Pollack Center for Law & Business

The Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED) tracks and records information for SEC enforcement actions filed against public companies traded on major U.S. exchanges and their subsidiaries. Created by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business in cooperation with Cornerstone Research, SEED facilitates the analysis and reporting of SEC enforcement actions through regular updates of new filings and settlement information for ongoing enforcement actions. The variables tracked include defendant names and types, violations, venues, and resolutions. 

Our goal is to shed light on the SEC’s securities law enforcement decisions.  SEED is the first public database to provide easily searchable and verified data to researchers, counsel, and corporations, as well as regular reports on developments and trends.
-- Professor Stephen Choi, Director of the Pollack Center for Law & Business.

Public Company-Related SEC ActionsPublic Company-Related SEC Actions FY 2010-1H FY 2017 (May 9, 2017)

This report may be viewed here.  Key takeaways from 1H FY 2017 include:

  • The SEC filed 44 new enforcement actions against public companies and their subsidiaries (public company–related defendants) in the first half of fiscal year 2017, in line with the number of actions brought in the first half of fiscal year 2016.
  • Despite recent criticism, the SEC continued to bring the vast majority of actions as administrative proceedings.
  • Issuer Reporting and Disclosure continued to be the most frequent type of allegation against public company–related defendants.
  • From FY 2010 through the first half of FY 2017, the top 10 monetary settlements imposed in public company–related actions totaled over $3.4 billion.
  • The largest monetary settlement in the first half of FY 2017 involved allegations related to Investment Advisor/Investment Companies.
  • In the first half of FY 2017, 63 percent of public company–related defendants cooperated with the SEC.
  • Manufacturing accounted for 40 percent of public company–related defendants in the first half of FY 2017.
  • Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate was the second most common industry, representing 38 percent of public company–related defendants in the first half of FY 2017.

Prior SEED and Cornerstone Research Reports 


This project is a collaboration between these organizations:

NYU Law Logo NYU Stern logo Cornerstone Logo

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Pollack Center for Law & Business 

For press inquiries about NYU, please contact Michael Orey at Michael.Orey@nyu.edu.

For information about this site, including access for academic scholars, please contact law.seed@nyu.edu.


Cornerstone Research 

For press inquiries about Cornerstone Research, please contact Terri Viera at tviera@cornerstone.com.

For information about Cornerstone Research materials on this site, please contact sec_research@cornerstone.com.


SEED Research Report 

To view the recently released report on SEC Enforcement Activity Against Public Companies and Their Subsidiaries, please click here.