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USA Guide

Securities: Litigation — USA - Nationwide

Overview

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction Contributed by Sidley Austin LLP

Re-evaluation of Legal and Regulatory Requirements. The securities regulatory environment continues to change rapidly. The new administration has indicated interest in reforming the regulatory structure to facilitate capital formation. Both houses of Congress are considering substantial changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, as is the administration itself, but it appears that their approaches are all different and it is not clear whether any of them will be able to command majorities in Congress. Some proposals under consideration, such as a return to the Glass-Steagall Act requirement to separate banking from investments, could have profound regulatory effects. In the meantime, new SEC and CFTC leadership – not only at the Commissioner level but also at virtually all of their major divisions and offices – also portends significant changes in the regulatory landscape. But until passage of new legislation, the Dodd-Frank Act remains in effect, including its requirement to finalize some rules not yet adopted. In the meantime, major regulatory changes continue in the European Union (EU) and other major international jurisdictions, many of which require harmonization with the US (and which are complicated in the UK by Brexit). These international issues include regulation of swaps and other derivatives parallel to Title VII of Dodd-Frank, as well as the implementation of the MIFID II directive, which will have substantial effects on broker-dealers and investment managers active in both the US and the EU.

Within the US, the SEC will explore ways of making the securities offering process more streamlined and efficient, both for public offerings and private placements. This effort may include scaling back some disclosure requirements, especially for smaller public companies. The SEC is already part way through a review of equity market structure issues, including a pilot of trading using variations on the current decimal pricing, and is considering a potential additional pilot that would change exchange access fees and rebates. A new SEC leadership may expand this review to include possible revisions to Regulation NMS, changes to the regulatory authority of for-profit exchanges, and reconsideration of rules affecting high-frequency trading. At the same time, the SEC, FINRA and MSRB have imposed new best execution and pre-trade and post-trade transparency initiatives in the fixed income markets. Financial services firms are attempting to implement the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standards for retirement accounts (itself a moving target), while the SEC is considering a uniform fiduciary standard of care between broker-dealers and investment advisers. The federal banking regulators will review whether rules such as the Volcker Rule and risk retention requirements are impeding lending – all of which affect the securities and futures markets. The SEC must consider partly-completed projects on restrictions on use of derivatives by investment companies and third-party compliance reviews of investment advisers. Meanwhile, the investment management industry must implement new requirements for liquidity risk management and to enhance disclosure (to the SEC itself and to investors) on the part of both investment advisers and investment companies. Each of the regulators are considering how to oversee financial technology innovations such as block-chain and crypto-currencies, online marketplace lending and automated investment advice, while also monitoring cyber-security risks and algorithmic trading. FINRA also has new leadership, and has announced a review of whether its rules need to be modernized to facilitate capital formation.

Enforcement. New leadership at the SEC, CFTC and FINRA means a new opportunity to review enforcement priorities. Some incremental changes could occur, such as more restrained interpretations of the FCPA, smaller penalties against public companies (borne by shareholders), and a de-emphasis of “broken windows” policing of negligent violations. However, the historical record suggests that even conservative administrations like to be perceived as “tough on crime” especially against unpopular industries such as financial services. The enforcement staffs continue to use new tools implemented after the Dodd-Frank Act, such as whistleblower awards, increased authority to use administrative law judges, required admissions of liability in some settlements, and enhanced sanctions against senior executives. The regulatory agencies also are using enhanced “big data” capabilities to look for connections across traders, markets and countries, while demanding ever more information from firms under investigation. The SEC and FINRA both are heavily focused on anti-money-laundering efforts and suspicious activity reporting, with a new requirement to verify beneficial ownership in corporate entities scheduled to take effect in 2018. New SEC and CFTC rules on market access and anti-disruptive trading have created new potential enforcement liabilities. Both agencies are actively investigating potential market manipulation activity such as spoofing, layering and cross-market trading strategies. The SEC continues to focus energy on private fund managers, with the focus expanding from private equity funds to hedge funds as well. All of the agencies (including the FTC and CFPB) are focused on cyber-security breaches and responses. Regulators are carefully monitoring new fundraising methods (such as JOBS Act crowdfunding and Regulation A+) for the emergence of new types of fraud. The SEC and CFTC have established strong staff-level relationships with the US Department of Justice, especially (but not only) on potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, but it remains to be seen what the new administration’s white collar criminal priorities will be. State securities regulators, attorneys general and banking agencies eagerly pursue their own enforcement agendas, sometimes with little cross-agency coordination, and may be eager to step in if they perceive federal-level enforcement to be slackening. At the same time, all of the regulators continue to investigate traditional enforcement priorities such as insider trading, Ponzi schemes, sales practice violations and fraud on senior investors.

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Full-service securities offering with extensive international capabilities, often utilized by global financial institutions and the boards and directors of major public companies. Draws clients from a wide range of industries, recently handling high-profile securities litigation for energy sector organizations. Fields experts in securities fraud defense and M&A-related litigation, in addition to several former SEC regulators and federal prosecutors able to advise on all manner of securities enforcement and compliance matters.

Strengths One hugely impressed client reveals: "They are capable of handling complex work, handling different subjects at the same time and mobilizing teams to handle the work, even if there is a change in expectations or more work than expected." The same source concludes: "Sometimes they work as if they themselves were the legal department of the company."

Sources describe the team as "extremely committed," and note that its partners "deliver outstanding legal execution."

Work highlights Acted for Petrobras in defense of a securities class action and related derivative suits alleging misstatements to shareholders in the period leading up to the 2014 corruption scandal.

Represented Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, winning a motion to dismiss a class action alleging that the company had misled investors as to the adverse effects that interest rate changes would have on its business.

Advised Citi and a number of other leading banks on negotiations with regulators surrounding alleged benchmark rate manipulation, settling cases with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Significant clients Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citi, Barclays, Goldman Sachs.

Notable practitioners

The "eminently experienced" Mitchell Lowenthal offers deep knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of securities litigation matters. His practice has included a great deal of work on M&A litigation and the representation of underwriters.

The "very bright and likeable" Giovanni Prezioso wins market recognition for the breadth of his "fabulous" practice in the securities regulatory space, in terms of both enforcement and compliance matters. His past experience as general counsel of the SEC remains a valuable asset to clients.

Lewis Liman maintains a broad litigation practice that includes significant expertise in the defense of securities class actions. Sources commend his "excellent presence with judges" and his intellectually "innovative" approach to the law, with one peer describing him as "an excellent lawyer who cuts across regulatory and civil litigation."

Alan Beller is universally regarded as "one of the real leaders in the field" in the corporate governance and securities regulation advisory space. He is an expert at advising clients on the full range of regulatory compliance questions, serving on a number of corporate boards.

Department profile by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

For more information about Cleary Gottlieb's Securities and M&A Litigation practice, please visit https://www.clearygottlieb.com/practice-landing/securities-and-ma-litigation

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is in New York.

What the team is known for Acclaimed for the depth of its expertise in securities litigation, most notably with respect to issuer representation and M&A litigation in Delaware courts. Capable of providing expert representation to accounting and audit firms, as well as acting on high-value litigation for financial services institutions. Additionally prevalent in SEC enforcement investigations, including those with parallel interest from international regulators, and regularly offers counsel on accounting and disclosure matters.

Strengths Sources commend the team's deep bench strength: "Everyone I have ever worked with there is very sharp. They are all cut from the same cloth, in a way. They are very smart and hard-working, and they represent the biggest companies in the SEC space."

One interviewee is full of praise for the group: "I think that Cravath is the best single law firm I know. They have really deep talent, really a lot of great lawyers, they write well, they can try cases, they are just up and down the line excellent. They also act with total credibility."

Sources describe the team's lawyers as "some of the smartest and the best." Other interviewees note: "The lawyering is just at a very high level. Everyone I work with is just a very nice, decent person."

Work highlights Acted for AGL Resources in a class action alleging that the directors had breached their fiduciary duty in allowing the Southern Company to acquire the firm.

Defended Akorn and its directors in shareholder litigation arising from acquisitions made in 2014, as well as providing counsel on an SEC investigation into the company's accounting practices.

Successfully handled an SEC investigation into DreamWorks Animation and the accounting for its 2013 film 'Turbo', as well as winning a motion to dismiss in a related shareholder class action.

Significant clients Insys Therapeutics, Credit Suisse, Deloitte & Touche, DreamWorks, Barnes & Noble.

Notable practitioners

Richard Clary wins wide acclaim from peers for his top-drawer securities litigation practice. His work for top financial services clients like Credit Suisse, which he represents in RMBS matters and longstanding litigation arising from the collapse of Enron, has made him a "brand name" in this area.

The "outstanding" Robert Baron continues to handle high-value securities litigation for clients from a wide range of industries, including energy, technology and pharmaceuticals. He is particularly specialized in litigation arising from M&A.

Daniel Slifkin has a fast-growing reputation as a securities litigator, with clients highlighting his "extraordinary ability to turn complex problems into easy stories for the jury to understand." His practice spans the representation of both issuers and underwriters of securities.

