Practice Areas
  • Business and Financial Crimes
  • Government Investigations
  • Internal Investigations
  • Banking Litigation
  • Law clerk to Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2000-01
  • J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, 2000, North Carolina Law Review
  • B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1992
Bar & Court Admissions
  • North Carolina
    District of Columbia
    U.S. Supreme Court
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
    U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
    U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina

David Smyth

Photo of David  Smyth
Of Counsel
1600 Wells Fargo Capitol Center
150 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
T: (919) 573-6218
F: (336) 232-9218


David Smyth’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and representation in response to government enforcement proceedings by federal and state authorities. Mr. Smyth also conducts internal corporate investigations and advises individuals and corporations, including broker-dealers, on compliance with securities laws and the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.

Mr. Smyth served on the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for six years, ultimately as Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement. While at the SEC, he led a team of attorneys in the investigation and litigation of cases involving the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In doing so, he coordinated SEC actions with related criminal investigations by the Department of Justice, including those by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Smyth was also instrumental in establishing and managing the Enforcement Division’s Office of Market Intelligence, created in the wake of the Bernard Madoff scandal to revamp the SEC’s process for receiving and analyzing tips regarding potential violations of the federal securities laws.

Recent representative matters include:

  • Lead counsel for individual in connection with SEC investigation into alleged Ponzi scheme; client was not charged with misconduct;
  • Lead counsel for individual in connection with investigation into forex trading by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; matter was resolved privately and without public charges;
  • Lead counsel for a defendant in a major civil and criminal insider trading matter;
  • Represent an individual corporate officer in an SEC financial fraud matter;
  • Represent a number of businesses in litigation regarding interest rate swap derivatives;
  • Provide ongoing advice to private fund regarding compliance with the Investment Advisers Act.

Prior to his work at the SEC, Mr. Smyth was an associate at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he focused on complex litigation.  

Seminars & Speaking Engagements


Honors & Awards

  • SEC Law and Policy Award—2011
  • SEC Business Processes Award—2011
  • SEC Enforcement Division Director’s Awards—2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association, 2011-
  • Member, North Carolina Bar Association, 2011-
  • Member, Wake County Bar Association, 2011-