David L. Kornblau


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Covington & Burling LLP
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018-1405
Tel: 212.841.1084





  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1986
    • cum laude
    • Harvard Law Review, Member, Board of Editors
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1983
    • cum laude
    • Physics

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Charles Merrill, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1986-1987

Bar Admissions

  • New York

David Kornblau, co-chair of the firm’s Securities Enforcement practice group, represents clients in complex investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators and law-enforcement authorities, related litigation, and internal investigations.  His clients include financial services firms, public companies, senior executives, and traders.

As a former head of the SEC Enforcement Division’s nationwide litigation program, Mr. Kornblau uses his in-depth knowledge of the agency’s internal workings and personnel to help clients successfully navigate sensitive investigations.  At the same time, as a former senior member of a sophisticated in-house legal department, he knows the importance of handling matters cost-effectively, communicating clearly and concisely, and keeping a keen eye on the client’s key strategic objectives.

Before joining Covington in 2009, Mr. Kornblau was a Managing Director and the Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Merrill Lynch, where he oversaw the firm’s responses to all regulatory and law-enforcement investigations.  From 2000 to 2005, he served as Chief Litigation Counsel of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement during the “Enron Era” of large-scale corporate investigations and heightened enforcement activity.  From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Kornblau litigated and tried numerous cases as an SEC trial attorney.  He also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in a criminal securities fraud prosecution.

Mr. Kornblau won the Burton Award for Legal Achievement in 2013, and was ranked by Chambers USA in 2012 and 2013 as a leading practitioner in securities enforcement (nationwide).  A frequent writer and speaker on current securities enforcement topics, he is also regularly cited as an authority by the national news media.

Representative Matters

  • Achieved a highly favorable settlement for the New York Stock Exchange in a widely reported SEC action involving the exchange’s dissemination of market data.  No fraud or intentional wrongdoing was alleged, and no individuals were charged.
  • Represented a large regional bank in an SEC inquiry concerning its mortgage loan repurchase reserve.  The SEC took no action against our client.
  • Represented a global technology company in an SEC investigation of its revenue recognition practices.  The SEC took no action against our client.
  • Represented a major investment bank in CFTC, SEC, and CBOE inquiries arising from the "flash crash" on May 6, 2010.  The SEC took no action against our client.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a major investment bank in a FINRA investigation of alleged large proprietary wash sales.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a financial services firm into an alleged retaliatory discharge by its chief compliance officer.
  • Represented a head subprime mortgage trader and other mortgage trading desk employees of several major investment banks in investigations by the SEC, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the New York Attorney General’s Office, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.  No charges were brought against any of our clients.

Honors and Rankings

  • Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2013)
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers, Securities/Regulation/Enforcement (2012 and 2013)
  • New York Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation (2013)
  • Legal 500 US, Litigation - Securities and White-collar Criminal Defense (2012)

Pro Bono

  • Co-lead counsel for the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania in a federal court action seeking to stop the unconstitutional treatment of mentally ill prisoners in Pennsylvania state correctional institutions.

Publications and Speeches

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