Antony Ryan wins recognition for his work defending accounting and audit firms in securities litigation, including multiple recent matters for PwC and Deloitte. Sources describe him as "exceptionally smart," with one client describing him as "highly talented, dedicated and rigorous."

David Stuart is noted by peers as "a very knowledgeable, skilled and strategic lawyer, with great experience in SEC investigations and in representing public companies in those matters." As well as defending clients involved in SEC enforcement proceedings, he also handles internal investigations and cases involving the DOJ.

"Eminence grise" John White is universally regarded as "a very prominent figure" in the corporate governance and securities advisory space. Sources call him "super, unbelievably able," and highlight his "great judgment."

Department profile by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Impressive securities practice with strength in a wide-ranging set of matters, including strong capabilities in both litigation and regulatory work. Demonstrates extraordinary prowess in the regulatory space, advising on the full range of compliance and reporting procedures including the intricacies of Dodd-Frank reforms. Represents an enviable roster of major financial institutions and blue-chip public companies in connection with bet-the-company litigation.

Strengths One source highlights the team's up-to-date regulatory expertise: "They are not only fully informed about existing regulations, but keep on top of new developments and have been able to provide guidance regarding where rules and regulations may be heading."

Another interviewee comments: "I find that Davis Polk takes a 'listen first' approach, which I find is a refreshing contrast to some of my past experiences working with other securities attorneys. Davis Polk tends to ask questions up front about goals, needs and concerns, rather than simply respond to specific questions without context."

Clients suggest that the group is "just excellent at what it does across the board."

According to one interviewee, "they combine both the litigation expertise and the corporate governance advice on a high level."

Work highlights Provided counsel to Cisco Systems on SEC and DOJ investigations into possible FCPA breaches in relation to the company's Russian operations, with both agencies closing their investigations without enforcement actions.

Represented RBS through multinational, multiagency investigations into its role in the conspiracy to rig foreign exchange markets, as well as on related securities litigation.

Achieved favorable outcomes for Morgan Stanley in a number of securities matters, including RMBS suits brought by Dexia and Sealink, as well as in a DOJ investigation into alleged violations of Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).

Significant clients Dell, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, AstraZeneca, BHP Billiton.

Notable practitioners

Linda Chatman Thomsen is a former director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement with a top-drawer practice in the defense of the full spectrum of enforcement matters. One source lists a variety of strengths, calling her "very effective, very senior and well respected in SEC circles," noting that she "has been an exceptional adviser to us as well."

Market commentators describe Annette Nazareth as "the real deal" and "a leading light," suggesting that she is "top of mind and top of Rolodex" when it comes to securities compliance questions. She is unparalleled both in terms of her SEC experience and her specialized broker-dealer knowledge.

Lawrence Portnoy offers a wealth of experience in litigating securities cases, with particular expertise in shareholder suits arising from M&A. His recent clients include IBM, which he has defended in a securities class action and ensuing ERISA litigation.

James Rouhandeh offers strong credentials in the representation of underwriters in securities litigation, as well as impressive appellate experience. Sources describe him as "a really outstanding lawyer," with one client going even further: "To me he is the ultimate on securities work. He is very bright, and is the kind of guy who sees legal angles and finds very unique solutions."

Department profile by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

For more information about Davis Polk’s practices, please visit www.davispolk.com/practices.

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Covers the full range of investigatory and advisory work, with complementary strength in the FCPA and corporate law spaces. Strengthening its broad private equity client base with increasing activity in the asset management space of late, advising a broad range of investment and hedge funds on SEC enforcement issues. Also litigates a range of securities disputes, including class actions and M&A litigation. Litigation clients are drawn from an impressive array of fields, including a number of recent cases for insurance industry giants. Recently bolstered by the return of Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney, respectively the former Chair and Director of Enforcement of the SEC.

Strengths Clients praise the firm for being "responsive and very cognizant of the client relationship, understanding that they might want to trade off short-term billable hours for a longer-term client relationship."

Another source reports: "They have a level of maturity and calmness that is absolutely invaluable in those very heated situations in which emotions run high and people are close to the edge. They are absolutely top-notch investigation and defense work."

Work highlights Continued to defend MetLife in connection with numerous shareholder class actions and derivative suits arising from its alleged failure to take full advantage of available information on death benefit liabilities.

Acted for Michael Pearson, the former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, in a multiagency investigation that included the SEC and Congress.

Represented former broker Daryl Payton in insider trading proceedings brought by the SEC. The case went to trial in the Southern District of New York.

Significant clients Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Prudential Financial, JPMorgan Chase, Barrick, PIMCO.

Notable practitioners

Paul Berger practices in defense of a wide array of clients subject to securities enforcement proceedings, with particular strength in FCPA matters. He is noted by peers as a "very capable" attorney.

Jonathan Tuttle is widely regarded as a "top-drawer" lawyer with "an incredible grasp of complex accounting concepts" who is "particularly good in front of the SEC and foreign regulatory committees." His broad-based enforcement expertise is well complemented by additional capabilities in defending clients in securities litigation.

The "terrific" Bruce Yannett is noted for his high-level expertise in handling government investigations, including defending clients involved in SEC enforcement proceedings. Interviewees consider him "a very impressive lawyer."

Andrew Ceresney has recently rejoined the firm, having served as Director of Enforcement at the SEC. He draws on a wealth of experience in a broad swath of regulatory matters to provide counsel on government enforcement proceedings and internal investigations.

The hugely respected Mary Jo White recently returned to Debevoise following her stint as Chair of the SEC. She has enjoyed a long career at the forefront of the securities regulation space, and is highly recommended for her expertise in handling the most complex enforcement actions. She also serves as senior chair of the firm.

Department profile by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Dechert LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Much admired for its strength in matters at the intersection of SEC enforcement and white-collar defense, particularly for senior individuals or independent boards of directors facing regulatory investigations. Often a go-to firm for asset management clients in particular, including investment and mutual funds. Also possesses a noteworthy securities litigation capacity, representing a wide range of public companies in state and federal cases across the country.

Strengths One source highlights the team's "outstanding individual lawyers and strong client relationships."

"I could not have been more pleased with our experience with Dechert," suggests one client, offering particular praise for "the team's understanding of opposing counsel strategy and its ability to anticipate their next moves."

Work highlights Defended numerous officers and directors of Exide Technologies in a $500 million shareholder class action alleging numerous instances of securities fraud.

Represented Jon S. Corzine in multiagency investigations and litigation arising from the 2011 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings, successfully bringing the litigation to a settlement.

Acted for Takata in multinational regulatory proceedings and related civil litigation.

Significant clients First Eagle Investment management, TL Ventures, Lipocine, Anavex Life Sciences, LSB Industries.

Notable practitioners

"Dean of the Bar" Andrew Levander wins widespread acclaim as "an excellent securities enforcement lawyer, the sort of person you'd want to turn to for a bet-the-company case." His expertise in handling enforcement proceedings is well complemented by his strengths as a trial lawyer and a securities litigator, with one source describing him as "one of the best all-around litigators in New York."

Department profile by Dechert LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Dechert LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Exhibits far-reaching capabilities for domestic and international clients, housing expert securities litigators and advisers across its US offices and global network. Able to offer seamless counsel on a multitude of litigation and regulatory issues, with many of its lawyers having formerly worked with the SEC or other agencies. Sought after by clients from a range of industries including technology and manufacturing, in addition to major financial institutions. A notably deep bench of enforcement lawyers also displays unrivaled strength in civil FCPA proceedings.

Strengths One peer has only praise for the litigation team: "I think they are a very talented group of lawyers, with a deep bench and very smart people."

One source highlights the team's intelligent approach: "They are very, very smart, and also diligent and responsive. They are distinguished by their intellectual capabilities."

Interviewees describe the team as "very strong," noting that "they have maintained high quality and continued to produce good results."

Sources suggest that "they are particularly good at corruption cases," but also that "they have a very excellent shop" more generally.

Work highlights Acted in defense of Molycorp in a set of securities class actions and derivative suits arising from its 2015 bankruptcy, with claimed damages exceeding $1.5 billion.

Represented Patriarch Partners and its CEO, Lynn Tilton, in connection with an SEC enforcement action seeking $200 million for alleged securities fraud in relation to the management of CLO funds.

Provided counsel to PwC on an SEC investigation into alleged accounting failures at a venture capital fund it had audited. The team secured an SEC decision not to pursue an enforcement action against the auditors.

Significant clients UBS, Herbalife, Coty, Och-Ziff, NASDAQ.

Notable practitioners

The "outstanding" Barry Goldsmith makes use of high-level enforcement experience at both FINRA and the SEC to support a variety of financial services clients on regulatory proceedings. Sources highlight his agency experience as having "terrific practical implications for his advice as well as his credibility within the SEC."

Joseph Warin is widely regarded as a "top-notch" attorney across the enforcement space, with unparalleled expertise in FCPA matters. His "terrific" regulatory practice is complemented by significant experience in securities litigation.

Richard Grime maintains a strong reputation for his work defending individuals and institutions in connection with enforcement proceedings. Interviewees describe him as "utterly fantastic," highlighting corruption matters and internal investigations as particular strengths within his practice.

