Securities Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

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.

Contacts

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Weiss, Harry J.

Harry J. Weiss

Chair, Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group

+1 202 663 6993 (t)

harry.weiss@wilmerhale.com

Batter III, John F.

John F. Batter, III

Partner

+1 617 526 6754 (t)

john.batter@wilmerhale.com

Berman, Bruce M.

Bruce M. Berman

Partner

+1 202 663 6173 (t)

bruce.berman@wilmerhale.com

Cahn_Mark

Mark D. Cahn

Partner

+1 202 663 6349 (t)

mark.cahn@wilmerhale.com

eckert_paul.jpg

Paul R. Eckert

Partner

+1 202 663 6537 (t)

paul.eckert@wilmerhale.com

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Gail Ennis

Partner

+1 202 663 6014 (t)

gail.ennis@wilmerhale.com

Johnson, Mary Jo

Mary Jo Johnson

Partner

+1 617 526 6750 (t)

maryjo.johnson@wilmerhale.com

Kolovos, Peter J.

Peter J. Kolovos

Partner

+1 617 526 6493 (t)

peter.kolovos@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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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 by Matthew Martens, Benjamin Neaderland and Jared Cohen, 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.

July 11, 2016

The Scope of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 2

In the second 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 consider how this Seventh Amendment right applies to the determination of the number of violations a defendant committed and thus the number of violations for which the defendant may be liable. 

July 6, 2016

WilmerHale Hands SEC First 2016 Fraud Trial Defeat

A team of WilmerHale litigators persuaded an Albuquerque, New Mexico, jury to clear two former mortgage-lending officials on half of the 10 charges brought against them by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, while deadlocking on the remaining charges.

July 1, 2016

The Scope of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 1

In the first 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 explain why the Seventh Amendment entitles defendants in SEC enforcement actions brought in federal district court to jury findings with respect to all facts that set the maximum monetary penalty the judge may impose.

Current Developments