Michael J. Watling is a partner in the firm’s Securities Enforcement and Regulation practice. He joined King & Spalding after almost seven years at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority where he served as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Department of Enforcement.
Prior to joining FINRA, Michael was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division where he was lead trial counsel in matters concerning tax fraud, tax shelter promotors, mortgage fraud, money laundering, and other white-collar offenses.
While at FINRA, Michael acted as lead trial counsel in many of FINRA’s most complex and programmatically important litigated matters and led dozens of matters from investigation through contested disciplinary proceedings concerning, among other things, securities fraud, market manipulation, AML and supervision failures, and a wide range of sales practice violations.
Previously, Michael served as a Deputy Associate Counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel during the administration of President Barack Obama. While at the White House, Michael vetted presidential appointees and counseled the president and vice president on tax-related matters. Michael started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, New York.