People

Daniel W. Halston

Partner

Halston, Daniel W.

Daniel Halston focuses on securities litigation, general commercial litigation and administrative law disputes. He has represented numerous public and private high technology, life sciences, and financial services companies and their officers and directors in a wide range of complex litigation matters, including securities fraud class actions, derivative litigation, mergers and acquisitions disputes, false claims act actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims, investment advisor claims, closely-held corporation disputes, proxy contests, non-competition claims, trade secret claims, software license and development disputes, and a wide variety of public law matters. He also regularly represents clients in internal investigations and before the SEC, FINRA and state regulatory agencies.

Mr. Halston has represented numerous public and private companies and their officers and directors in complex securities, commercial, and corporate governance matters, including Airvana Corporation, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc., Biogen Idec, Eclipsys Corporation, Separacor Inc., Sonus Networks, Inc. and State Street Corporation.

From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Halston served as an assistant attorney general in both the Administrative Law and Trial Divisions of the Government Bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. He represented the Commonwealth before all courts of the Commonwealth in various disputes with regulated industries and professionals.

Recent Highlights

  • Obtained dismissal of merger-related claims against the directors of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. in Delaware Chancery Court in 2013
  • Successfully defended Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. in Connecticut Trial Court in 2012 in a challenge to a merger, defeated an injunction after trial, and obtained dismissal of the case
  • Successfully defended Airvana Corporation in Delaware Chancery Court in 2010 in defeating expedited discovery sought against an acquisition, and obtaining a dismissal of the case
  • Represented Biogen Idec before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2009 in successful challenge to State Treasurer's enforcement of the abandoned property statute (Biogen IDEC MA, Inc. v. Treasurer, 454 Mass. 174 (2009))
  • Successfully defended a major pharmaceutical company in Massachusetts Superior Court in 2008 in defeating an injunction against a substantial merger transaction, and obtaining a dismissal of the case
  • Represented Sonus Networks, Inc. before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 2007 and obtained dismissal of derivative litigation arising out of Company’s Restatement (In re Sonus Networks, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, 499 F.3d 47 (1st Cir. 2007))
  • Represented a majority of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in corporate governance dispute with its now former Chairman in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2006, and appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Governor of Massachusetts in a successful effort to remove the Chairman from office
  • Obtained dismissal of securities fraud class action against Eclipsys Corp. in Southern District of Florida in 2004
  • Obtained dismissal of securities fraud class action against officers and directors of Triton Network Systems in Middle District of Florida in 2003
  • Successfully defended SinglePoint Financial Corp. against claim for advancement of attorneys' fees before Delaware Chancery Court and Delaware Supreme Court (Gentile v. SinglePoint Financial, Inc., 788 A.2d 111 (Del. 2001))
  • Represented many high technology, life sciences, and financial services companies in challenges to enjoin M&A transactions in Delaware Chancery Court and numerous state and federal courts
  • Represented several high technology clients in parallel securities fraud class actions, derivative litigation, FINRA and SEC enforcement proceedings, and internal investigations involving various conduct, including accounting fraud and stock-option backdating allegations

Publications & News

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June 25, 2014

US Supreme Court Decides Closely Watched Case on ERISA "Stock Drop" Class Actions

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, a decision written by Justice Breyer, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that plan fiduciaries are not entitled to any special “presumption of prudence” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when they decide to buy or hold employer stock in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

August 15, 2013

Best Lawyers in America® 2014 Recognizes Nearly 100 WilmerHale Partners, Naming Eight “Lawyer of the Year”

Nearly 100 WilmerHale lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry.

May 6, 2013

Deal Litigation: The Facts of Life

An article written by Daniel Halston, Nolan Mitchell and Andrew Dulberg.

May 6, 2013

2013 M&A Report

Our 2013 M&A Report offers a detailed review of, and outlook for, the global M&A market. Other highlights include a discussion of the challenges and benefits of selling your company in a “dual-track” IPO, a comparison of public and private acquisitions, an analysis of issues and opportunities in California M&A deals, and a review of takeover defenses adopted by public companies. It also takes a look at the facts of life in M&A deal litigation, and survey key terms  in sales of VC-backed companies.

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

March 30, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Preliminary Results Announced

April 4, 2011

Delaware Corporate Law: Notable Developments in 2010

An article written by Daniel Halston, Timothy Perla and Andrew Dulberg, appearing in Securities Regulation & Law Report, 43 SRLR 734.

March 15, 2011

Chambers USA 2011 Preliminary Results Announced

June 11, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Reveals Final Results Ranking 101 WilmerHale Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

March 18, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Honors WilmerHale, Ranking Over 100 Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

Speaking Engagements

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a Massachusetts leader in the litigation: general commercial field in the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Named a "New England Super Lawyer" (formerly "Massachusetts Super Lawyer") in securities litigation in the 2004-2013 issues of Boston Magazine
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation 
  • In 2012 survey by Best Lawyers, clients cite Mr. Halston as “an outstanding attorney who is well versed in handling and leading teams in complex investigation,” “trusted by his clients and adversaries alike,” and “much more than just litigation counsel. His experience, expertise and creativity allow him to serve as a trusted strategic advisor in arriving at a business resolution of disputes.”

Professional Activities

  • Director and Secretary, Traveler's Aid Family Services
  • Member, Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society
  • Member, American Bar Association and Boston Bar Association
  • Former Lecturer, Boston University School of Law

Community Involvement

  • Former Officer, Vassar Club of Boston

Practices

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Education

JD, cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1986, Executive Editor, Boston University Law Review

AB, with honors, Vassar College, 1982

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts

Clerkships

US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1986 - 1987