Steven (Steve) S. Scholes is the global head of McDermott’s Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on SEC investigations, shareholder litigation, including class and derivative actions, and internal investigations. Steve is an experienced trial lawyer, and he has tried civil, criminal and administrative cases in federal and state courts. He regularly represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and stock, options and futures exchanges. He has served as the global operations partner for the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group and the partner-in-charge of both the Chicago Trial Department and the Firm’s SEC Defense Group.

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  • Represents senior management of PG&E Corporation in shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the San Bruno pipeline rupture
  • Represents a former partner in a private equity firm in an SEC investigation concerning related party transactions the firm entered into with its advisory clients
  • Represents a private equity firm in an SEC investigation concerning the firm’s fees and expenses

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  • Chambers USA, 2020 – 2022, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • Legal 500 US, 2015 to 2019, 2021 to 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2019 to 2021, Litigation – Securities, including 2020 “Lawyer of the Year”

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  • American Bar Association, member of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, as well as the subcommittees on Criminal Laws and Civil Litigation and SEC Enforcement Matters
  • Association of SEC Alumni
  • Chicago Bar Association, past co-chair of the Securities Law Committee (2001-2002) and of the Securities Law Committee’s Subcommittee on SEC Litigation and Enforcement (1999-2000), as well as member of the Futures Law and the Financial and Investment Services committees
  • Board of Advisers of the SEC Historical Society, member

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University of Illinois College of Law, JD, cum laude, 1985
Eastern Illinois University, BA, with highest distinction, 1981


Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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