Private securities plaintiffs and government regulators have grown more creative and aggressive in recent years. Because we have worked securities litigation matters from every angle, our innovative strategies cut the shortest path to a favorable resolution. Our leading national trial practice provides additional strategic options and leverage to maximize success.
We represent plaintiffs and corporate defendants as well as individual officers and directors across a broad spectrum of high-impact cases brought by private securities plaintiffs and government regulators. Our team defends securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, and advises companies large and small on how best to navigate sensitive internal and governmental investigations. We are among the handful of firms with lawyers who have tried a securities class action to a jury verdict.
We have achieved extraordinary success in defending against securities law enforcement actions. In both nationally profile cases and in the many investigations which we manage to terminate before they become public, we deploy unique strategies and bring trial credibility that either quickly brings the government to the settlement table or else lays the foundation for a successful trial.
Won a complete victory for Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an extremely high-profile contempt proceeding brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over Musk’s extemporaneous tweets about Tesla. (See “How Hueston Hennigan Steered Tesla’s Musk to Safety,” The American Lawyer).
Secured a sweeping victory for Joe Kiani, Founder and CEO of Masimo Corp., a global technology company, in a highly publicized activist shareholder suit challenging Kiani’s employment agreement. Plaintiffs asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty and sought to invalidate key provisions of the agreement, which they alleged to have been worth more than $1 billion. With trial approaching, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed all claims.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of multiple shareholder derivative actions asserting that Allergan’s board members failed to prevent alleged off-label marketing violations (Willa Rosenbloom v. Pyott (Allergan)).
Reversed an initial SEC charging decision and terminated an insider trading and tipping investigation into a Goldman Sachs banker.
In a multibillion-dollar national securities fraud class action alleging misstatements and omissions related to several of Amgen’s most important drugs, Amgen retained us after the case was remanded by the Supreme Court of the United States. In related litigation, we obtained dismissals multiple shareholder derivative actions in state and federal courts and favorably settled other actions to finally resolve the decade-old case (In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation).
Won a complete dismissal of a securities class action against PwC. Secured a complete dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit against PwC in relation to audit work performed for a publicly-traded company that is one of the largest diversified construction and construction materials companies in the United States. The case related to the company’s forecasting of multi-billion dollar “heavy civil” construction projects that were written down following an internal investigation, which also resulted in the company stating that certain financial statements and disclosures filed with the SEC should not be relied upon.
Won a preliminary injunction and prevailed at the California Court of Appeal on behalf of minority shareholders of SweetGen, Inc.; in an action alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, self-dealing, securities fraud, conversion, and conspiracy.
Secured termination of an SEC investigation of a high-level PIMCO officer relating to allegations of misleading investors about the performance of a fund and alleged failure to accurately value certain fund securities.
Successfully represented a former chief financial officer of an oil services company against civil and regulatory claims of accounting fraud and insufficient internal accounting controls in a securities class action. The SEC closed its investigation without any charges against the CFO, and the class action was settled on very favorable terms.
Obtained termination of SEC investigation on behalf of one of the world’s largest professional services firms. Inquiry related to potential fraud by a start-up technology company and its CEO in connection with more than $2 billion in venture capital raised from Fortune 500 technology companies, a sovereign wealth fund and others. The investigation was successfully concluded without any action against our client, which served as the company’s outside auditor.
Secured favorable settlement in a first-of-a-kind lawsuit filed by former shareholders of Allergan Inc. In the lawsuit, which arose out of a merger that was on the front page of all major newspapers. Plaintiffs alleged that our client Valeant engaged in an insider trading scheme by partnering with the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital in its bid to acquire Allergan. After we moved for summary judgment, Plaintiffs agreed settle in an amount considerably lower than demanded from Valeant (In re: Allergan Inc. Proxy Violation Derivatives Litigation and In re: Allergan Inc. Proxy Violation Securities Litigation). (See coverage in Law360).
Secured declinations in insider trading investigation of Goldman Sachs banker conducted jointly by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the SEC, the NY Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the DOJ.
Obtained $20 million for Pacific Life against Bank of New York Mellon at the summary judgment stage in a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty matter in investment mismanagement litigation. Later secured an additional $30 million settlement on the eve of trial (Pacific Select Fund v. Bank of New York Mellon et al.).
Secured highly favorable resolution for movie studio executive in an SEC investigation and litigation concerning insider trading.
Obtained declinations from SEC and DOJ for CFO of Direct Lending Investments in parallel stock manipulation and insider trading investigations
Terminated an SEC investigation of a leading accounting firm relating to alleged accounting controls failures.
Obtained declination of an SEC insider trading investigation of founder and CEO of a leading energy drink company.
Obtained a no-action letter from the SEC on behalf of chief compliance officer of a hedge fund in an investigation of allegations of improper trading practices. The SEC brought action against the fund and its CEO.
Representing a former CEO in one of largest alleged corporate securities fraud cases in history in parallel SEC and criminal proceedings in Chicago in a $1 billion case.