Lawrence Zweifach offers an impressive regulatory enforcement practice that includes recent work for UBS on an investigation into the alleged mis-selling of structured notes. Clients describe him as a "very thoughtful" lawyer who is "always prepared."

The market is united in viewing John Olson as "truly one of the greats" of the SEC advisory space. He is a valuable adviser for companies and their boards on a full set of corporate governance and securities law issues.

Sources say that Elizabeth Ising is "an excellent resource for anyone to turn to," and note that she has "made a name for herself in the shareholder proposal area." She provides corporate governance and SEC disclosure advice to clients such as Chevron, Marriott International and Wells Fargo.

Peers describe Ronald Mueller as a "very thoughtful and well-informed" practitioner in the securities advisory space. He is highlighted for his deep knowledge of executive compensation, which forms only one element of a broad practice.

Clients praise Brian Lane for his "incredible practical advice," with one suggesting: "I don't think there is any other attorney in private practice that has his level of reach and authority when interacting with the SEC staff." He acts as securities disclosure counsel to a wide set of corporations, including Kodak and Toyota.

Mark Kirsch has a strong reputation for defending clients in high-stakes securities litigation. His recent work includes defending Coty from a class action alleging that the company had committed securities fraud in relation to its $1 billion IPO.

Department profile by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

To learn more about our practice, please visit gibsondunn.com.

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Goodwin - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Boston.

What the team is known for Demonstrates complementary litigation and M&A expertise to great effect when advising on securities disputes relating to major corporate transactions. Draws an impressive set of clients from the technology and life sciences sectors, as well as representing major financial institutions acting as underwriters.

Strengths This source highlights the team's breadth of expertise: "The team has been great to work with across many disciplines. It is a full-service firm and when we need help in a different area it can easily send me to the right subject matter expert."

Clients commend the group's lawyers for their "excellent work ethic, experience, insight and collaboration with our project team."

Work highlights Represented a consortium of seven investment banks that had acted as underwriters for the $310 million secondary offering of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals in litigation arising from a dramatic fall in the company's share price after FDA approval was withdrawn from a key drug.

Continued to defend Ampio Pharmaceuticals from a securities class action and derivative suits alleging that it misled investors about the prospects of a key drug trial.

Significant clients Ash Aggarwal, Dell, Deutsche Bank Securities, Fortis Advisors, IntraLinks Holdings.

Notable practitioners

Market commentators commend Brian Pastuszenski as a "real superstar" of securities litigation, notably with respect to the representation of financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies in cutting-edge matters. One client suggests that "for life sciences litigation, the magnitude of his knowledge makes him very special."

Mark Holland is widely viewed as an "excellent" practitioner across the breadth of securities litigation, with experience representing issuers and underwriters in both class and derivative actions. His recent clients include JPMorgan Investment Management.

Department profile by Goodwin

Department profile not yet provided by Goodwin. Please see their firm profile.

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Offers a strong enforcement practice which is well complemented by significant nationwide litigation capabilities. Draws on a formidable reputation in the M&A and public company fields to provide a comprehensive securities service to major private equity and fund clients. Fields a team with deep experience in government, making it a serious contender to handle major regulatory investigations.

Strengths One client considers the firm's reputation to be a real asset: "They are obviously a strong litigation shop and are extremely knowledgeable as a firm. It's clear that when you use them people know them: there is a certain degree of respect that is attributed to you immediately because you have hired them and they know what they are doing."

Sources offer high praise for the firm's securities enforcement practice: "If anyone in a comparable position asked me, I would send them to exactly this team. I rarely say it this strongly but they did a great job, we made the right decision hiring them and following their advice and we got the result we deserved and hoped for. It is hard for me to distinguish what piece of magic was due to each individual, because they worked so well together as a team."

The team comes in for broad acclaim from one client, who is particularly impressed by its innovative approach: "I thought their work was really top-notch; they were all highly capable, very creative lawyers. I would praise them the most for their out-of-the-box thinking, which is rare for securities."

Work highlights Provided counsel to the ad hoc committee for the board of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in connection with regulatory investigations regarding allegations that led to a major fall in its share price.

Acted for BioScrip in a number of class and derivative actions alleging breach of fiduciary duty, favorably settling one of the cases and winning the dismissal of another.

Won a judgment in the Delaware Chancery Court that the $6.9 billion acquisition of BMC Software by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital had accorded a fair value to the company's shares, defeating an action brought by Merion Capital.

Significant clients GM, Pfizer, BP America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dow Chemical.

Notable practitioners

Robert Khuzami is widely regarded as a "phenomenal lawyer" and a highly respected practitioner in the enforcement space. Clients highlight the "deep, recent subject matter expertise" gained from his tenure as a past head of the enforcement division at the SEC.

Department profile by Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland's securities litigators have exceptional depth of knowledge representing clients in high-profile matters including:

  • Securities class action litigation

  • Shareholder derivative litigation

  • Merger, acquisition and proxy litigation

  • Structured finance litigation

  • ERISA-related litigation

  • Investigations and enforcement actions by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other federal, state and non-U.S. regulators

  • Internal investigations

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Latham & Watkins LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Far-reaching credibility in the securities space thanks to the strength of its lawyers on both coasts and the breadth of its global office network. Able to service clients based in multiple jurisdictions facing high-profile SEC investigations or enforcement actions. Represents an impressive array of clients in high-profile securities litigation, with a particularly strong record of acting for accounting and technology firms and in M&A litigation.

Strengths Impressed clients state: "Where I have used them they are the gold standard. I have never been disappointed in them - they are just at the top of their game. We go to them when we have a complex legal issue and they have always been able to give the company the right guidance."

One source notes that the team is comprised of "outstanding people," highlighting its strength "not only for the securities and civil litigation, but also the regulatory issues too."

Work highlights Acted for Avago in numerous shareholder litigation matters arising from its $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom. The team reached a favorable settlement with plaintiffs.

Continued to represent Deutsche Bank in lawsuits brought by multiple Federal Home Loan Banks seeking damages from the alleged mis-selling of RMBS. The aggregate value of the claims was $4.6 billion.

Defended Navistar and its former CEO in connection with an SEC investigation into accounting failures and multiple securities class actions and derivative suits alleging that the company had misled shareholders as to its value.

Significant clients British Bankers Association, Credit Suisse, Deloitte & Touche, Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young.

Notable practitioners

William Baker wins praise from peers as a "terrific" enforcement lawyer who has a "nice touch with staff" at the SEC. He represents public companies facing investigation from regulatory agencies, bringing to bear his own high-level government experience.

Miles Ruthberg maintains his high-quality securities litigation practice, with a particular expertise in representing accounting and audit firms. Peers describe him as "terrific," with one source saying that he is "one of the best trial and regulatory folks - he could take any case."

Clients describe Peter Wald as a "great resource" and "very knowledgeable," as well as highlighting his "practical insights about the judge, the plaintiffs and the opposing counsel." He is a securities litigator with an impressive client base that includes energy, pharmaceutical and technology companies.

Department profile by Latham & Watkins LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Latham & Watkins LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is in Los Angeles.

What the team is known for Provides counsel to a variety of financial institutions, including several global investment banks, facing securities litigation across the USA. Draws on comprehensive experience in RMBS litigation, as well as significant bankruptcy expertise. Also represents numerous corporate clients in breach of fiduciary duty and stock drop shareholder litigation.

Strengths One source describes the team's lawyers as "smart and effective," noting that "they are certainly elite."

Work highlights Acted for TransOcean in a securities case alleging that the company had misled investors about its safety procedures when it acquired GlobalSantaFe, successfully persuading the Second Circuit that a fall in market value caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was outside the statute of limitations.

Continued to represent Bank of America in numerous securities lawsuits alleging that the company had failed to fulfill its fiduciary duties in its role as the trustee for a large number of RMBS trusts.

Significant clients Adverum Biotechnologies, Berkshire Hathaway, Causeway Capital Management, Corinthian Colleges, Edison International.

Notable practitioners

John Spiegel is a versatile litigator with a significant capability in the handling of major securities disputes. Recent clients include Corinthian Colleges, which he represented in a shareholder class action. Sources call him "an outstanding lawyer."

Department profile by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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O'Melveny & Myers LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Strong team of securities litigators with an impressive client base that includes leading lights of the technology and banking sectors. Works on a broad range of matters, defending clients acting as issuers and underwriters, as well as those involved in M&A litigation.

Work highlights Acted for Alaska Airlines in connection with shareholder litigation stemming from its $4 billion purchase of Virgin America.

Acted for Dov Charney, the former CEO of American Apparel, in defense of a shareholder derivative suit concerning the board's oversight of his performance as CEO.

Notable practitioners

Rob Plesnarski leads the firm's SEC advisory group, providing counsel on derivatives, capital markets and public company disclosure requirements. Clients commend his ability "to navigate rules and communications with the agency that you couldn't find in books," and call him a "unique counsel."

The "talented" Bradley Butwin practices widely as a civil litigator, enjoying a fine reputation for his impressive work in the securities litigation field. He serves as chair of the firm and works out of its New York office.

