Giovanni P. Prezioso’s practice focuses on securities and corporate law matters.

He represents major financial institutions and corporations in securities enforcement and litigation matters arising out of the financial crisis, as well as in addressing post-crisis regulatory changes. He also counsels clients on a broad range of corporate governance and regulatory matters. 

From 2002 to 2006, Giovanni served as general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was the SEC’s chief legal officer during a time of unprecedented enforcement and regulatory activity. During his tenure, his 120-member staff provided legal advice to the SEC on over 2,000 enforcement actions and over 100 rulemaking proceedings. Under Giovanni’s leadership, the general counsel’s office coordinated the implementation of the enforcement and regulatory provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act within the tight timeline set by Congress and drafted regulations under the act that established formal standards of professional conduct for attorneys representing public companies. Giovanni also led an initiative to revitalize the SEC’s amicus program, with numerous submissions to the federal courts on critical policy issues.

Giovanni joined the firm in 1982, became a partner in 1991, and became a senior counsel in 2022. He left Cleary Gottlieb in 2002 upon his appointment to the SEC and returned to the firm in 2006.


  • Member, Board of Advisors, SEC Historical Society
  • Member (Chair, 2006-2010), Executive Council, Federal Bar Association Securities Law Committee

  • Member, Securities Board of Editors, LexisNexis Publishing Company
  • Former Co-Chair, American Bar Association President’s Task Force on Financial Markets Regulatory Reform
  • Former Chair, ABA Subcommittee on Municipal and Governmental Obligations
  • Former Member, New York Stock Exchange Rule 431 Committee and Global Documentation Steering Committee, Federal Reserve Bank of New York


November 2020: “What to Expect From the Biden Administration,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo

April 2020: “First Quarter Earnings and COVID-19: SEC Officials Ask for More,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo

March 2020: “COVID-19: A Brief Guide to Circuit Breakers and Powers to Close the Market,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo 

April 2012: “Unanswered Questions: The SEC v. Urban Case Creates Significant Uncertainty Around In-House Counsel’s Liability as Supervisors,” International Financial Law Review