Amelia A. Cottrell is Co-Chair of the Securities Enforcement Practice Group and a partner in the Litigation Department. Amelia is frequently sought by companies for her extensive experience in a range of securities enforcement proceedings and also often represents individual clients in high-stakes securities matters, including criminal and regulatory investigations. Chambers USA has ranked Amelia among the leading SEC Enforcement practitioners nationwide, where clients have described her as “extremely effective” and “[a]n outstanding lawyer.”

Drawing on her experience as co-head of Enforcement in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York office, Amelia not only represents public companies, private entities, and individuals in connection with SEC and other government inquiries, investigations, and actions, but also counsels clients on compliance matters including in connection with SEC examinations. Amelia’s decade at the SEC in the New York Regional Office and her sterling reputation across the Enforcement Division is widely recognized by and sought after by clients and peers across the breadth of securities-related enforcement and regulatory government-facing matters.



Immediately prior to joining Willkie in 2015, Amelia served as Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office. As one of the top enforcement officials at the SEC’s New York office, Amelia oversaw and managed SEC investigations and enforcement actions and was responsible for directing the New York Regional Office’s enforcement program. She had oversight responsibility for approximately half of the New York office’s investigations and litigations, supervising a large team of attorneys, investigators, accountants and paralegals.

Amelia's articles include:

  • “Don’t Call It a Comeback: The SEC’s Continued Pursuit of ‘Broken Windows,’” The Investment Lawyer (April 2019) (with Benjamin Haskin)
  • “Context Makes a Difference: SEC Loses Controversial Case,” The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (June 2016) (with Mary Eaton, Elizabeth Gray, Benjamin Haskin, James Anderson and Juliet Mun)
  • “Will the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Proposed Changes to Administrative Proceedings Quiet Critics?” The Investment Lawyer (December 2015) (with William Stellmach, Elizabeth Gray and Katherine Hanniford)
  • "SEC Attempts To Address Due Process Concerns," Law360 (September 2015) (with Elizabeth Gray) 

Amelia's speaking engagements include:

  • “White Collar Litigation Trends,” New York City Bar Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute
  • “SEC Enforcement – Do Alternative Asset Managers have their Act together?” Duff & Phelps New York Alternative Investments Conference
  • “Hot Topics in SEC Enforcement: The SEC Gets Tougher - Inside the Wells Process,” New York City Bar
  • “Regulatory Enforcement Trends,” International Conference on Private Investment Funds (London, U.K.)
  • “Career Moves: Strategies and Pathways” New York City Bar
  • Representing a publicly-traded precision medicine company in DOJ and SEC investigations concerning allegations of improper billing practices, and improper financial reporting and disclosure.
  • Representing the former Chief Accounting Officer of a software company in an SEC investigation concerning accounting disclosure, revenue recognition and reporting, and insider trading.
  • Represented a Big Four accounting firm in an SEC investigation relating to financial reporting and disclosure issues by its Fortune 50 client related to several high-profile accounting issues. The SEC investigation was terminated with no action against our client.
  • Represented a registered broker-dealer in connection with an SEC investigation concerning the operation of a ground-breaking ATS for NMS and blockchain securities. Obtained a favorable non-fraud settlement for certain Regulation ATS rules.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a public company board in connection with whistleblower allegations of fraud, nepotism and violations of corporate gifting policies by certain employees.
  • Represented an investment adviser and its founder in connection with an SEC investigation concerning public representations and compliance with investment adviser and investment company rules and regulations. The investigation was closed with no action.
  • Represented the investment banking arm of a global financial institution in an SEC investigation into bond and complex derivative portfolio valuation practices following whistleblower allegations which was terminated with no action.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for the audit committee of a foreign technology company relating to potential accounting issues.
  • Conducted a multi-national internal investigation for a large international financial institution concerning compliance with U.S. financial reporting regulations.
  • Counselling investment advisers, funds, broker-dealers and financial entities in connection with marijuana-related businesses.



University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1998 Williams College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1995

Bar Admissions

New York Illinois (inactive)

Court Admissions

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York United States District Court, Southern District of New York