Peers note their "tremendous respect" for Seth Aronson, who is a "phenomenal" securities litigator with a strong record of defending issuers from shareholder class actions and derivative lawsuits. He draws clients from a diverse array of industries, including technology, energy and retail.

Jeffrey Kilduff is a DC-based attorney with a well-regarded practice in the defense of securities and ERISA litigation. According to client feedback, he is "proactive in the ways you want your outside counsel to be," and is someone who "thinks big picture" and is "smart and creative."

Department profile by O'Melveny & Myers LLP

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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Premier securities practice offering undeniable strength in litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense to leading public companies across the globe. Unparalleled expertise in handling bet-the-company securities litigation for clients from the financial services industry. Achieves notable success at trial and in settlement negotiations in these areas as a result of the courtroom experience brought to bear by its expert litigators. Continues to be sought after by financial institutions needing regulatory and compliance advice thanks to its familiarity with a host of government agency and regulatory enforcement proceedings.

Strengths One client attests to the firm's exceptional reputation for high-stakes litigation: "Across the board they have the most diverse, versatile, and probably the best litigation department. They have concentrated on it for a long time and they are very good at it, getting up to speed incredibly quickly."

According to impressed sources, there is "not a thing they could do better. It was as high-quality a representation as I have ever seen."

One rival attorney admits: "You have to take your hat off to them. They do a very fine job. They deliver a consistently high-quality product in this field."

Work highlights Acted as counsel to Brixmor Property Group in a pending class action brought by the REIT's shareholders, after executives admitted the use of non-GAAP reporting in financial statements.

Represented Deutsche Bank in the multiagency, international investigation of its role in the alleged rigging of LIBOR, as well as securing on appeal the dismissal of securities fraud claims brought by Aozora Bank.

Defended Virtu Financial from state and federal level regulatory investigations into its high-frequency trading practices, as well as related litigation.

Significant clients ADT Corporation, Alere, The Bank of New York Mellon, Citi, Deutsche Bank.

Notable practitioners

Brad Karp is widely regarded as "an utterly fantastic lawyer and a great adviser to his clients," with sources concurring that he is "one of the deans of the New York Bar." His practice is focused on litigating high-value securities cases for top financial institutions, with additional expertise in the handling of regulatory proceedings for a similar client base. He also serves as the chair of the firm.

The "super-effective" Daniel Kramer wins plaudits from a range of sources as "a thoughtful securities lawyer." His securities litigation defense practice sees him defend issuers from shareholder class actions and derivative suits.

Richard Rosen is viewed by interviewees as a "really excellent lawyer." His broad securities practice includes work for a range of issuers, directors and underwriters. His status as an intellectual powerhouse is widely recognized, with sources describing him as a "very thoughtful lawyer" with a "strong intellect," who "knows an incredible amount."

The "terrific" Charles Davidow wins respect from interviewees as a "very smart" lawyer with an impressive technical grasp of securities law. His extensive regulatory practice includes work on insider trading cases, as well as on numerous aspects of the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis.

Walter Ricciardi is an accomplished practitioner in the securities enforcement space, drawing on previous experience at the SEC to provide expert counsel on regulatory proceedings. Sources highlight his recent work for major financial institutions, suggesting that he has "had a terrific year."

Department profile by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Ropes & Gray LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Boston.

What the team is known for Notable securities litigation group with a particularly impressive record of defending life sciences clients and investment advisers. Additional capabilities in securities enforcement, with a particular strength in counseling hedge funds and private equity firms on relevant regulatory matters.

Strengths Sources report: "The Ropes & Gray team working with us is very good, with tremendous depth and expertise in the subject matter of the litigation."

Another source describes the team as "very knowledgeable about SEC regulations and enforcement proceedings," and describes it as "very practical and responsive."

Value for money Sources say: "Ropes provides a combination of talent, capability and client service that translates to high overall value and compares favorably to its competitors."

Work highlights Represented Deutsche Bank Securities in securities litigation arising from Avago Technologies' 2014 acquisition of PLX Technology. The action sought damages from the bank for its collusion in an alleged breach of fiduciary duty by PLX board members.

Defended PIMCO in connection with allegations by shareholders that it had charged excessive fees to fund clients, thereby failing to fulfill its fiduciary obligations to them.

Represented private equity firm Fenway Partners in connection with an SEC action regarding its disclosure to investors of certain fees and expenses.

Significant clients American Industrial Partners, Fenway Partners, GT Advanced Technology, Ingraham Investments, Keurig Green Mountain.

Notable practitioners

The "extraordinarily knowledgeable" and "exceptionally smart" Eva Carman wins plaudits from clients as a "phenomenal" representative who "very much has her finger on the pulse for what the pressure points are in regulatory interactions." Her practice is focused on the defense of investment advisers against enforcement proceedings.

John Donovan is a deeply experienced litigator with an extensive record of defending securities class actions. Interviewees suggest that "he is a spectacular lawyer," with one source noting that he "has a really great mind."

Randall Bodner defends public companies and their executives from allegations of securities fraud. Many of his clients are drawn from the technology and life sciences industries. He also practices in the regulatory enforcement space.

Department profile by Ropes & Gray LLP

Clients turn to Ropes & Gray for their most contentious matters when their businesses and livelihoods are on the line. We represent clients in high-stakes, prominent litigation and excel at managing large, sophisticated, and complex disputes. With more than 400 litigators, we have the resources to assemble the right team to address the most complicated, time-sensitive bet-the-company matters.

To learn more about our practice, please visit: https://www.ropesgray.com/practices/Commercial-Litigation.aspx

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Shearman & Sterling LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Destination firm for financial institutions involved in securities litigation as underwriters, as well as corporate issuer clients. Often advises on matters involving multiple jurisdictions for domestic and international companies, with significant activity for Asian clients entering US markets. Retains top financial services clients when it comes to complex litigation, with recent work including a number of benchmarking matters.

Strengths One client reports: "I could not be happier with the service they provide. They are always quick to respond and keep you in the loop as to how issues and projects are progressing. They clearly exhibit an understanding as to how the financial services industry works and provide advice not only based on the rules, but with that understanding in mind."

Another interviewee describes the team as "extremely responsive, practical and hard-working." The source sums up the firm's work as "an all-around good service."

Work highlights Continued to represent the underwriters of multiple offerings by SunEdison and TerraForm Global in securities litigation arising in the wake of the former's bankruptcy.

Acted as counsel to Credit Suisse and Jefferies as the Second Circuit reaffirmed a district court judgment that the banks were not liable for damages accruing from disclosure failures around Tremor Video's 2013 IPO, for which they had acted as underwriters.

Significant clients Bank of America, Citi, Independent Directors of JPMorgan Chase, Jefferies, BNP Paribas.

Notable practitioners

Adam Hakki wins plaudits from clients and peers for his impressive record of litigating securities disputes for giants of the financial services industry. One source comments that "he is as good as anyone on The Street, which is one of the reasons we use them."

Clients describe Stuart Baskin as a "a very good commercial litigator" and praise the way he "always gets to a good, smart result." His securities litigation practice includes a specialty in M&A litigation, with a number of recent matters for Viacom in the Delaware courts.

Department profile by Shearman & Sterling LLP

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Sidley Austin LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Impressive performer in the regulatory enforcement space thanks to its attorneys' in-depth knowledge of regulators and government agencies, while also impressing in the advisory and securities litigation spaces. Increasingly active for hedge funds and accounting firms on a broad range of matters including insider trading cases. Particular expertise in handling FINRA and SEC investigations for broker-dealers and other financial institutions. Often involved in matters with complex multijurisdictional elements.

Strengths One client describes the enforcement team as "the best in class," noting its "amazing amount of depth and experience."

Sources note that the group "provides top-quality lawyers" and is "responsive and thorough."

Fellow attorneys praise the firm's "very deep bench," commenting that it is "very strong, especially on broker-dealer and trading and markets."

Work highlights Continued to act for Caterpillar in a number of securities litigation matters at both the state and federal level. Among other matters, the team achieved the dismissal of a derivative suit arising from the client's acquisition of a Chinese mining equipment company.

Represented Bank of America on a major SEC investigation into alleged violations of the customer protection regulations as well as rules to protect whistle-blowers.

Settled a FINRA investigation into Raymond James & Associates for its failure to put in place appropriate measures to prevent money laundering.

Significant clients Barclays, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Guggenheim, Goldman Sachs, Cigna.

Notable practitioners

Herbert Janick is a leading securities enforcement lawyer with unparalleled experience in the handling of investigations into broker-dealers. Interviewees heap praise on Janick, calling him "an outstanding lawyer," and describing him as "superb, knowledgeable, perceptive and easy to work with."

The "top-notch" Thomas Kim "continues to impress" market commentators for his work as an expert adviser on securities compliance. His clients include public companies, industry bodies and financial institutions.

Neal Sullivan represents clients on regulatory enforcement matters, offering particular expertise in the defense of FINRA investigations. Sources describe him as "terrific," noting his "very good relations with regulators" and that he is "a very good strategic thinker."

The "excellent" Nader Salehi wins praise for his "multiple skill sets, both the specific broker-dealer knowledge and the enforcement background." He acts for a number of financial institutions in defense of SEC and FINRA investigations.

