Doug Davison

Partner, Washington, D.C.

“With more than 30 years of experience, I focus on investigations and compliance matters, advocating for clients, managing risk and, where required, ensuring the survival of their business. I draw on my experience as a former SEC enforcement supervisor and counsel to a former SEC chairman, and provide calm, pragmatic counselling to clients in the most challenging business situations.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


With more than 30 years of experience, Doug focuses on representing clients in a range of regulatory enforcement and compliance matters, including matters involving insider trading, securities registration, fraud, the FCPA, US economic sanctions, financial reporting, ESG, and disclosures. Doug previously served as counsel to former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. Prior to that, Doug served as a staff attorney and then supervisor in the SEC’s division of enforcement.

Doug has been selected as a leading attorney in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; named as one of Securities Docket’s “Enforcement 40,” a list of the 40 best and brightest individuals in the securities enforcement field; and recognized as a “recommended lawyer” for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense by Legal 500 US.

Work highlights

Doug's recent experience includes advising:

  • numerous individual employees at global financial services firms: representing in regulatory inquiries involving use of personal mobile phones for work.
  • CFO of global food consumer products company: defending in SEC accounting and financial reporting investigation; no enforcement action taken.
  • CEO of broker-dealer: representing in SEC and FINRA investigations involving AML, insider trading and other compliance matters; no enforcement action taken.
  • Numerous corporate and individual clients in FCPA inquiries: defending in SEC and DOJ FCPA investigations of hiring practices in high risk jurisdictions.
  • Leading companies and individuals in digital asset industry: advising a range of digital asset market participants on US securities, AML and sanctions laws, including SEC and DOJ investigations.
  • Numerous individuals and investment advisory firms: defending in SEC insider trading inquiries in which no enforcement actions were taken.
  • Numerous international mining companies: advising on anti-corruption, accounting, internal controls and disclosure matters.

Professional experience

Previously, Doug was chair of the corporate counsel committee of the Washington D.C. Bar's corporation, finance and securities law Section. He has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, where he taught a course on securities regulation. He has also served as a mentor to students of the Pennsylvania State University, the Dickinson School of Law and the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University. Doug has been an active volunteer on behalf of the Children's National Medical Center, and has regularly participated in the Be Brave & Shave initiative, which provides support, raises awareness and assists a blood and marrow transplantation program.

Doug sits on the Board of Advisors to the SEC Historical Society.

Further work highlights include advising:

  • Global financial services companies and their employees: advising on multiple regulatory investigations of potential money laundering, insider trading, supervision, controls and other issues involving international and domestic clients.
  • Global financial services firm: defending on regulatory inquiries regarding supervision of an employee who perpetrated a fraudulent investment scheme; no enforcement action was taken.
  • Global oil and gas company: defending on parallel SEC and DOJ criminal investigations arising from an accident in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Global financial services firm: defending in an CFTC investigation of supervision of a system for processing exchange and clearing fees.
  • U.S. energy construction and engineering company: defending in an SEC investigation of revenue recognition and internal controls.
  • Global financial services firm and employees: defending in SEC, DOJ and CFTC investigations in connection with derivatives trading, internal controls and disclosure issues.
  • General Counsel of State Pension Agency SEC investigation: defending an individual in a SEC investigation into pension disclosures; no enforcement action was taken.
  • Foreign derivatives exchange: defending in an SEC investigation that resulted in a 21(a) report, rather than an enforcement action and civil penalty.
  • Multinational technology company: advising on OFAC-related matters, including securing a business-critical operating license. 

Conferences, Podcasts and Publications:

  • “SEC Enforcement: A Look Back at 2022, and What to Expect in 2023,” Securities Docket Webcast, February 8, 2023
  • Quoted in, “Greenbashing: Investors Take Hits from Left and Right on ESG,” Buyouts Insider, May 1, 2023
  • “An Interview with Linklaters LLP Discussing ESG Engagement & Litigation in United States,” Lexology, February 7, 2023.
  • Doug is a regular speaker on the Linklaters podcast, “The Most Important Issues in Business Crime”

Education and qualifications

Doug holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University.

Doug is a member of the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania State Bars, United States.