Stuart J. Kaswell


Stuart J. Kaswell, JD, Esq., is an internationally-known financial services attorney with extensive legislative and regulatory experience. Professor Kaswell began his career as an attorney at the Division of Market Regulation, now the Division of Trading and Markets, at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the SEC, he worked on the registration and regulation of clearing agencies and transfer agents.Professor Kaswell also had responsibility for oversight of the over-the-counter market, including the National Association of Securities Dealers, now called FINRA. After nearly seven years, he left the SEC and became Minority (Republican) Counsel, for the Committee on Energy & Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. In that role he had primary staff responsibility for financial services legislation, including Congress’s enactment of the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act. 

After 10 years of public service, Professor Kaswell became a senior associate at Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts—now Pillsbury Winthrop. He advised domestic and international clients on financial services legislation and regulation. Professor Kaswell left private law practice, and the Securities Industry Association (SIA)—now SIFMA—appointed him senior vice president and general counsel. In his role as chief legal officer, he worked on legislation such as the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the National Securities Markets Improvements Act. He also worked on operational issues, such as the conversion of the securities markets to decimals, preparing for Y2K, and shortening the settlement cycle. Professor Kaswell left SIA after nearly ten years and returned to private practice as a partner and chair of the broker-dealer practice at Dechert LLP. He represented a stock exchange, a foreign securities depository, broker-dealers, a mutual fund complex, and investment advisers. He continued his practice briefly as a partner at Bryan Cave—now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

In 2008 as the financial crisis unfolded,Professor Kaswell again left private practice to become executive vice president and managing director and general counsel of the Managed Funds Association. Professor Kaswell was deeply involved in crafting portions of the Dodd Frank Act that led to regulation of hedge fund managers, as well as working on the subsequent implementing rules at the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He performed a similar function in Europe with the EU’s enactment and implementation of the AIFMD and EMIR. 

During his career, Professor Kaswell testified frequently before Congress and before the European Securities Markets Authority. He has worked with senior financial regulators in many countries. The financial and mainstream press have quoted him often and he appeared on TV and radio programs to discuss financial services issues.

Since retiring in 2018, Professor Kaswell continues to write extensively and provides legal counsel and consulting services. 

Professor Kaswell graduated from Vassar College with general and departmental honors in political science.He earned his JD from the Washington College of Law at American University. He is admitted to the bars of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia (inactive status). He is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and various other federal courts.