Barry Rashkover represents a wide range of clients in enforcement matters before the SEC. Clients describe him as a "terrific partner," who "knows SEC matters and hedge fund regulations as well as anyone. He is an A-team player."

Michael Wolk wins praise from clients as "very capable, very competent and somebody who we have a lot of confidence in." His practice focuses on the representation of hedge funds and broker-dealers involved in enforcement proceedings.

Department profile by Sidley Austin LLP

For more information on the practice, please visit the practice's page at: https://www.sidley.com/en/services/securities-and-shareholder-litigation

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Sophisticated group of securities litigators expertly handling the representation of major financial institutions and private equity clients. Global capacity when it comes to M&A-related litigation, particularly for foreign clients operating in US markets. Remains a go-to for underwriters on a range of high-value matters, with particular strength in connection with the class actions and derivative suits that follow high-profile public offerings.

Strengths Sources highlight the "depth of the team," noting that it is comprised of "expert securities lawyers" and is "highly capable of handling a large breadth of matters at the same time."

The group wins praise for its international reach: "One of the strengths of this team is the amount of work they do in China, so they have a particular understanding of the unique challenges and issues there."

Work highlights Represented AliBaba in a series of securities litigations arising from the fall in its share price after Chinese regulators criticized the company. The team achieved several dismissals in federal courts.

Successfully defended former Lehman Brothers employees from an ERISA stock drop class action, with the Second Circuit upholding the lower court's dismissal.

Significant clients Best Buy, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Fairfield Greenwich Group, Focus Media.

Notable practitioners

The "superb" Peter Bresnan is a veteran member of the securities enforcement Bar, with a wealth of experience in the representation of clients facing enforcement proceedings and conducting internal investigations. Peers describe him as "very capable," noting that he is "very understated but incredibly effective and smart."

Paul Curnin is a senior member of the securities Bar whose practice as a litigator is complemented by a capability in handling government investigations. One sources describes him as "a very sharp guy," while another notes that he "has a lot of respect among the securities litigation community."

The "really outstanding" Jonathan Youngwood is widely recognized for his work on high-value securities litigation matters, with an expertise extending to cases with ERISA and antitrust elements. He has recently represented Blackstone in a number of M&A litigations.

Securities litigator Thomas Rice is noted by peers as "really strong" and an "excellent trial lawyer." He has an impressive record of representing financial institutions in their capacity as underwriters and in RMBS litigation.

Department profile by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Enjoys an extremely strong reputation in both securities litigation and regulation. Covers all the bases for major corporate clients and financial institutions, including enforcement defense, securities class action defense and compliance counseling. Recently active in a number of high-profile litigation matters arising from IPOs, on which it has represented both underwriters and public company issuers. Also fields noteworthy expertise in insider trading and FCPA-related issues.

Strengths One interviewee highlights the group's dedication: "They were very client-friendly and focused, especially in terms of their service. We feel like they are looking out for us when we retain them."

One client notes the team's breadth of knowledge as a particular strength: "They are always knowledgeable about what is trending. They have someone in the firm who can answer any question very, very quickly."

According to one source, the team is "attentive to detail, caring, and has shown a willingness to be flexible on price."

Value for money Market commentators report that for the highest-stakes securities cases, the firm's assurance of quality offers significant value for money: "If it is a bet-the-company or bet-the-business significant matter, they are worth every penny."

Work highlights Represented News Corp and linked defendants in a class action alleging securities fraud in relation to the phone-hacking scandal, winning the reaffirmation of an earlier motion to dismiss.

Continued to defend UBS Real Estate Securities on RMBS cases, winning a summary judgment requiring plaintiffs to prove any wrongdoing on a loan-by-loan basis.

Defended Swisher Hygiene in connection with SEC and criminal investigations into allegations that it had conspired in its accounting practices to mislead investors, bringing the matter to settlement.

Significant clients Aflac, BlackRock, Coca-Cola, Foot Locker, GM.

Notable practitioners

Peers "think the world of" Colleen Mahoney, with one source reporting that she is "on top of her game." She offers "tremendous credibility with the regulators and a great style in dealing with them" to a range of individual and institutional clients undergoing securities investigations.

Erich Schwartz maintains a wide-ranging securities enforcement practice that includes representing financial services institutions and their executives. Peers describe him as "terrific," with numerous sources suggesting that he is "good to work and collaborate with" and "does very, very good work."

Sources praise David Zornow as a "darned good lawyer." His expertise in defending clients from government investigations sees him act on a number of securities enforcement proceedings. His ecent clients include former Jefferies employee William Jennings, who was subject to a multiagency investigation into the mis-selling of fixed income securities.

David Meister is a former head of enforcement at the CFTC whose particular strength lies in his knowledge of complex financial instruments and the regulation surrounding them. Peers describe him as "extremely thoughtful and a very, very good lawyer."

Brian Breheny acts as an adviser on securities law to household-name companies such as Yahoo!. One client highlights his "background at the SEC, plus his ability to take that knowledge, connection and insight, and apply it in a practical way."

Peers suggest that the "excellent" Marc Gerber "has been consistently highly regarded in this practice area for many years." He provides corporate governance advice to clients, with a focus on M&A and Sarbanes-Oxley matters.

Jay Kasner wins widespread acclaim as a "great securities lawyer" with an elite client base ranging from top banks to media and energy companies. His notable recent representations include acting for a group of underwriters of Petrobras securities, in a case with notable ramifications for the extraterritorial application of US securities law.

Scott Musoff is a highly respected securities litigator with a wide-ranging practice in the representation of financial services organizations and public company issuers in shareholder class actions and derivative litigation. Sources note both his "strong intellect" and "user-friendly style."

Interviewees think highly of Susan Saltzstein, with one client suggesting that she is "smart, attentive to detail, very responsive and pleasant to work with." She acts in defense of both individual and institutional clients in securities litigation.

Department profile by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

The national securities litigation practice at Skadden is frequently recognized for handling some of the most challenging, high-stakes securities litigation matters — “bet-the-company” cases that demand a full range of skills, in and out of the
courtroom. According to Chambers USA 2017
, which ranked the firm in the top tier for securities litigation, Skadden “enjoys an extremely strong reputation in both securities litigation and regulation.” In 2016, for the sixth consecutive time, we were named a member of the “Fearsome Foursome” — the four elite law firm litigation practices — and named as a “powerhouse” in BTI’s securities and finance litigation category. Skadden is the only firm named to both of these lists in every edition of the report.


Our attorneys have deep experience with often-overlapping internal investigations, derivative actions and investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal or state regulators. The outcome of these proceedings can be vital to a company’s future, and Skadden’s approach of assembling collaborative teams of advisers with deep and relevant experience across our worldwide platform and the full range of disciplines is key to our successful track record on behalf of clients.

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Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Considered a go-to for major financial institutions involved in bet-the-company securities law disputes, and achieves particular success in matters with cross-border elements. Recognized for its work on major cases coming out of the financial crisis, as well as on precedent-setting matters for both issuers and banks. Additional strength in regulatory matters, most notably in the enforcement sphere.

Strengths One sources notes the "high standard of service and excellence which they demand of themselves," praising the team's "superior service and quality across the board."

One client simply says: "Sullivan & Cromwell is always top-notch."

One interviewee states: "In my many and various experiences, they always performed very well."

Work highlights Secured the dismissal with prejudice of a shareholder class action against Volaris, its directors and the underwriters of its IPO.

Represented Hycroft Mining, achieving the dismissal of a class action alleging that its directors had misled shareholders about the problems at its principal mining facility.

Defended Barclays in connection with five securities class actions and an SEC investigation arising from its dark pool operation, securing the dismissal of the litigations and a favorable settlement with the SEC.

Significant clients UBS, BP, The St. Joe Company, Goldman Sachs, HSBC.

Notable practitioners

Peers "have a lot of respect for" Robert Giuffra, who is widely viewed as a "terrific securities lawyer" and a powerful trial advocate. His extensive practice as a civil litigator includes an expertise in the defense of large financial institutions and public companies in the highest-stakes securities cases.

Richard Klapper wins recognition for representing investment banks on highly complex securities matters. He has recently acted for Goldman Sachs in numerous cases, including a dispute over CDOs and a shareholder class action with precedent-setting effects. Sources call him "a top litigation lawyer."

The "terrific" Robert Sacks is the firm's leading securities litigator on the West Coast, with particular experience in the representation of issuers and in cases with M&A and antitrust elements.

Peers describe Sharon Nelles as "part of the next generation of top lawyers," with one interviewee suggesting that they have "nothing but the utmost respect" for her. Her strong practice as a civil litigator is complemented by experience in dealing with regulatory investigations.

Department profile by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is in New York.

What the team is known for Utilizes its position as one of the most highly acclaimed corporate M&A firms in the USA in order to offer effective counsel to clients facing securities litigation arising out of these transactions. Also well versed in handling shareholder derivative litigation and securities class actions.

Strengths One source describes Wachtell as "lawyer for lawyer the best firm in the world. There are no weak links when you deal with them."

