Adrienne Dawn Gurley

Adrienne Gurley

Adrienne Gurley represents individuals and companies in internal investigations, compliance matters, and enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA), and other government and self-regulatory agencies. With a legal career spanning years in private practice and service with the SEC and DOJ, Adrienne has first-hand knowledge of the techniques and strategies employed by regulators and law enforcement officials. Her experience as in-house counsel in the financial services sector gives her invaluable insight into the needs of registered investment advisors (RIAs), broker-dealers, and other industry players.

Prior to joining Venable, Adrienne served as senior counsel for a large financial institution, where she was the head of litigation for the private bank. Adrienne focused on conducting internal investigations and advising the enterprise on fraud, regulatory, ethics, compliance, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), data and privacy governance, and global employee relations matters. Prior to this, she was senior counsel at the SEC, where she investigated and prosecuted federal securities law violations, including market manipulation, EB-5 visa program fraud, cryptocurrency, financial fraud, cybersecurity and data breach, offering fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and insider trading.

Adrienne was an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office, where she represented the United States in briefing 12 cases and presenting four appellate oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In addition, she served as lead prosecutor in 57 criminal trials, including 15 felony jury trials, in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Earlier in her career, she was an associate at an international law firm, where she represented pharmaceutical companies and technology companies in complex false labeling, unfair competition, and patent infringement cases.


Government Experience

  • Senior Counsel, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia

Representative Matters

At the SEC:
  • Investigated and settled a matter that resulted in the SEC entering into the first-ever deferred prosecution agreement with an individual in an insider trading case in exchange for cooperation
  • Investigated a $72 million EB-5 offering fraud and served as co-counsel in obtaining a temporary restraining order and court-appointed receiver after the SEC brought charges against the company and individuals
  • Investigated a complex market manipulation case where the SEC charged two individuals with microcap fraud




  • Certificate Securities and Financial Law Georgetown University Law Center 2017
  • J.D. Howard University School of Law 2008
  • M.A. John Jay College of Criminal Justice 2004
  • B.A. Economics and Philosophy Columbia University 2002

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc.