Eric J. Hougen

1701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Suite 300

Washington, DC 20006

(202) 930-4500

My specific approach to advising clients is born out of all of the internal investigations and SEC enforcement matters I have been a part of.  Many of the largest cases were a result of rather small compliance errors.  I began to see a common theme:  mistakes in the implementation phase – a failure in the hand-off from the attorneys to the operations side of the business.  So I began to focus on this need.

It is not enough to have good legal research and well-written policies on the shelf.  Compliance happens at the operational stage.  What I bring is extensive experience and knowledge on how to go that last mile of incorporating the legal requirements into a business’s day-to-day operational needs.  

The first step is to truly understand each business:  its chain of command and reporting structure, who is given discretion and who is not, the revenue drivers, the blind spots, compensation structure, work flow, vendor relationships, etc.  Then, and only then, can the various legal requirements and strategic advice be woven into the details and idiosyncrasies of the Monday-thru-Friday demands of your business.

These same factors inform my approach on SEC enforcement matters and government investigations.  It’s the details that decide those cases.  And I believe it’s the details of your business and having counsel that can give you the personal attention to truly understand your specific goals and challenges that can make all the difference in crafting strategies that fit your needs and lead to quicker, smarter, and more efficient outcomes.

It’s my passion for the details of my clients’ business needs and operational challenges that I think gives me an advantage in providing strategic business advice and crisis response strategies that can truly move your business forward, regardless of the legal challenges you face.

HougenLaw’s approach comes from the experience that Eric Hougen brought to the practice when he decided to open his own firm in 2009.  Here is Eric describing that approach:

personal attention

With HougenLaw, you get direct partner-level attention.  You want to hire experienced counsel and know that you have their specific attention.  HougenLaw provides you with the direct application of our experience – with all of its nuance, detail, and context – directly to your issues, problems, and concerns.  It's the only way to ensure all necessary details get covered and addressed. 

Some of the valuable experience that HougenLaw is able to tap into includes a decade of large law firm experience, working for one of the nation’s premiere corporate securities practices.  Eric has been at the center of significant, high-stakes government and internal investigations.  He was part of the core team that conducted the internal investigation of WorldCom.  He went on to conduct and direct many other investigations across many industries and represented firms and individuals in SEC enforcement actions and before other state and federal regulatory agencies. 

The result is HougenLaw clients get the personalized attention of a partner with large law firm experience and expertise at incredibly reasonable rates.

However, the money saved is secondary to the benefit clients receive from having their most pressing legal struggles handled from start to finish by careful, experienced counsel.  The best legal solutions rest in the details.  Your details will get direct partner-level attention every step of the way – resulting in more dynamic strategies truly tailored to your needs.

attorney bio

624 Broadway, Suite 303

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 702-1000



attorney bio

Eric Hougen formed HougenLaw in 2009.  He is currently based in San Diego, but serves clients nationwide out of both the San Diego and Washington, DC offices of HougenLaw.  Eric’s ties to Washington, DC began when he spent nearly a decade in the Washington, DC offices of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) in their Corporate Securities Practice. 

Eric’s practice focuses on SEC and other government investigations, internal corporate investigations, regulatory compliance advising, and general business advisory services.  Eric also has significant experience in the financial services sector, representing broker-dealers, investment advisors, and other financial institutions before the SEC, FINRA, and other regulatory bodies.

Eric is a member of the bar in California, Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Eric is originally from Iowa.  He attended Luther College and the University of Iowa College of Law, graduating with honors.  One of his passions is travel.  He has traveled extensively and also lived abroad, studying in Quito, Ecuador and teaching for a year at a school in Hungary.  He is an avid sports fan.  He considers one of his highest honors to be that of coaching his son’s basketball team.