Another sources notes that "there is nobody who comes close to them" in securities litigation arising from M&A.

According to one client, "they live up to every bit of their reputation and more. They are extraordinary lawyers."

Notable practitioners

Peers describe Theodore Mirvis as a "great lawyer with a great reputation." He displays unmatched strength in representing clients on securities litigation arising from M&A. Mirvis also excels in shareholder litigation and corporate governance disputes.

William Savitt maintains a strong reputation for his practice in Delaware litigation, which sees him represent clients on a range of securities disputes relating to M&A and corporate governance. Sources comment that he is "a great lawyer" and "an M&A litigation specialist."

George Conway wins praise for his "excellent" securities litigation practice, with one interviewee commenting that he is "one of the best" in the field. He is noted for his extensive experience in arguing major cases at appellate level.

Department profile by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Dedicated group of securities litigators coupled with firmwide M&A and private equity expertise. Represents financial institutions and public companies in the full range of securities disputes, retaining a particularly strong reputation for the representation of boards of directors and independent committees. Also possesses capacities in corporate governance and securities advisory work.

Strengths One commentator highlights the team's "excellent judgment," describing its lawyers as "technically proficient and also very strategically sound, with a very good sense of how to get a dispute resolved as soon as possible."

Another client reports: "They are incredibly smart and very analytical. They did a great job."

Work highlights Successfully represented Sanofi in the Second Circuit, affirming a lower court's dismissal of a securities class action alleging misleading statements around the likelihood of a drug gaining FDA approval.

Acted for Signet Jewelers in M&A litigation arising from the company's $690 million purchase of Zale Corporation, winning a dismissal in the Delaware Supreme Court.

Significant clients Sanofi, Morgan Stanley, AIG, Vivendi, Genworth Financial.

Notable practitioners

Clients praise Ellen Odoner as "a most trusted adviser" who is "always thoughtful" and "extremely patient and valuable." She provides expert counsel to audit committees on SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regulation, as well as broader corporate governance issues.

The "magnificent" Joseph Allerhand is described as "a formidable litigator, and an expert in securities law and Delaware law in particular." He is particularly noted for his strength in M&A litigation.

Jonathan Polkes provides an expert securities litigation service, with a number of leading investment banks among his clients. Sources report that "he frames arguments in the most productive way," with one interviewee describing him as "extremely competent, very creative, very thoughtful, and just a great adviser."

Department profile by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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Williams & Connolly LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Robust litigation practice offering counsel to accounting and private equity firms, as well as public companies and their senior executives in a variety of securities and M&A disputes. Notably active in financial services litigation, having worked on a number of RMBS-related matters. Particularly noted for its strength at trial, offering clients a number of highly experienced trial lawyers.

Strengths Clients commend the team as "a very talented group of people" who are "very good at client service."

Work highlights Achieved a major victory for Bank of America in the Second Circuit, which overturned a $1.3 billion ruling that the company was liable for Countrywide's FIRREA violations in its loan sales to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Continued to represent The Carlyle Group in litigation arising from the 2008 insolvency of Carlyle Capital Corporation, a $22 billion investment vehicle. Matters handled included a number of securities class actions and an ongoing breach of fiduciary duty case brought by the company's liquidators in Guernsey.

Significant clients Bank of America, The Carlyle Group, HSBC, CVS Caremark, UBS.

Notable practitioners

The "terrific" John Villa fields unrivaled expertise in representing law firms caught up in litigation, with peers describing him as "one of the leaders of that Bar." His practice also includes a great deal of work for the financial services industry, with clients noting their "tremendous respect" for him.

Kevin Downey is a versatile litigator whose practice spans the securities and government investigations spaces. Market feedback suggests that he is a "terrific attorney" who has "excellent judgment and is respected by the people he deals with."

Department profile by Williams & Connolly LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Williams & Connolly LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Respected group of regulatory lawyers and litigators catering to asset management and financial services clients facing securities litigations, enforcement actions and investigative proceedings. Offers specialist expertise in accounting and disclosure issues as well as financial fraud. Recently active in a number of securities litigation matters arising from major M&A.

Strengths Market observers describe the firm as "terrific" in the securities space, with one client reporting that "they did a great job."

Another client suggests that they have "always been happy with the services provided," describing the regulatory group as "knowledgeable, commercial and prompt."

Work highlights Acted for Lehman Brothers Holdings in RMBS litigation in which plaintiffs alleged damages of over $12 billion.

Defended Clovis Oncology against a shareholder class action seeking billions in damages for the alleged misrepresentation of a key drug's prospects for FDA approval.

Acted for Blackstreet Capital Management and its Chief Compliance Officer in an SEC enforcement action regarding the receipt of portfolio company transaction fees.

Significant clients KPMG, Facebook, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Bank.

Notable practitioners

Clients praise Elizabeth Gray as "the much-needed type of attorney who doesn't just identify problems but works to solve them," commending her "practical approach to client representation and to adversarial negotiations with the government." She is particularly skilled in representing broker-dealers in securities enforcement matters.

According to impressed interviewees, experienced securities litigator Michael Young "commands a lot of respect because of his deep knowledge of accounting issues and how those issues are entangled with the securities law." One rival attorney describes him as "a powerful intellect, an excellent presence in the courtroom and a wonderful counselor to a client. He has the whole package and I have deep respect for him."

Tariq Mundiya is a securities litigator who is applauded for his ability to "build confidence among sophisticated international businessmen very quickly," as well as for being "very strategic - he knows the rules and procedures like the back of his hands and he uses them to propel good outcomes." Of late he has focused on M&A litigation.

Department profile by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

The differentiating feature of the Securities Litigation & Enforcement Practice of Willkie Farr & Gallagher is its dominance in the area of financial reporting and the proceedings surrounding it. 

The practice group’s clients include national leaders on financial reporting issues.  They also include most of the major accounting firms as well as major investment banks, hedge funds, and other asset managers.  They include innumerable public companies, audit committees, officers, and directors.

Beyond the active defense of securities litigation and governmental proceedings, the depth of the group’s experience has long been viewed as a resource by Congress and regulatory authorities.  Through participation in the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council to FASB, the practice group has been called upon to assist in the formulation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and, through its role as counsel to the AICPA, in the crafting of Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.

Staffed by more than 100 attorneys, the practice group membership includes senior veterans of the SEC, former enforcement officials of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, and other experienced veterans of governmental practice.  Members of the practice group have authored or contributed to more than a half-dozen texts on the securities laws, financial reporting, and the defense of securities litigation and governmental proceedings.

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WilmerHale - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Market-leading practice in the securities regulatory space, representing top-tier clients on everything from high-stakes enforcement proceedings to day-to-day compliance and corporate governance. Practice is well complemented by strong litigation capability. Houses a deep bench of former SEC and government agency officials well equipped to counsel financial institutions, accounting firms and major corporates on all manner of investigations and compliance matters. Also noted for its handling of a broad range of securities litigation matters.

Strengths One peer in the enforcement field describes the team as "terrific, frankly top of this space."

One client praises the team's "sound judgment," describing WilmerHale as "a firm that has, it goes without saying, smart lawyers who understand business."

According to one interviewee, "the reason why I use them is that they know the law but also give wise advice. They know how to interpret the law and give honest and balanced guidance. That is how they train their lawyers."

Work highlights Acted as counsel to UBS Securities on a FINRA inquiry into alleged violations of the market access rule, bringing the matter to a favorable conclusion.

Represented Ernst & Young as the SEC brought a number of enforcement actions against the firm regarding its accounting practices, reaching a settlement with a combined value of over $4 million.

Acted for RBS in US civil litigation arising from its alleged role in the conspiracy to manipulate LIBOR.

Significant clients UBS Securities, Ernst & Young, SNS Global Custody, American Council of Life Insurers, State Street Bank.

Notable practitioners

Commentators are united in viewing regulatory enforcement attorney William McLucas as "formidable" and "a dominant force in the space." He offers unparalleled experience in handling the most challenging enforcement cases, with a client list that includes top players in a range of industries. One peer simply says: "I think he walks on water."

Meredith Cross acts as an expert adviser to public companies on an extensive range of issues in the securities regulatory space. Sources describe her as "a very deep subject matter expert who has the ability to communicate effectively and produce common-sense, practical and actionable recommendations."

Harry Weiss is widely regarded as "one of the leading experts in the field" of securities enforcement, with clients suggesting that "he knows the securities laws inside and out, and he also gives you very practical advice." Sources also highlight the breadth of his experience in government, private practice and industry, saying: "What I love about Harry is that you get the trifecta. That combination is rare in an adviser."

Market commentators describe Christopher Davies as a "very capable attorney," with one interviewee highlighting his "good, sober grasp of the issues" and his "proactive" approach. His broad enforcement practice includes work for audit and accounting firms.

Clients highlight Lori Martin as "very smart and knowledgeable, particularly when it comes to investment advisory and 40 Act issues." She provides counsel to investment advisers on a range of regulatory matters, as well as handling securities litigation for clients from the sector.

Department profile by WilmerHale

WilmerHale's Securities Department of more than 200 lawyers offers premier enforcement, litigation and regulatory capabilities, and is widely recognized for its experience in all aspects of capital markets, investment management, broker-dealer and financial services regulation.

Recognized for providing "superior levels of service response time, business acumen, securities law expertise, and strength and depth of team" (Legal 500 US), and cited as "a standout performer in the regulatory sphere with impressive depths of quality on both the advisory and enforcement sides" (Chambers USA), WilmerHale has played a central role in a number of prominent US federal and state securities investigations and regularly represents companies, directors and senior management in governmental and internal investigations. On behalf of committees of outside directors, we conducted the investigations of Enron, Qwest, and WorldCom, and we represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors in the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) UnitedHealth options backdating inquiry. For every high-profile securities investigation we have handled, there are many others in which we represented the company or an officer with no charges made.

To learn more, visit us at: https://www.wilmerhale.com/securities/

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati - Securities

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Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Palo Alto and Seattle.

What the team is known for Enjoys a solid reputation for its litigation expertise as it pertains to securities class actions and derivative suits, including cases of accounting and securities fraud. Possesses a large client base of corporate issuers, with particular expertise in acting for clients from the technology and life sciences industries. Also active in Delaware M&A litigation.

Strengths According to peers, this is "a fine firm and a fine practice group," with a "reputation and competency that the issuing world knows about."

Work highlights Acted for root9B Technologies to achieve the dismissal of a securities class action alleging that it had made a number of false statements regarding its possession of certain hardware and software, and regarding a thwarted cyberattack.

Defended SolarCity in connection with a securities class action that stemmed from a restatement of financial results in correction of an error.

Significant clients Google, Netflix, Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks, Bridgepoint Education.

Notable practitioners

Sources profess "nothing but the highest regard" for Boris Feldman, describing him as "a wonderful partner and a wonderful lawyer who does a fine job for the clients of that firm." He is an expert securities litigator with a wealth of experience in representing issuers in high-value securities class actions and derivative lawsuits.

Department profile by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Department profile not yet provided by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Please see their firm profile.

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Overview

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction Contributed by Sidley Austin LLP

Re-evaluation of Legal and Regulatory Requirements. The securities regulatory environment continues to change rapidly. The new administration has indicated interest in reforming the regulatory structure to facilitate capital formation. Both houses of Congress are considering substantial changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, as is the administration itself, but it appears that their approaches are all different and it is not clear whether any of them will be able to command majorities in Congress. Some proposals under consideration, such as a return to the Glass-Steagall Act requirement to separate banking from investments, could have profound regulatory effects. In the meantime, new SEC and CFTC leadership – not only at the Commissioner level but also at virtually all of their major divisions and offices – also portends significant changes in the regulatory landscape. But until passage of new legislation, the Dodd-Frank Act remains in effect, including its requirement to finalize some rules not yet adopted. In the meantime, major regulatory changes continue in the European Union (EU) and other major international jurisdictions, many of which require harmonization with the US (and which are complicated in the UK by Brexit). These international issues include regulation of swaps and other derivatives parallel to Title VII of Dodd-Frank, as well as the implementation of the MIFID II directive, which will have substantial effects on broker-dealers and investment managers active in both the US and the EU.

Within the US, the SEC will explore ways of making the securities offering process more streamlined and efficient, both for public offerings and private placements. This effort may include scaling back some disclosure requirements, especially for smaller public companies. The SEC is already part way through a review of equity market structure issues, including a pilot of trading using variations on the current decimal pricing, and is considering a potential additional pilot that would change exchange access fees and rebates. A new SEC leadership may expand this review to include possible revisions to Regulation NMS, changes to the regulatory authority of for-profit exchanges, and reconsideration of rules affecting high-frequency trading. At the same time, the SEC, FINRA and MSRB have imposed new best execution and pre-trade and post-trade transparency initiatives in the fixed income markets. Financial services firms are attempting to implement the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standards for retirement accounts (itself a moving target), while the SEC is considering a uniform fiduciary standard of care between broker-dealers and investment advisers. The federal banking regulators will review whether rules such as the Volcker Rule and risk retention requirements are impeding lending – all of which affect the securities and futures markets. The SEC must consider partly-completed projects on restrictions on use of derivatives by investment companies and third-party compliance reviews of investment advisers. Meanwhile, the investment management industry must implement new requirements for liquidity risk management and to enhance disclosure (to the SEC itself and to investors) on the part of both investment advisers and investment companies. Each of the regulators are considering how to oversee financial technology innovations such as block-chain and crypto-currencies, online marketplace lending and automated investment advice, while also monitoring cyber-security risks and algorithmic trading. FINRA also has new leadership, and has announced a review of whether its rules need to be modernized to facilitate capital formation.

Enforcement. New leadership at the SEC, CFTC and FINRA means a new opportunity to review enforcement priorities. Some incremental changes could occur, such as more restrained interpretations of the FCPA, smaller penalties against public companies (borne by shareholders), and a de-emphasis of “broken windows” policing of negligent violations. However, the historical record suggests that even conservative administrations like to be perceived as “tough on crime” especially against unpopular industries such as financial services. The enforcement staffs continue to use new tools implemented after the Dodd-Frank Act, such as whistleblower awards, increased authority to use administrative law judges, required admissions of liability in some settlements, and enhanced sanctions against senior executives. The regulatory agencies also are using enhanced “big data” capabilities to look for connections across traders, markets and countries, while demanding ever more information from firms under investigation. The SEC and FINRA both are heavily focused on anti-money-laundering efforts and suspicious activity reporting, with a new requirement to verify beneficial ownership in corporate entities scheduled to take effect in 2018. New SEC and CFTC rules on market access and anti-disruptive trading have created new potential enforcement liabilities. Both agencies are actively investigating potential market manipulation activity such as spoofing, layering and cross-market trading strategies. The SEC continues to focus energy on private fund managers, with the focus expanding from private equity funds to hedge funds as well. All of the agencies (including the FTC and CFPB) are focused on cyber-security breaches and responses. Regulators are carefully monitoring new fundraising methods (such as JOBS Act crowdfunding and Regulation A+) for the emergence of new types of fraud. The SEC and CFTC have established strong staff-level relationships with the US Department of Justice, especially (but not only) on potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, but it remains to be seen what the new administration’s white collar criminal priorities will be. State securities regulators, attorneys general and banking agencies eagerly pursue their own enforcement agendas, sometimes with little cross-agency coordination, and may be eager to step in if they perceive federal-level enforcement to be slackening. At the same time, all of the regulators continue to investigate traditional enforcement priorities such as insider trading, Ponzi schemes, sales practice violations and fraud on senior investors.

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Senior Statesmen

Mitchell Lowenthal

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "eminently experienced" Mitchell Lowenthal offers deep knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of securities litigation matters. His practice has included a great deal of work on M&A litigation and the representation of underwriters.

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Star Individuals

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Brad Karp is widely regarded as "an utterly fantastic lawyer and a great adviser to his clients," with sources concurring that he is "one of the deans of the New York Bar." His practice is focused on litigating high-value securities cases for top financial institutions, with additional expertise in the handling of regulatory proceedings for a similar client base. He also serves as the chair of the firm.

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Joseph S Allerhand

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "magnificent" Joseph Allerhand is described as "a formidable litigator, and an expert in securities law and Delaware law in particular." He is particularly noted for his strength in M&A litigation.

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Clary wins wide acclaim from peers for his top-drawer securities litigation practice. His work for top financial services clients like Credit Suisse, which he represents in RMBS matters and longstanding litigation arising from the collapse of Enron, has made him a "brand name" in this area.

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Robert J Giuffra Jr

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers "have a lot of respect for" Robert Giuffra, who is widely viewed as a "terrific securities lawyer" and a powerful trial advocate. His extensive practice as a civil litigator includes an expertise in the defense of large financial institutions and public companies in the highest-stakes securities cases.

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

From the Chambers USA guide

Jay Kasner wins widespread acclaim as a "great securities lawyer" with an elite client base ranging from top banks to media and energy companies. His notable recent representations include acting for a group of underwriters of Petrobras securities, in a case with notable ramifications for the extraterritorial application of US securities law.

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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "super-effective" Daniel Kramer wins plaudits from a range of sources as "a thoughtful securities lawyer." His securities litigation defense practice sees him defend issuers from shareholder class actions and derivative suits.

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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Rosen is viewed by interviewees as a "really excellent lawyer." His broad securities practice includes work for a range of issuers, directors and underwriters. His status as an intellectual powerhouse is widely recognized, with sources describing him as a "very thoughtful lawyer" with a "strong intellect," who "knows an incredible amount."

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

According to impressed interviewees, experienced securities litigator Michael Young "commands a lot of respect because of his deep knowledge of accounting issues and how those issues are entangled with the securities law." One rival attorney describes him as "a powerful intellect, an excellent presence in the courtroom and a wonderful counselor to a client. He has the whole package and I have deep respect for him."

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "outstanding" Robert Baron continues to handle high-value securities litigation for clients from a wide range of industries, including energy, technology and pharmaceuticals. He is particularly specialized in litigation arising from M&A.

