Brian V. Breheny

Brian V. Breheny

Partner, SEC Reporting and Compliance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Corporate Governance
Brian V. Breheny is co-head of the firm’s SEC Reporting and Compliance practice.


Mr. Breheny concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general corporate and securities matters and advises numerous clients on a full range of SEC reporting, compliance and corporate governance matters, including advising on compliance with the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC’s tender offer rules and regulations, and the federal proxy rules, as well as on ESG-related issues.

He serves as co-chair of Skadden’s global Diversity Committee and previously was a member of the Policy Committee, the firm’s highest governing body.

Prior to joining Skadden in 2010, Mr. Breheny held a number of leadership positions in the Division of Corporation Finance at the SEC, including serving as chief of the Office of Mergers and Acquisitions as well as deputy director, legal and regulatory policy. In his position as chief of the SEC’s Office of Mergers and Acquisitions, Mr. Breheny oversaw the legal and technical aspects of the administration of the Securities Act of 1933 as it related to tender offers and mergers; the proxy, beneficial ownership reporting, tender offer and going-private provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and the rules, regulations, forms and procedures promulgated to implement these statutory provisions. As deputy director, he was a member of the senior staff of the commission with responsibility for the division’s legal and regulatory policy support offices (chief counsel, chief accountant, mergers and acquisitions, international corporate finance, rulemaking, small business policy and enforcement liaison).

Mr. Breheny also assisted the commission with its consideration of significant rule amendments in a number of areas including shareholder director nominations, tender offers, beneficial ownership reporting, electronic delivery of proxy materials, electronic shareholder forums, short sale disclosure, and proxy voting and shareholder communications.

Before joining the SEC, Mr. Breheny worked at another international law firm in its New York and London offices. During his previous seven years in private practice, he advised clients engaged in a broad range of merger and acquisition transactions, securities issuances, private equity investments, banking and public financings, fund formations and corporate reorganizations. Mr. Breheny began his career as a certified public accountant with KPMG LLP.

Mr. Breheny has served as a member of the board of directors of the Society for Corporate Governance, currently serves as chair of the society’s diversity taskforce and has repeatedly been recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors as part of its Directorship 100, a list of the most influential people in and around the boardroom. He has lectured extensively on topics such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and the federal proxy rules, and shareholder voting. Mr. Breheny also has served as an adjunct securities law faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University School of Law. In addition, he is the co-author of Beneficial Ownership Reporting: Schedules 13D and 13G, a treatise published by Bloomberg BNA.

Mr. Breheny has been repeatedly recognized by The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers, Chambers USA — where he is ranked in Band 1 and has been described as “absolutely at the top of the food chain” — and The Best Lawyers in America, which named him its 2024 Washington, D.C. Securities / Capital Markets Law Lawyer of the Year. He also has been honored as a Corporate Governance Thought Leader by Who’s Who Legal and repeatedly named to Lawdragon’s list of 500 Leading Dealmakers in America. Additionally, Mr. Breheny has been recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting Group and elected as a fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel.



  • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law, 1996 (cum laude; Editor, St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary; Member, New York International Law Review)
  • B.S., St. John’s University, 1990 (President’s Society, University’s highest honor)


  • New York
  • District of Columbia


  • Chairman (2012-2015) and Vice Chairman (2010-2011; 2016-2017), Proxy Statements and Business Combinations, Subcommittee, Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, American Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society
  • Chair, Diversity Taskforce, Society for Corporate Governance
  • Member, Board of Directors, Society for Corporate Governance (2016-2020)
  • Member (2011-2020), President (2015-2017) and Treasurer (2013-2015), Board of Directors, Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni, Inc.
  • Member, Advisory Board, Annual Institute on Securities Regulation and The SEC Institute, Practising Law Institute
  • Member, Executive Committee, Securities Regulation Institute, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Member, Board of Advisors,
  • Member, Washington, D.C. Steering Committee, Williams Institute, UCLA Law School
  • Member, Washington, D.C. Leadership Committee, Lambda Legal
  • Member, Board of Directors and Finance Committee, Treasurer, The National LGBT Bar Association (2012-2015)
  • Member, St. John’s University Board of Governors (2006-2017)
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Fair Chance DC
  • Secretary, Board of Directors, Children’s Law Center


  • Certified Public Accountant

Government Service

  • Deputy Director, Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (2007-2010)
  • Chief, Office of Mergers and Acquisitions, Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (2003-2007)

Brian V. Breheny

Partner, SEC Reporting and Compliance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Corporate Governance