Philip S. Khinda is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Mr. Khinda is a leading advisor to public companies, corporate boards, special committees, private equity firms, and other financial institutions dealing with corporate crises and related government investigations and litigation. Mr. Khinda’s leadership of the CalPERS Special Review, its fee recovery of over $200 million for the nation’s largest state pension fund, and its public report on pay-to-play and public corruption issues are notable representative efforts. He has also successfully represented clients in connection with many of the most significant securities matters over the last 20 years, including investigations and litigation involving Rite Aid, Enron, Adelphia, Global Crossing, AOL Time Warner, UBS and JPMorgan, among others, appearing before US and international securities regulators on their behalf. While Mr. Khinda has served as successor and settlement counsel for a variety of clients, no corporation or individual that he has represented from the outset of an investigation has ever been sued by the SEC or indicted.
Internal Investigations and Governance Matters. In addition to CalPERS, Mr. Khinda’s other investigative engagements include his service as special counsel to the board of the Bank One funds (now JPMorgan), whose investment adviser was named in the New York Attorney General’s first mutual fund market timing complaint, and the board of the AmSouth Funds, whose adviser was “Adviser A” in the SEC’s landmark action against BISYS Fund Services and others for mutual fund marketing kickbacks. The vast majority of his other special counsel and board engagements remain, by their nature, confidential. However, his work, later made public, is now reflected in two business school case studies (“Doing the Right Thing” on the Bank One market timing matter, and a Columbia Business School study on CalPERS).
White-Collar and Regulatory Defense. Mr. Khinda regularly defends public companies and institutions, officers and directors, regulated entities, and others in matters before the SEC, federal and state prosecutors, and other regulatory authorities. He is well-known for the many government investigations and inquiries he has resolved for clients without any charges ever being filed, or any public disclosure of the government’s interest ever being made. Those clients include a broad group of public companies, asset managers, corporate executives and public figures.
Diversity of Experience. Earlier in his career, Mr. Khinda served with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and, earlier still, with Morgan Stanley & Company in New York. For the last 15 years, Mr. Khinda has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, and published and taught on financial reporting and accounting, corporate governance, crisis management, securities regulation, and SEC enforcement matters. He is a frequent public speaker on these topics, and his work and legal commentary have been covered widely by the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, CNBC, and Bloomberg, among others. He also advises multinational companies listed in the US on matters involving their operations, transactions and other issues overseas, particularly in Europe and Asia.
Mr. Khinda also actively supports Steptoe’s pro bono program. As publicly reported, he led a team of lawyers that investigated allegations of a “fight club” instigated by counselors at a summer camp jointly run by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. He also represented and protected the victim in high-profile date rape proceedings at a prominent university, and prevented a woman raising several of her grandchildren from being evicted from public housing following claims, later dropped, that drug crimes were being committed by others in her unit.
Born in New York to parents of Indian and Swiss descent, Mr. Khinda is a member of the firm’s Multicultural Attorneys Group and a member of its Diversity Committee. He is also a member of the DC Bar’s Global Legal Practice Task Force, and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the SEC Historical Society.
Mr. Khinda is co-head of the firm’s SEC enforcement practice, and leads Steptoe’s corporate governance and crisis management practices. He also serves as vice chair of the ABA’s Corporate Governance Committee, and as chair of its Special Committees and Investigations Subcommittee. Securities Docket named him to its inaugural “Enforcement 40,” a list of the 40 leading securities enforcement defense attorneys in the country. He is also a fellow in the American College of Governance Counsel. Mr. Khinda splits his time between the firm’s New York and Washington offices.