George T. Simon

Retired Partner

Overview

George T. Simon is a retired partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP and a former member of the firm's Management Committee. His practice involved the representation of firms in the securities industry, such as exchanges, broker-dealers, investment advisers, banks and investment companies. For these clients Mr. Simon provided both regulatory and strategic advice, especially in the context of business expansion and development of new products such as exchange traded funds. He is founder of the firm’s Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice and guided its expansion since 1991 into one of the largest practices of its kind in the country. Mr. Simon was also chair of the Securities, Commodities & Exchange Regulation Practice and a member of the Transactional & Securities Practice.

Mr. Simon has represented five national securities exchanges, including the NYSE and Amex, as well as the NASD. He also represented many of the world’s largest brokerage firms, banks and technology firms in their securities related matters.

After practicing corporate law in New York City for four years, Mr. Simon joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. as a staff attorney in 1976. His work there principally involved a restructuring of the nation’s securities markets following the 1975 Securities Acts Amendments. Mr. Simon was instrumental in these changes and advanced to branch chief, assistant director and finally associate director of the Division of Market Regulation. He left the SEC in 1981 to become partner in a Chicago law firm where he practiced securities law until joining Foley in 1991.

Representative Experience

  • Instrumental in changing the securities laws to permit stock exchanges to trade unlisted securities and report quotes and trades in a consolidated data stream with Nasdaq
  • Represented the NYSE over a many year period in its dispute with Nasdaq regarding Nasdaq’s spin-off from the NASD
  • Represented Bear Stearns Assets Management and JP Morgan Asset Management in the establishment of the first actively managed exchange traded fund
  • Represented the sponsors of the first currency-based exchange traded funds, CurrencyShares

Thought Leadership

A frequent speaker on securities law issues, Mr. Simon has served on the Executive Committee of the Northwestern University Law School Garrett Institute and has spoken at the Institute, as well as for the Securities Industry Association, the American Law Institute/American Bar Association, the National Association of Compliance Professionals, and the Securities Traders Association. He has also been a guest lecturer for the past several years in Chairman David Ruder’s Advanced Securities Regulation course at Northwestern University Law School.

Mr. Simon, along with Kathryn Trkla, was the author of the definitive article on the regulation of exchange specialists, "The Regulation of Specialists and Implications for the Future," published in the November 2005 issue of the Business Lawyer.

Recognition

Mr. Simon has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and in 2002, was selected as a "BTI Client All-Star" as a result of recommendations by his Fortune 1000 clients for his superior client service skills. He also was selected for inclusion in the 2005-2011 Illinois Super Lawyers® lists.*

Affiliations

Mr. Simon was a member of the Board of Fellows of Trinity College from 1998 to 2002 and served as chair of the Market Regulation Committee of the SEC Historical Society. His oral history covering his tenure at the SEC has been recorded by the SEC Historical Society and is posted on its website.

Education

Mr. Simon received his law degree from The Harvard Law School (J.D., 1972) and his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (B.A., 1969) where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Admissions

Mr. Simon was admitted to the New York Bar in 1973 and to the Illinois Bar in 1982.

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.