Elizabeth L. Howe

ELIZABETH (“Betsy”) HOWE is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Howe’s principal areas of practice include representing U.S. and foreign accounting firms in enforcement proceedings by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and in private securities litigation. Ms. Howe also represents individual and corporate clients in white collar criminal matters, government enforcement actions, and internal investigations. Ms. Howe’s matters have involved a range of issues, including revenue recognition, management estimates (including loan loss reserves and returns reserves), impairment, internal controls over financial reporting, financial statement disclosures, accounting and financial statement fraud, retail accounting, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and criminal sentencing. Ms. Howe currently serves as President of the Washington Council of Lawyers and Chair of the Pro Bono Committee for Sidley’s Washington, D.C. office.

Representative Matters

Represent Chinese “Big Four” accounting firm in multiple SEC investigations involving alleged fraud and financial statement misstatements at U.S. issuer clients and at July 2013 SEC administrative hearing regarding production of documents to the SEC from China.
Represent Chinese “Big Four” accounting firm in putative securities fraud class action involving U.S. issuer client. Motion to dismiss granted with prejudice.
Represent Hong Kong “Big Four” accounting firm in putative securities fraud class action and other litigation involving U.S. issuer client.
Represent “Big Four” accounting firms, partners, and employees in multiple SEC and other investigations and enforcement proceedings regarding revenue recognition, management estimates (including loan loss reserves and returns reserves), impairment, financial statement disclosures, and internal controls over financial reporting.
Represent publicly-traded retailer in settled SEC enforcement action regarding vendor allowance payments and credits.
Represent broker-dealer subsidiary of publicly-traded financial services firm in FINRA arbitration involving alleged SOX whistleblower retaliation.
Represent “Big Four” accounting firm in breach of contract litigation related to consulting services.
United States v. Acevedo Vila: Served on the trial team representing the former Governor of Puerto Rico in connection with campaign finance, honest services fraud, and tax charges. Fifteen counts dismissed prior to trial, and jury acquittal on all nine remaining counts.
Represent former CEO of NASDAQ-listed software company in criminal securities fraud proceedings and related matters.
Represent pharmaceutical corporation in connection with a federal grand jury investigation, criminal proceedings and False Claims Act litigation regarding product diversion fraud scheme.
Conduct internal investigations and pre-acquisition due diligence reviews pertaining to potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Conduct internal investigation for public company retailer.
Represent telecommunications carrier in connection with multi-district litigation and state regulatory investigations regarding alleged participation in NSA terrorist surveillance programs.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Accountants/Professional Service Firms Liability, 2) Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory and 3) White Collar: Government Litigation & Investigations
Law School Harvard Law School, J.D., 2003
Education Harvard University, A.B., 2000
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association
Most recent firm Sidley Austin LLP
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