Howard L. Kramer attorney profile image

Howard L. Kramer
1001 G Street, N.W.
Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20001
T: (202) 661-7012
F: (202) 661-7059
Practice Areas
  • J.D., (cum laude) University of Michigan Law School, 1981
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 1979
  • B.A. (high honors and high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), University of Michigan, 1977
  • District of Columbia


Howard Kramer represents companies in securities regulatory law, with particular emphasis on broker-dealer, market structure and compliance matters.  In addition to providing advice, he also represents clients in regulatory investigations, inquiries and examinations.

Mr. Kramer’s practice focuses on trading rules, derivatives, alternative trading systems, and broker-dealer regulatory and compliance issues.  His clients have included major securities firms, equity and options market-making desks, securities and derivatives markets, electronic and Internet-based trading systems and hedge funds.  He has served as an independent consultant for several entities with respect to their enforcement settlements with the SEC.  He also provides counsel on the implications of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain for securities trading.

Mr. Kramer is ranked in Band 1 for Financial Services Regulation: Broker-Dealer (Compliance) in Chambers USA 2021. Says Chambers: “Howard Kramer is highly regarded for his work guiding broker-dealers through the complex US regulatory landscape. He offers experience on both sides of the equation, often directly advising the regulatory authorities on emerging policy issues. Sources say: "He is one of the deans of the Bar. An expert in particular on markets and exchanges. He is extremely smart and capable.”

Prior to entering private practice in 1998, Mr. Kramer served for 16 years in several positions with the SEC, including Senior Associate Director and Associate Director (1993-1998) of the Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets), where he was responsible for oversight and regulation of the securities markets generally, including stock and options exchanges, NASDAQ, and debt markets, and the formulation and implementation of the SEC's national market system and other market structure programs.

Mr. Kramer played a leading role in developing SEC policy with respect to derivative products generally, including both listed and over-the-counter (OTC).  He also represented the SEC at securities markets conferences and in domestic and international discussions with securities industry representatives, self-regulatory organization officials and staff, and government officials and staff in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to being appointed Senior Associate Director, Mr. Kramer served in several other positions with the SEC, including:

  • Senior Special Counsel (1991-1993)
  • Assistant Director for Options and Exchanges (1986-1991)
  • Chief, Branch of Options (1984-1986)
  • Staff Attorney, Branch of Over-the-Counter Regulation (1981-1983)

Recognitions, Honors, & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Securities Regulation, 2022
  • Chambers USA (2010 - 2021) - Financial Services Regulation: Broker Dealer (Compliance) Nationwide
  • Best Lawyers, Securities Regulation, 2017
  • Chambers USA (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) - Band 1 - Financial Services Regulation (Compliance) – Nationwide
  • Best Lawyers in America (2018, 2019)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Distinguished Service Award
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Capital Markets Award
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Supervisory Excellence Award