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Adriaen Morse


Adriaen Morse is the ultimate Washington insider. And yet, “Washington insider” is not how you’d think to describe him. He has the legal acumen to guide clients through complex enforcement, compliance, or white-collar criminal matters, combined with the empathy to demystify a stressful situation.

Adriaen works on behalf of public companies and regulated entities as well as their executives. With experience at the SEC, as in-house compliance and litigation counsel, and in private practice, Adriaen brings a nuanced and comprehensive approach to each matter.

Experience on all sides of enforcement

Because he worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Adriaen doesn’t just know the regulations, he understands the process. He is able to help shape the narrative and work with the agency to gain favorable outcomes for his clients.

For example, he represented the chair of a multinational oil and gas corporation in a matter involving various U.S. and international agencies, enforcement actions, and litigation. Not only did the matter end with no charges against his client, it also led to the SEC modifying a rule on the accounting treatment of proved oil and gas reserves. This case illustrates Adriaen’s attention to detail and consistent advocacy for his client over several years on multifaceted issues.

As in-house compliance and litigation counsel, Adriaen led companies through regulatory hurdles in major mergers, investigations, and compliance issues. He has helped create and implement global compliance plans from the ground up and understands the consistent follow-up needed well after the plan is in place.

Adriaen’s experience as in-house counsel also gave him a keen appreciation for predictability in a legal budget. He knows how important it is for outside counsel to communicate frequently and clearly about not only the legal issues, but also about the process and costs.

Client-centered service

Adriaen founded SECIL Law to bring together excellent attorneys with large law, government, and solo practice experience who are all committed to client-centered representation.

Adriaen’s colleagues identify him as the one who will tackle behind-the-scenes tasks to ensure the firm is best serving clients. He developed this work ethic and commitment to—as he puts it— “doing things the right way” early in his career. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, he served for a decade in the U.S. Marine Corps, first as an infantry officer, then as a Judge Advocate. As a Marine, he honed his attention to detail and the ability to empathize with people from all walks of life.

Clients turn to Adriaen when they need sophisticated representation with a human touch.

  • L.L.M. with distinction, Securities and Financial Regulation, Georgetown University Law Center
  • J.D. cum laude, University of Richmond School of Law
  • B.S. with merit, English, United States Naval Academy
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Best Lawyers, Recognized since 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Rated AV-Preeminent
  • SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence
  • Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Prior to founding SECIL Law, Adriaen was a partner and counsel in the DC offices of several large, multinational firms, including Mayer Brown and Crowell & Moring. He also co-founded Murphy & McGonigle, now part of Davis Wright Tremaine. Adriaen also brings several years of in-house experience as litigation and compliance counsel, first building a compliance program from the ground up with CSC (now DXC Technology) and serving as its chief litigation counsel, then serving as chief compliance officer and chief litigation counsel for CSRA Inc. (now part of GDIT). Serving first as a Marine Corps infantry officer, Adriaen began his legal career as a Marine Judge Advocate. He then formed the foundation for his extensive securities experience as Senior Counsel with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Professional activities & memberships
  • Vice Chair (former), CLE Committee, District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, Bar Association of the District of Columbia