You Need to Know: Matthew Orwig
|photography by Billy Surface
TITLE: Managing partner of the Dallas office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
DETAILS: Orwig left his job as a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas to open the Dallas office of Sonnenschein in 2007. For years, he’d prosecuted everything from capital murder to securities fraud cases. Now he serves as the national chair for Sonnenschein’s government investigations and litigation group.
WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW HIM: Because he might help you avoid a federal summons or a shareholder revolt.
Whenever an economy turns south, people start looking to assign blame. Orwig says he’s noticed the government is starting to shift its eyes toward hedge funds, which Reuters reported held $1.8 trillion in assets as of September 2007. The number has slipped somewhat (or a heck of a lot) since then—and that’s what investors and Uncle Sam are starting to look at, according to Orwig.
“I think in general, businesses are going to see a much more robust oversight and enforcement of securities laws,” he says. “I think the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] is going to get substantial additional resources, and that’s going to be an active area of law for years to come.”
Orwig says he represents some high-profile Dallas-area clients and often resolves the cases before they hit the headlines. But some of today’s economic mushroom clouds defy quiet resolution, he says. “I think it’s going to be akin to the prosecutions of what we saw in the ’80s, with the savings and loan scandals,” Orwig says.
That trend, he adds, will probably result in more civil and shareholder litigation as well.