Colleen P. Mahoney

Colleen P. Mahoney

Partner, Securities Enforcement; Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime
Colleen P. Mahoney heads the firm’s Securities Enforcement practice, and regularly represents financial services firms, corporations, their boards, board committees, officers, directors and employees in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other law enforcement investigations.


Ms. Mahoney assists management and boards of directors performing internal investigations, often advising clients on preventive and remedial measures before and after securities-related issues arise.

Ms. Mahoney has been the lead attorney representing many of the company boards and individuals embroiled in signature SEC investigations. Her clients have included many well-known U.S. and foreign companies. As is frequently the case with SEC enforcement matters, the biggest victories are the ones that never become public – the government investigations and inquiries that are put to rest before charges are filed or an indictment is issued, or even before a public disclosure of the government interest. Ms. Mahoney has succeeded in bringing a number of matters to a close in those circumstances.

Prior to joining Skadden, Ms. Mahoney spent 15 years in increasingly senior positions with the SEC, serving as acting general counsel of the agency and as deputy director of the division of enforcement. During her tenure at the SEC, Ms. Mahoney helped manage a civil law enforcement program that addressed a wide range of issues, including financial fraud and disclosure, asset management issues, derivatives and insider trading.

Ms. Mahoney frequently lectures on securities regulatory and enforcement issues at seminars and conferences in the U.S.

Ms. Mahoney has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in which clients describe her as the “lion of the Bar,” The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America and The Best Lawyers in America. She also was named Best Lawyers’ 2022 Washington, D.C. Corporate Compliance Law Lawyer of the Year and its 2021 Washington, D.C. Corporate Governance Law Lawyer of the Year, as well as one of Law360’s 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law in 2016. Since 2012, she has been recognized as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation and she also previously was named to the shortlist of the nation’s top women regulatory lawyers by Chambers USA. Additionally, Ms. Mahoney has been included in Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Lawyers list.



  • J.D., American University, 1981 (summa cum laude)
  • B.A., American University School of Government and Public Administration, 1978 (magna cum laude)


  • District of Columbia

Government Service

  • Acting General Counsel, Securities and Exchange Commission (1998)
  • Deputy Director, Division of Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission (1994-1998)
  • Executive Assistant to the Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (1993-1994)


  • Lecturer, Practising Law Institute

Colleen P. Mahoney

Partner, Securities Enforcement; Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime