Daniel J. Hayes

Daniel Hayes

Dan Hayes, a former supervisory trial counsel at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is an experienced trial attorney who represents clients in government enforcement actions and investigations, internal corporate investigations, securities class actions, and other complex business disputes. Mr. Hayes has more than 25 years of experience prosecuting and defending complex financial and commercial disputes, including more than ten trials and arbitration hearings.

Dan was with the SEC from 2010 to 2023. During his tenure, he led the prosecution of a wide variety of SEC enforcement actions in U.S. district courts and SEC administrative proceedings throughout the country.

Most recently, Dan served as co-head of the trial unit in the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office (CHRO), where he helped supervise and manage all enforcement actions prosecuted by the CHRO. He also was a member of the national trial attorney management team that reported to and consulted with SEC Enforcement Division leadership on litigation, trial, and settlement strategies and practices. Before joining the SEC, Dan was a partner at a large national law firm, where he represented individuals and businesses in commercial litigation in both state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings.


Government Experience

  • Supervisory trial counsel, Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Senior trial attorney, Securities and Exchange Commission

Representative Matters

At the SEC:
  • Supervised the first and only consolidated trial by the SEC and the CFTC against a former hedge fund manager, whom the jury found liable for negligently misrepresenting the fund’s risk management procedures, resulting in the fund suffering a loss of over $700 million
  • Lead counsel for the SEC in enforcement action alleging a German automobile manufacturer and its former CEO defrauded U.S. purchasers of its bonds in connection with the manufacturer’s global emissions fraud scheme
  • Represented the SEC in a six‐week administrative hearing seeking sanctions against public company auditors for committing fraud and engaging in improper professional conduct in connection with numerous audit and review engagements for three separate public companies
  • Represented the SEC in a five‐week jury trial alleging defendants defrauded hundreds of investors in a failed real estate fund. Following the jury verdict in favor of the SEC, the court entered judgment against the defendants, imposing nearly all relief sought by the SEC, including disgorgement, interest, and civil penalties of approximately $20 million
  • Represented the SEC in a four‐week administrative hearing alleging the CEO of a public owner/operator of assisted living facilities filed false and misleading annual and quarterly reports with the SEC
  • Represented the SEC in an insider trading case charging four executives of a public steel company and four of their friends and relatives with illegally purchasing company stock based on their knowledge of the company’s impending acquisition by a Japanese steel company
  • Represented the SEC in multiple enforcement proceedings that arose out of a fraudulent international offering orchestrated by an international hedge fund manager. The matter resulted in four separate enforcement proceedings being brought against the fund manager, his custodian, his U.S. sales representative, a U.S. investment advisor, and a U.S. audit firm and its engagement partner
In Private Practice:
  • Represented a defendant in a suit in which a plaintiff alleged the defendant’s negligence and breach of contract caused a fire and explosion that destroyed the plaintiff’s plant. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on all counts following the trial
  • Represented a plaintiff in a shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, which resulted in judgment in favor of the plaintiff following a multi‐week bench trial
  • Represented a plaintiff alleging a breach of contract to sell a commercial building in Chicago. The court entered a judgment for the plaintiff following a multi‐week bench trial
  • Represented the petitioner, a Tier I automobile supplier, in an arbitration proceeding alleging breach of supply agreement. The arbitrator entered the final award granting the petitioner complete relief following the arbitration hearing
  • Represented the respondent, a Fortune 100 company, in an arbitration proceeding alleging breach of joint venture agreement. Following a multi‐week arbitration hearing, the arbitration panel entered a final decision dismissing the petitioner’s breach of contract claim seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages




  • J.D. magnum cum laude University of Notre Dame Law School 1997
    • Dean's List
  • B.A. Political Science Boston College 1994

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Trial Bar, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois