David L. Axelrod

New York

David L. Axelrod is a former Supervisory Trial Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Philadelphia Regional Office and a former federal prosecutor. At the SEC, he directed all aspects of litigation—leading complex, multi-agency investigations into a range of alleged securities law violations and serving as lead trial counsel in high-profile federal cases. He also led nationwide insider trading training for SEC enforcement staff. As a federal prosecutor, David prosecuted fraud and public corruption cases.

David is the Practice Leader of the firm's Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation Group. David’s practice focuses on representing companies and individuals under investigation or charged by federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, concerning, among other things, alleged violations of the securities laws, antitrust laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), as well as wire fraud and honest services fraud.

David is also an accomplished civil litigator and trial lawyer and uses his experience having tried more than 15 federal trials to judgment to represent clients in all phases of complex civil litigation.


Representative Matters

  • Nasdaq, Inc. v. Exchange Traded Managers Group et al.: lead trial lawyer in securities contract dispute that resulted in judgment in favor of client of more than $80 million. See Nasdaq, Inc. v. Exchange Traded Managers Group et al., No. 17 civ. 8252, 2019 U.S. Dist. Lexis 220135 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 20, 2019)
  • United States v. Francis M. Reynolds, SEC v. Francis M. Reynolds: Representation of the CEO of a pharmaceutical start-up in cases brought by DOJ and SEC alleging securities fraud
  • United States v. Herbert Vederman: represented client alleged to have engaged in honest services fraud and bank fraud; successfully convinced the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office to dismiss counts alleging client bribed a United States Congressman

Professional Highlights

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. R. Barclay Surrick, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003-2004

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, Litigation: Securities (Pennsylvania), 2021

The Legal 500, Securities Litigation: Defense, 2020, 2021

Securities and Exchange Commission's Arthur F. Mathews Award, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission's Analytical Methods Award, 2016

Director's Special Recognition Award, Federal Bureau of Investigation, February 2014, June 2012

Certificate of Meritorious Achievement, HIDTA, 2013

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, Insider Trading, The Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, Washington D.C., February 15, 2018

Speaker, "AML Obligations of Broker-Dealers and Current Issues in the SPAC Market," New York State Bar Association Securities Regulation Committee Meeting, New York City, December 13, 2017 

Speaker, "Insider Trading: A Simple Concept in Theory," Ballard Spahr CLE, Philadelphia, June 7, 2017


Co-author, "Stimulus Fraud Part 4: CARES Act Oversight Provisions and Agency Collaboration," The Legal Intelligencer, July 8, 2020 

Co-author, "First Step Act of 2018 Aims to Reform Sentencing Laws," The Legal Intelligencer, February 4, 2019 

Co-author, "Recent Supreme Court Decision Narrows Definition of Whistleblower," The Legal Intelligencer, March 8, 2018 

Co-author, "What's Next after the SEC 'Insider Trading' Breach?" Dark Reading, October 19, 2017 

Co-author, "The SEC's New Enforcement Tool?" Law360, July 12, 2017



Harvard Law School (J.D. 2003)

Haverford College (B.A. 1999, high honors in Economics, Political Science)
Phi Beta Kappa


District of Columbia

New York