Securities Fraud LIFE SCIENCES

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies depend on us to provide sophisticated representation and advice in securities fraud litigation and SEC investigations.

Life sciences companies often find themselves the target of securities fraud litigation or investigations, and our experienced, interdisciplinary team has a strong record of achieving favorable results when these challenges arise. We defend companies and their management and boards of directors in securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative suits, counsel leadership through regulatory investigations, and advise on related governance issues. Our practitioners regularly handle matters in jurisdictions across the United States and before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies. The firm also has unmatched experience representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies in matters related to all other aspects of their business, bringing a deep understanding of clinical trials, the FDA approval process, and other crucial concerns when counseling clients on securities issues.


We have successfully defended clients in a number of federal securities fraud class action suits, derivative suits, and SEC investigations related to disclosures surrounding the progress of clinical trials, the FDA approval process, and the safety and efficacy of their products. Our experience includes:

  • in the federal court for the District of Massachusetts, obtaining dismissals with prejudice of a purported derivative and securities fraud class action against a biotechnology client, its management and board of directors related to the clinical trials and FDA approval prospects of its cancer treatment drug;
  • securing the dismissal with prejudice of all claims in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against a biomaterials and biotechnology client in a state trial court concerning the timing of a clinical study of a product designed to treat acute spinal cord injuries, which dismissal was affirmed on appeal in 2017;
  • also achieving a victory for that same client when a federal court dismissed with prejudice all claims in a shareholder class action lawsuit alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which dismissal was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017;
  • for a medical device company headquartered in France, achieving the dismissal of a securities fraud action in the federal court in the Southern District of New York arising out of the company's failure to disclose a letter from the FDA regarding the trial of one of its products and the effect of the letter on the prospects for approval;
  • obtaining dismissal by the US District Court for the District of Minnesota of a derivative suit against members of a medical device company's board of directors, which had alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by failing to properly oversee the company with regard to the voluntary recall of one of its products; and
  • also for that same medical device company, achieving a significant victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit when the court affirmed the dismissal of a securities fraud class action that had been brought against the company and three of its senior executives arising out of communications with the FDA related to the safety of one of its products.

Publications & News


March 16, 2018

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, 33 WilmerHale lawyers were named among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business."

November 7, 2017

LMG Life Sciences 2017 Honors WilmerHale With Top Rankings

LMG Life Sciences has recognized WilmerHale among the nation's leading life sciences law firms in its 2017 rankings, citing the firm's Life Sciences Practice as “renowned for its range and multidisciplinary teams that counsel clients in technology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as investment banks and venture capitalists.”

May 17, 2017

WilmerHale Ranks Among Top Three Life Sciences Law Firms for Second Consecutive Year

The index—launched last year by Lake Whillans and Breaking Media (publisher of MedCity News and Above the Law)—identifies which law firms are the most active and relevant for life sciences companies.

March 21, 2017

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2017

Chambers Global has named 27 WilmerHale lawyers among "The World's Leading Lawyers for Business" in its 2017 edition.

December 9, 2016

WilmerHale Listed Among Top Thought Leaders in Life Sciences Law Firm Index

Lake Whillans evaluated firms based on the strength of elements such as white papers, contributions to third-party media and speaking engagements.

November 9, 2016

LMG Life Sciences Ranks WilmerHale and Attorneys Among the Best

The 2016 guide highlights nine firm practices and 18 attorneys, recognizing work under three categories—Intellectual Property, Finance and Transactional, and Non-IP Litigation and Enforcement.