Securities and Governance Litigation

Overview

Our nationwide team of more than 50 attorneys comprises full-time securities litigators, former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement trial lawyers, and prominent commercial litigators. Our turnkey team features the full skill set our clients need to win at each stage of the litigation.

We are devoted to winning every case at the earliest possible time. We have an excellent track record of obtaining dismissals prior to any discovery. But if the case survives a motion to dismiss, we don’t just throw in the towel: we stand ready to defeat or limit class certification, prevail on summary judgment, and take the case to trial. We are committed to putting “litigation” back in securities and governance litigation.

Of course, we are always attuned to the right time to engage in mediation. Litigating to win – up to and including trial if necessary – best positions our clients to achieve settlements that protect their reputations and resources. Through decades of experience, we have gained the respect of key mediators, plaintiffs’ counsel, and D&O insurers and brokers. These relationships are critical to effective mediation of securities and governance cases.

We are also sensitive to the economics of each case. Increasingly, plaintiffs’ lawyers are pursuing securities and governance cases against both small and large public companies. We have the ability to scale our team and approach to defend every case both efficiently and effectively. We also are highly experienced in the use of document-processing technology to handle discovery documents and help marshal key facts – which leads to significant efficiencies.

All of this is about protecting people. At the core of every securities or governance case are people accused of doing something wrong – not just directors and officers but also hardworking company employees who find themselves at the center of a securities suit. We focus our defense of each case on these people. From designing legal arguments that defend their honesty, to client-focused economics that maximize their insurance protection, to sensitivity to the stress the litigation may cause them, we work hard to protect people and keep them as comfortable as possible. Protecting people is our top priority in every case.

Select Experience

Our representative experience includes the following engagements:

  • Represented a specialty retailer and its directors and officers in a securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation in the Western District of Washington alleging false financial forecasts and insider trading. Obtained a dismissal of the securities case with prejudice on the first motion to dismiss and a voluntary dismissal of the derivative litigation.
  • Currently representing a technology company and its officers in a securities class action in the Eastern District of New York arising out of a short-seller report.
  • Represented a diversified public company and its directors and officers in a securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation in the District of Nevada arising out of a short-seller report. After we filed a motion to dismiss, the securities and derivative litigation plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the litigation without prejudice.
  • Represented a beverage company and its officers and directors in a securities class action in the Middle District of North Carolina alleging false statements in the company’s registration statements and prospectuses for its initial public offering and secondary public offering as well as in quarterly SEC filings, press releases and conference calls. Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on the first motion to dismiss.

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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate New York
Associate Seattle
Counsel New York
Partner New York
Partner Houston
Partner New York
Associate New York
Counsel New York
Associate New York
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Denver
Partner New York
Counsel New York
Associate New York
Partner New York
Partner Seattle
Partner New York
Partner Seattle
Partner Philadelphia
Associate New York
Associate Chicago
Partner New York
Partner New York
Counsel Columbus
Partner Orlando
Of Counsel Columbus
Associate New York
Partner Los Angeles
Associate New York
Associate New York
Partner New York
Partner Los Angeles
Associate Seattle
Partner New York
Associate New York
Partner New York
Partner Cleveland
Associate Houston
Partner New York
Partner Denver
Partner Cleveland
Partner New York
Associate Washington, D.C.
Associate New York
Partner New York
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Associate New York
Partner Orlando
Associate Denver
Partner New York
Partner New York
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate Seattle
Associate New York
Associate New York
Associate New York
Of Counsel Washington, D.C.
Associate Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Associate New York
Partner Houston
Partner Columbus
Associate Seattle
Associate Los Angeles
Partner New York

Experience

We defend securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions against public companies of all sizes, from microcaps to Fortune 10 companies. We give each company a bespoke defense by scaling our staffing and tailoring our strategy to fit the company’s goals and resources. We pride ourselves on our ability to defend each and every case both efficiently and effectively.

We have defended all types of allegations against companies across all industries. We have defended securities class actions and shareholder derivative matters, including shareholder demands on boards of directors, related to alleged false earnings forecasts, earnings guidance, Food and Drug Administration approval, financial-statement restatements and other accounting issues, loan loss reserves, internal controls, inventory valuation, tax accounting, related party transactions, financial and business metrics, antitrust compliance, misuse of corporate assets, product rollouts, product defects, proxy statement issues, improper personal use of corporate aircraft, merger integration problems, and earnings guidance.

Here are some of our highlights:

  • Defended a diversified public company and its directors and officers in a securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of a short-seller report. After we filed a motion to dismiss, the securities and derivative litigation plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss the litigation without prejudice.
  • Defended a specialty retailer and its directors and officers in a securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation alleging false financial forecasts and insider trading. We obtained a dismissal of the securities case with prejudice on the first motion to dismiss and a voluntary dismissal of the derivative litigation.
  • Defended a beverage company and its officers and directors in a securities class action alleging false statements in the company’s registration statements and prospectuses for its initial public offering and secondary public offering, as well as in quarterly SEC filings, press releases and conference calls. Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on the first motion to dismiss.
  • Defended a technology company and its officers in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation arising out of a short-seller report, alleging a five-year class period. While our motion to dismiss was pending, we reached settlements totaling less than $1 million.
  • Defended a beverage company in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation alleging false statements and insider trading in connection with a failed product rollout. We obtained a dismissal with prejudice of the securities class action and voluntary dismissal of the derivative litigation.
  • Defended an internet commerce company in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation in connection with alleged false earnings guidance. We achieved a dismissal of the securities class action and voluntary dismissal of shareholder derivative litigation.
  • Defended an independent director of a real estate investment trust in a securities class action and large opt-out litigation related to a significant restatement. After we filed a motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss our client from the litigation.
  • Defended a manufacturer of cellular phone equipment in a securities class action arising out of a revenue recognition restatement. We obtained a dismissal with prejudice.
  • Defended a retailer and its board of directors in several shareholder litigation matters based on a large accounting restatement. We obtained dismissals of all proceedings.
  • Defended a Chinese company and its Chief Financial Officer and independent directors in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation alleging false accounting and failure of oversight based on the former Chief Executive Officer’s theft of corporate assets. Obtained dismissal of the CFO and independent directors from the securities class action and most of the shareholder derivative claims. Following significant discovery, obtained settlements that, combined with defense costs, totaled less than half the available insurance.

Recognition

  • The Legal 500 United States: Dispute Resolution: Securities litigation – defense (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)
  • Chambers USA: Litigation
    • Ohio (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 2
    • Recognized Practitioner in Florida (2014 to 2018)
    • Litigation: General Commercial – Washington – one lawyer (2016 to 2019)
    • Litigation: Securities – New York – one lawyer (2014 to 2017)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” Litigation – Securities – Metro Columbus, Tier 2 (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – one lawyer named in Litigation – Securities (2016)
  • Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation – one lawyer named Washington Super Lawyer (2004 to 2017), Washington Rising Star (2003)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Securities – one lawyer named Local Litigation Star (2015 to 2018)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

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