Donald S. Davidson

Donald S. Davidson: Attorney with Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP (2041 Attorneys)
  • 4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3000, San Francisco, CA 94111-5983
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Donald S. Davidson focuses his practice on representing broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment companies. He represents clients in litigation and in regulatory inquiries involving the SEC, FINRA and its predecessors, Department of Justice (DOJ), state securities regulators, and foreign securities regulators. These matters include municipal finance, market timing, insider trading, revenue sharing, and issues arising under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Investment Company Act of 1940, various state blue-sky statutes, and SRO rules. He also advises clients on compliance and risk management issues.

Before entering private practice, Don served as Deputy General Counsel at UBS Financial Services Inc. for six years. At UBS, Don managed the Private Client Litigation Group, which handled litigation arising from the firm’s nationwide retail branches. He also advised business clients at UBS on risk management, best practices, and changes in the legal and regulatory environment.

Don also formerly served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where he handled complex white collar crime cases and trained new federal prosecutors. He also taught trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and served as a special instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.


•Financial services litigation
•Complex commercial litigation
•Financial services regulatory/compliance
•White collar, regulatory defense and internal investigations

Recognition & Leadership

Awards & Accolades

•Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Securities Regulation, 2018-2019
•Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms Edition, Law Firm of the Year, Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
•Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Securities Litigation - Defense, 2016

Areas of Practice (6)

  • Securities Litigation
  • White Collar Defense & Special Investigations
  • Financial Regulatory & Compliance
  • Trial Practice
  • Regulatory & Compliance
  • Banking & Financial Services

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
415.655.1317  Phone
415.707.2010  Fax
University Attended:
State University of New York, B.A., magna cum laude, 1980
Law School Attended:
Rutgers School of Law - Newark, J.D.
Year of First Admission:
1984, New York; Nevada; 1985, New Jersey; 2004, California

Professional & Community Involvement

•Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
•Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
•Member, New York State Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee
•Former Member, Securities Industry Association (now SIFMA), Arbitration Committee
•Former Member, NASD (now FINRA), National Arbitration and Mediation Committee
•Former Co-Chair, American Bar Association, Securities Arbitration Subcommittee, Committee on Business and Corporate Litigation, Section of Business Law

Reported Cases:
Experience: Financial Services Litigation Representative Experience: Represented a major broker dealer in litigation arising from the short sale of some restricted securities.; Served as national counsel for a major investment bank and broker dealer in its collateralized debt obligation and auction rate securities litigation.; White Collar, Regulatory Defense And Internal Investigations Representative Experience: Assisted a leading international bank with a highly sensitive regulatory matter in Asia.; Represented a market maker in connection with a FINRA investigation involving allegations of inflated trade reporting.; Represented a top investment bank and broker-dealer in connection with litigation arising from alleged research analyst conflicts of interest.; Represented the former COO of a major consumer goods company in an insider trading investigation.; Represented a major investment bank and one of its equity analysts in an SEC investigation relating to potential insider trading at a pharmaceutical company.; Represented a top-tier broker-dealer in connection with a variable annuity sales practice investigation conducted by FINRA.; Defended a consumer class action against a regional bank raising claims of undisclosed foreign currency transaction fees.; Represented a leading clearing firm in a criminal investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.; Led due diligence teams in reviewing the regulatory, compliance, and litigation profiles of several potential acquisition targets by a large broker-dealer.; Represented an institutional investment adviser in an SEC enforcement investigation under the Investment Advisers Act.; Represented an institutional investment adviser in an SEC investigation regarding private equity funds and fund managers.; Represented an investment bank in an SEC enforcement investigation regarding the default of some municipal securities.; Represented a national broker dealer in fending off multiple regulatory investigations focused on the sale of auction rate securities.; Represented a senior investment banker in connection with alleged CTR violations.; Represented a regional bank in connection with AML issues arising in a whistleblower suit.; Represented a major investment bank in an SEC IPO/spinning investigation.; Defended numerous FINRA Dispute Resolution arbitration claims for various broker-dealers.; The above representations were handled by Mr. Davidson prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.; Legal Experience: Deputy General Counsel, Senior Vice President, UBS Financial Services, Inc., 1996-2003; Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Newark, NJ, 1987-1996; Deputy Chief, Criminal Division, 1992-1996; Special Prosecutions Division, 1989-1992; Criminal Division, 1987-1989; Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney's Office, 1983-1986

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