Stephen Ratner

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Stephen L. Ratner is a partner in the Litigation Department and co-head of our Financial Services Practice Group. His practice focuses on the representation of banks and other financial services institutions in complex litigations, investigations and enforcement proceedings, arbitrations and mediations, compliance issues, and regulatory controversies involving securities, commodities, and derivative products.

Matters Steve handles include the defense of class actions and other actions involving, for example, high frequency and algorithmic trading, short selling practices, IPO allocations, and data security and privacy issues. He also handles internal investigations and investigations and enforcement proceedings by the SEC, CFTC, Department of Justice, FINRA and other regulators regarding issues such as high frequency and algorithmic trading, market access, securities lending, trade reporting, short selling, electronic communications, and supervision. Steve also represents banks and other financial institutions in fraudulent transfer litigation and other litigation based upon failed LBOs and alleged Ponzi schemes.

Latest Articles

Ruling on Barclays’ motion to dismiss the action brought by the New York Attorney General regarding Barclays’ alternative trading system (“ATS”), Justice Shirley Kornreich suggested that the AG may face substantial hurdles in proving its case, although the Court narrowly upheld the Martin Act claim as a matter of law. The AG based its claim on statements allegedly made to ATS participants regarding restrictions on use of the ATS for certain types of high frequency…
On January 12, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had obtained a $14 million settlement against two exchanges formerly owned by Direct Edge Holdings, EDGA and EDGX (the “Respondent Exchanges”) for their failure to file Exchange Rules that accurately described the order types they offered, and for providing preferential disclosure to certain high frequency traders.  This recovery constitutes the largest penalty ever levied by the SEC against a national securities exchange and…
FINRA’s recently-released Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter for 2015 reflects substantial regulatory interest in high-frequency trading and other issues arising from trading technology.  Regulatory concern over these issues has been previously reported on this blog here and here. The 2015 Letter states that FINRA has adapted its surveillance program to identify potentially violative conduct such as trading by “abusive algorithms” made possible by advances in technology and changes in market structure.  Abusive algorithms, according…
Bringing quantitative analyses to the debate over high-frequency trading, two working papers recently made available by the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis present economic models suggesting that there are market benefits from certain forms of high-frequency and low-latency trading.   In light of the on-going interest in high-frequency trading among various regulators, the recognition of market benefits is an important development. The first paper, Automated Liquidity Provision, by Austin Gerig, an SEC staff economist…
Regulators across markets continue to show interest in high frequency trading and algorithmic trading generally. Recent developments in this area include: On October, 16, 2014, the SEC imposed a $1 million sanction on a high frequency trading firm, Athena Capital Research, which allegedly placed large numbers of rapid-fire orders in the final two seconds of trading to manipulate the closing prices of thousands of NASDAQ-listed stocks. According to the settlement documents, the trading algorithm, code-named…