We defend federal and state securities claims against entities and individuals, and derivative and other claims against corporations and their officers and directors. These claims address areas such as prospectus and other disclosure obligations, restatements, mutual fund trading and marketing, broker-dealer duties to clients and counter-parties, fiduciary duties and insider trading. Many of the over 300 securities class actions that we have defended have been for technology companies (including high-tech, biotech and pharmaceutical companies). We also have substantial experience in representing investment banks, broker-dealers and other securities industry participants, investment advisory and mutual fund companies, life insurance and other financial services firms, REITs, and retailers. In recent matters, our lawyers have:

  • Defended mutual fund advisers in the consolidated Market Timing multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings, class and institutional investor claims regarding investment advisor fees, and class actions concerning mutual fund marketing practices
  • Taken a leadership role in the defense of over 300 consolidated securities class actions—the IPO Laddering Litigation—and separately obtained the dismissal of class actions against an underwriter challenging IPO allocations and alleged IPO flipping
  • Represented an investment bank in its successful appeal to the Second Circuit of a $164.5 million jury verdict for losses sustained in a nondiscretionary currency trading account

For more on our securities practice, please see our Securities Department pages.


Sort By
Weiss, Harry J.

Harry J. Weiss

Chair, Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group

+1 202 663 6993 (t)

Batter III, John F.

John F. Batter, III


+1 617 526 6754 (t)

Berman, Bruce M.

Bruce M. Berman


+1 202 663 6173 (t)


Mark D. Cahn


+1 202 663 6349 (t)


Paul R. Eckert


+1 202 663 6537 (t)

No Image

Gail Ennis


+1 202 663 6014 (t)

Johnson, Mary Jo

Mary Jo Johnson


+1 617 526 6750 (t)

Kolovos, Peter J.

Peter J. Kolovos


+1 617 526 6493 (t)

Publications & News


September 20, 2016

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

An article by William McLucas, Harry Weiss, Matthew Martens, Thomas White, Arian June and Elizabeth Skey, published in Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, explores two settlements providing the latest examples of the SEC's continued focus on employee confidentiality provisions and the agency's broad application of the whistleblower protection rules.

September 16, 2016

WilmerHale Named Industry's Most Impressive Investigations Practice by GIR

WilmerHale has been named the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year by Global Investigations Review for its cross-border work in both high-profile internal and government-led investigations.

September 12, 2016

Federal Civil Penalties Set to Increase Significantly, Many Present Retroactivity Concerns

Matthew Martens, Reg Brown and Daniel Kearney discuss rules adopted by many federal agencies that significantly increase the maximum civil monetary penalties they can potentially impose in this article published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

August 17, 2016

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced settlements with two companies for using severance agreements that allegedly violated Rule 21F-17.

August 8, 2016

BNA Insights: Statute of Limitations for Disgorgement Claims in SEC and CFPB Enforcement Actions

This article co-written by Matthew Martens and Benjamin Neaderland, published by Bloomberg BNA's Securities Law Daily, discusses why a landmark decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit could significantly decrease the financial exposure faced by targets of SEC enforcement actions.

July 25, 2016

The Scope of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 4

In the final of a series of four articles published by Law360 examining the scope of the Seventh Amendment jury trial right for civil defendants in US SEC enforcement actions, Matthew Martens, Jaclyn Moyer and Derek Woodman address address why, even with regard to otherwise negligence-based securities law violations, the SEC must prove scienter to the jury in order to obtain a second- or third-tier penalty. 

July 19, 2016

The Scope of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 3

In the third of a series of four articles published by Law360 examining the scope of the Seventh Amendment jury trial right for civil defendants in US SEC enforcement actions, Matthew Martens, Jaclyn Moyer and Derek Woodman address the issues of reliance and loss (or gain) causation in SEC enforcement actions and the jury's role in assessing such.

July 15, 2016

Life and Annuity Series: Class Certified in an ERISA “Unreasonable Compensation” Case

The Colorado federal court concluded last summer, in Teets v. Great-West Life & Ann. Ins. Co., that an insurer could be subject to ERISA liability for receiving unreasonable compensation in connection with a stable value fund, and that the fund was not exempt from ERISA as a “guaranteed benefit policy.”

July 13, 2016

Civil Fines Jump Across Agencies Under Inflation Adjustment Act

Civil fines across federal agencies have recently been increased dramatically under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74), with some more than doubling. Companies violating the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Improvements Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), among others, could soon face civil monetary penalties that are up to 150% higher than the existing levels. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2015 Act would increase the federal government's revenue by $1.3 billion over the next ten years.

July 12, 2016

WilmerHale Attorneys Fend Off SEC Claims in Fraud Trial

The Recorder discusses the first SEC defeat in 2016, detailing the case led by Heather Tewksbury and Randall Lee.

Current Developments