Charles J. Hecht
Charles J. Hecht
Mr. Hecht has over 50 years of experience in providing innovative solutions to complex issues involving businesses, court cases and arbitrations. After serving as an infantry officer, Mr. Hecht was trained as a tax lawyer. His tax and auditing experience led to being an attorney analyst with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance at its headquarters in Washington DC, reviewing registration statements and merger proxies. With this background, he initially specialized in representing clients in raising money and solving complex problems. When his clients and others were faced with enforcement actions by the SEC and CFTC or civil actions, his firm’s practice expanded to representing companies and individuals in governmental enforcement actions. His firm’s SEC transactional practice further expanded into representing parties in securities litigations and arbitrations, with over 70 reported decisions.
A number of his cases and representations have created new law including: (i) a case resulting in Congress modifying the anti-fraud provisions of the securities acts to permit private rights of action against municipalities; (ii) a case expanding the appropriate measure of damages for suits against accounting firms for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty; (iii) the first case against an accounting firm establishing liability for something other than failure to disclose referral fees recommendations in a case involving the negligent recommendation of a professional money manager; (iv) a case in which an arbitration award was vacated on the basis that the arbitrators exceeded their authority when they failed to make findings of fact and conclusions of law required under the arbitration agreement; and (v) other cases involving unique and complex issues which modified existing law.
While at the SEC, he was asked to write an article for public companies and lawyers regarding a new way to structure the payment provisions concerning future operations and coined the term “earn-out.” In the follow-up article, he created the term “certificate of contingent interest” as the payment mechanism.
He is a regular speaker for the Smart Pros division of Kaplan Educational Services, focusing on securities issues affecting financial professionals. He has also lectured for the McGill University Graduate Business School on earn-outs and new merger developments under U.S. law and for the New York State Bar Association CLE programs on securities arbitrations, helping new lawyers establish their own law firm, and various other topics.
Copies of these opinions and other opinions in which Mr. Hecht was the lead counsel, and numerous articles he has written for professional publications, are available upon request.