Adriaen M. Morse Jr.

Direct: +1 (571) 314-5469
Main: +1 (571) 831-9100



LL.M., with distinction, Georgetown University Law Center, 2003

J.D., cum laude, University of Richmond School of Law, 1995

B.S., English, with merit, United States Naval Academy, 1988


District of Columbia, 2003

California, 1997

Virginia, 1995        

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1998

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2007

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1996

United States District Court for the Southern District of California, 1997

United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 2003

United States District Court for the District of Maryland, 2011

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1998

United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 1998

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association (ABA)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

Association of SEC Alumni (ASECA)

Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)


Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Cyber Security Crisis: From the Front Lines of Corporate Law, 31 Ethikos 1 (Jul/Aug 2017).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Before the Government Comes Knocking: From the Front Lines of Corporate Law, 31 Ethikos 9 (May/Jun 2017).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Mini-Roundtable, OFAC Enforcement and Compliance, Risk & Compliance, Jan.-Mar. 2015, at 120.

Adriaen M. Morse Jr. & David S. Karp, Experts in Securities Litigation in Litigators on Experts ch. 10 (Wendy Gerwick Couture & Allyson W. Haynes eds., 2010).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Thomas Hershenson & Akrivi Mazarakis, Cross-Border Regulation of the Financial Markets in Securities Investigations ch. 17 (Richard J. Morvillo ed., 2008).

Joseph I. Goldstein & Adriaen M. Morse Jr., UK Financial Services Authority Provides Superior Due Process To Prospective Respondents When Compared With SEC Process, 38 Sec. Reg. & L. Rep. (BNA) 482 (Mar. 20, 2006), reprinted in 12 World Sec. L. Rep. (BNA) 31 (Apr. 2006).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Breaking the Circle: The Problem of Independent Directors Policing Public Company Financial Disclosure Under the SEC's New Rules Governing Public Company Audit Committees, 23 Ann. Rev. Banking & Fin. L. 673 (2004).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr., Fault: A Viable Means of Re‑Injecting Responsibility in Marital Relations, 30 U. Rich. L. Rev. 605 (1996).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr. & Leila Sayeh, Marriage and Divorce Regulation and Recognition: Tunisia and Islamic Countries, 29 Fam. L. Q. 701 (1995).

Adriaen M. Morse Jr. & Leila Sayeh, Islam and the Treatment of Women: An Incomplete Understanding of Gradualism, 30 Tex. Int'l L.J. 311 (1995).


Throughout his twenty-plus years practicing law, Adriaen has achieved superior results for clients—individuals and companies—in civil litigation, government investigations, criminal prosecutions, internal compliance issues, and a wide variety of other high-stakes matters.

He brings to every case the judgment, knowledge, and skills gained in developing, investigating, and pursuing enforcement actions as a Senior Counsel at the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in representing executives and corporations as a partner at international law firms, and in leading the litigation and compliance departments of Fortune 200 public companies as chief litigation counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer.  This experience informs the strategies he develops and tactics he employs on behalf of clients.

Adriaen has consistently obtained positive results for clients in high-stakes matters such as

  • Civil litigation, including federal and state False Claims Act actions, shareholder class actions, and litigation brought by government agencies;

  • Federal criminal and enforcement investigations and prosecutions alleging business fraud, securities fraud, U.S. False Claims Act violations, or compliance issues; and

  • Arbitration matters, including investment issues involving brokers and financial advisors and arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

For clients contending with government investigations, Adriaen devises legal strategies that avoid litigation and win at trial.  His clients have run the gamut from individuals, public companies, financial services firms, accounting firms, and executives, with matters ranging from investigations and litigation with class action plaintiffs, competing businesses, the SEC, Department of Justice, FINRA, and state securities industry regulators.  Adriaen also proudly served his country as a U.S. Marine, first as an infantry platoon commander and then as a judge advocate.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully concluded a multi-year DOJ investigation involving criminal allegations of multi-million dollar kickbacks, bribes, and false claims that ended in a small, civil settlement.

  • Represented a major corporation in connection with a multi-million dollar False Claims Act qui tam matter which included a decision to intervene by a U.S. Attorney but concluded with a settlement that ended the matter in a manner favorable to the client.

  • Investigated allegations of FCPA fraud and bid-rigging by a foreign subsidiary of a major corporation; implemented remedial measures and appropriately addressed inappropriate conduct by certain employees.

  • Met with Department of Defense suspension and debarment officials and persuaded them that a client was a “responsible government contractor” following the announcement of a securities fraud settlement with the SEC

  • Represented the chairman of Royal Dutch Shell’s Committee of Managing Directors in joint investigations by the DOJ, SEC, and FSA and private securities class action litigation related to a significant restatement of Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves. 

  • Represented the independent consultant for UBS AG in a DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreement and SEC Cease and Desist Order to ensure that UBS executed on undertakings to discontinue providing prohibited services to US taxpayers as stipulated in the relevant agreements.

  • Represented the lead audit partner of a Big Four accounting firm in an SEC investigation into the audit of a large global banking firm’s accounting treatment of certain entities and instruments involving the Argentine financial crisis of 2001.

  • Represented an assistant general counsel of a regional broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation into sales practices involving variable annuities.

  • Represented the chief compliance officer of the broker-dealer subsidiary of a major financial services firm in a FINRA investigation involving late trading and market timing allegations.

  • Represented the chief executive officer of a US-based oil drilling company in a joint DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation into payments made by the company in connection with its operations in Africa and South America.

  • Represented an officer of an Ecuadoran subsidiary of a Swiss company with significant US operations in a joint DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation into payments made by the subsidiary in connection with the award of a major government contract in Ecuador.