and financing company in an independent investigation
- Successfully represented the former chief financial officer of a Nasdaq-traded company in an SEC fraud and disclosure investigation in which no claims were asserted against the client
- Successfully defended the chief financial officer of a Nasdaq-listed company in a securities class action brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas; dismissal obtained
- Advised the audit committee of a large cap New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-traded aerospace company on internal investigation of accounting controls, policies and practices
- Represent registered investment advisers in connection with SEC Division of Examinations routine and risk-based examinations
- Represented Cayman Islands court-appointed joint official liquidators (JOLs) of a mutual fund charged by the SEC; negotiated novel and favorable resolution in excess of $84 million between and among the court, JOLs of the fund, the SEC and fund stakeholders
- Represented registered investment adviser in SEC enforcement action alleging fraud; obtained favorable resolution
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Representative Transactions
- Handled an enforcement action based on fraudulent offering and disclosure violations by Nasdaq-traded life settlements company and certain of its executives
- Handled two first-of-their-kind enforcement actions based on misconduct involving cryptocurrencies, including the successful prosecution of the SEC's first case involving Bitcoin, resulting in judgment against the operator of a bitcoin-denominated Ponzi scheme, and the SEC's first-ever emergency appointment of a receiver over crypto-assets
- Handled numerous emergency enforcement actions to halt ongoing offering frauds across a variety of industries
- Handled an enforcement action against a company and its executives for misleading disclosures about product production status and sales orders; negotiated deferred prosecution agreement with former company director
- Handled enforcement actions against audit firms and audit professionals for violations relating to auditor independence, partner rotation and failure to adhere to standards imposed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
- Handled an enforcement action against a public company and a third-party consultant based on deficient evaluation and maintenance of internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR)
- Handled an enforcement action against a real estate investment fund and executives for public reporting and disclosure violations
- Handled an enforcement action against a public company employee for insider trading based on misappropriation of information learned in the course of employment
- Handled an emergency enforcement action to halt fraudulent oil and gas offering involving the agency's first action alleging violation of Rule 21F-17 based on defendant's verbal threats to employees
- Handled an enforcement action against investment adviser and others for misappropriating millions from accounts managed for professional athletes
- Handled an administrative proceeding against investment adviser based on failure to adequately disclose actual and potential conflicts of interest
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, J.D., cum laude
- Texas State University, B.A., summa cum laude
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association
- Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2021-2023; Litigation: Securities, 2022
- Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, Securities Litigation & Enforcement, 2020-2023
- Partnership for Public Services Excellence in Government, Senior Fellow, 2016
- Arthur F. Mathews Award, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2015
- Ferdinand Pecora Award, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2014
- Rising Star, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, Business Litigation, 2010