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Curnin is a senior member of the securities Bar whose practice as a litigator is complemented by a capability in handling government investigations. One sources describes him as "a very sharp guy," while another notes that he "has a lot of respect among the securities litigation community."

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Ropes & Gray LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

John Donovan is a deeply experienced litigator with an extensive record of defending securities class actions. Interviewees suggest that "he is a spectacular lawyer," with one source noting that he "has a really great mind."

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources profess "nothing but the highest regard" for Boris Feldman, describing him as "a wonderful partner and a wonderful lawyer who does a fine job for the clients of that firm." He is an expert securities litigator with a wealth of experience in representing issuers in high-value securities class actions and derivative lawsuits.

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Shearman & Sterling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Adam Hakki wins plaudits from clients and peers for his impressive record of litigating securities disputes for giants of the financial services industry. One source comments that "he is as good as anyone on The Street, which is one of the reasons we use them."

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Kirsch has a strong reputation for defending clients in high-stakes securities litigation. His recent work includes defending Coty from a class action alleging that the company had committed securities fraud in relation to its $1 billion IPO.

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Theodore N Mirvis

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers describe Theodore Mirvis as a "great lawyer with a great reputation." He displays unmatched strength in representing clients on securities litigation arising from M&A. Mirvis also excels in shareholder litigation and corporate governance disputes.

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

From the Chambers USA guide

Scott Musoff is a highly respected securities litigator with a wide-ranging practice in the representation of financial services organizations and public company issuers in shareholder class actions and derivative litigation. Sources note both his "strong intellect" and "user-friendly style."

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Brian E Pastuszenski

Goodwin

From the Chambers USA guide

Market commentators commend Brian Pastuszenski as a "real superstar" of securities litigation, notably with respect to the representation of financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies in cutting-edge matters. One client suggests that "for life sciences litigation, the magnitude of his knowledge makes him very special."

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Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Lawrence Portnoy offers a wealth of experience in litigating securities cases, with particular expertise in shareholder suits arising from M&A. His recent clients include IBM, which he has defended in a securities class action and ensuing ERISA litigation.

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Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

James Rouhandeh offers strong credentials in the representation of underwriters in securities litigation, as well as impressive appellate experience. Sources describe him as "a really outstanding lawyer," with one client going even further: "To me he is the ultimate on securities work. He is very bright, and is the kind of guy who sees legal angles and finds very unique solutions."

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Latham & Watkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Miles Ruthberg maintains his high-quality securities litigation practice, with a particular expertise in representing accounting and audit firms. Peers describe him as "terrific," with one source saying that he is "one of the best trial and regulatory folks - he could take any case."

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Irell & Manella LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Siegel of Irell & Manella LLP is a litigator with a strong reputation for defending corporate issuers and their officers from securities lawsuits. He receives praise for his "great strategic sense" and "deep, deep experience," as well as being "very well respected by judges and fellow practitioners throughout the country."

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Latham & Watkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients describe Peter Wald as a "great resource" and "very knowledgeable," as well as highlighting his "practical insights about the judge, the plaintiffs and the opposing counsel." He is a securities litigator with an impressive client base that includes energy, pharmaceutical and technology companies.

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Jonathan K Youngwood

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "really outstanding" Jonathan Youngwood is widely recognized for his work on high-value securities litigation matters, with an expertise extending to cases with ERISA and antitrust elements. He has recently represented Blackstone in a number of M&A litigations.

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O'Melveny & Myers LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers note their "tremendous respect" for Seth Aronson, who is a "phenomenal" securities litigator with a strong record of defending issuers from shareholder class actions and derivative lawsuits. He draws clients from a diverse array of industries, including technology, energy and retail.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients praise Jordan Eth of Morrison & Foerster LLP as "an exceptional securities lawyer." He represents public companies in securities class action cases, drawing many of his clients from the technology sector.

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Goodwin

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Holland is widely viewed as an "excellent" practitioner across the breadth of securities litigation, with experience representing issuers and underwriters in both class and derivative actions. His recent clients include JPMorgan Investment Management.

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Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Klapper wins recognition for representing investment banks on highly complex securities matters.  He has recently acted for Goldman Sachs in numerous cases, including a dispute over CDOs and a shareholder class action with precedent-setting effects. Sources call him "a top litigation lawyer."

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Andrew J Levander

Dechert LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

"Dean of the Bar" Andrew Levander wins widespread acclaim as "an excellent securities enforcement lawyer, the sort of person you'd want to turn to for a bet-the-company case." His expertise in handling enforcement proceedings is well complemented by his strengths as a trial lawyer and a securities litigator, with one source describing him as "one of the best all-around litigators in New York."

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Lewis Liman maintains a broad litigation practice that includes significant expertise in the defense of securities class actions. Sources commend his "excellent presence with judges" and his intellectually "innovative" approach to the law, with one peer describing him as  "an excellent lawyer who cuts across regulatory and civil litigation."

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William R Maguire

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources suggest that the "excellent" William Maguire of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is "very effective and impressive at trial." He is known for his representation of top accounting and audit firms, including Deloitte & Touche, in multimillion-dollar securities litigation.

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jonathan Polkes provides an expert securities litigation service, with a number of leading investment banks among his clients. Sources report that "he frames arguments in the most productive way," with one interviewee describing him as "extremely competent, very creative, very thoughtful, and just a great adviser."

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Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "terrific" Robert Sacks is the firm's leading securities litigator on the West Coast, with particular experience in the representation of issuers and in cases with M&A and antitrust elements.

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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

From the Chambers USA guide

William Savitt maintains a strong reputation for his practice in Delaware litigation, which sees him represent clients on a range of securities disputes relating to M&A and corporate governance. Sources comment that he is "a great lawyer" and "an M&A litigation specialist."

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Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

John Spiegel is a versatile litigator with a significant capability in the handling of major securities disputes. Recent clients include Corinthian Colleges, which he represented in a shareholder class action. Sources call him "an outstanding lawyer."

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Joseph Warin is widely regarded as a "top-notch" attorney across the enforcement space, with unparalleled expertise in FCPA matters. His "terrific" regulatory practice is complemented by significant experience in securities litigation.

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Shearman & Sterling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients describe Stuart Baskin as a "a very good commercial litigator" and praise the way he "always gets to a good, smart result." His securities litigation practice includes a specialty in M&A litigation, with a number of recent matters for Viacom in the Delaware courts.

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Ropes & Gray LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Randall Bodner defends public companies and their executives from allegations of securities fraud. Many of his clients are drawn from the technology and life sciences industries. He also practices in the regulatory enforcement space.

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O'Melveny & Myers LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "talented" Bradley Butwin practices widely as a civil litigator, enjoying a fine reputation for his impressive work in the securities litigation field. He serves as chair of the firm and works out of its New York office.

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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

From the Chambers USA guide

George Conway wins praise for his "excellent" securities litigation practice, with one interviewee commenting that he is "one of the best" in the field. He is noted for his extensive experience in arguing major cases at appellate level.

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Williams & Connolly LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Kevin Downey is a versatile litigator whose practice spans the securities and government investigations spaces. Market feedback suggests that he is a "terrific attorney" who has "excellent judgment and is respected by the people he deals with."

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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Scott Edelman of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is an accomplished litigator with a broad practice that includes work on securities matters. He serves as the chair of the firm and is noted for his strength at trial.

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O'Melveny & Myers LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jeffrey Kilduff is a DC-based attorney with a well-regarded practice in the defense of securities and ERISA litigation. According to client feedback, he is "proactive in the ways you want your outside counsel to be," and is someone who "thinks big picture" and is "smart and creative."

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Tariq Mundiya is a securities litigator who is applauded for his ability to "build confidence among sophisticated international businessmen very quickly," as well as for being "very strategic - he knows the rules and procedures like the back of his hands and he uses them to propel good outcomes." Of late he has focused on M&A litigation.

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Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers describe Sharon Nelles as "part of the next generation of top lawyers," with one interviewee suggesting that they have "nothing but the utmost respect" for her. Her strong practice as a civil litigator is complemented by experience in dealing with regulatory investigations.

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Securities litigator Thomas Rice is noted by peers as "really strong" and an "excellent trial lawyer." He has an impressive record of representing financial institutions in their capacity as underwriters and in RMBS litigation.

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Antony Ryan wins recognition for his work defending accounting and audit firms in securities litigation, including multiple recent matters for PwC and Deloitte. Sources describe him as "exceptionally smart," with one client describing him as "highly talented, dedicated and rigorous."

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Susan L Saltzstein

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

From the Chambers USA guide

Interviewees think highly of Susan Saltzstein, with one client suggesting that she is "smart, attentive to detail, very responsive and pleasant to work with." She acts in defense of both individual and institutional clients in securities litigation.

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Slifkin has a fast-growing reputation as a securities litigator, with clients highlighting his "extraordinary ability to turn complex problems into easy stories for the jury to understand." His practice spans the representation of both issuers and underwriters of securities.

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Williams & Connolly LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "terrific" John Villa fields unrivaled expertise in representing law firms caught up in litigation, with peers describing him as "one of the leaders of that Bar." His practice also includes a great deal of work for the financial services industry, with clients noting their "tremendous respect" for him.

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