Securities Litigation

Overview

Friedman Kaplan represents both plaintiffs and defendants in civil securities litigation involving claims under federal and state statutes as well as common law. We represent plaintiffs such as institutional investors, hedge funds, pension funds, litigation trusts, and lenders in both individual and collective actions alleging securities fraud and other claims. On the defense side, our experience includes representing public companies, their officers and directors, and board special committees in securities class actions and derivative actions, and defending public companies in corporate-control disputes and lawsuits challenging transactions such as takeovers, acquisitions, and mergers, and corporate disclosures in proxy statements and other filings. We have extensive experience litigating these types of cases in state and federal courts as well as arbitration forums such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Additionally, we are frequently retained to handle securities matters that present novel and complex factual scenarios and legal issues. These often include situations in which institutional investors find themselves in the rare position of being plaintiffs with affirmative claims, as well as securities disputes between financial institutions. Our attorneys thrive under the intellectual challenge of these unique, high-stakes matters, and our tailored, creative approach is optimally suited to meet the needs of clients dealing with these difficult disputes.

Selected Experience

  • We are representing Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in defense of a class action lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to set the ISDAfix benchmark rate.
  • Over the course of nearly a decade, we represented two hedge funds pursuing claims against the Republic of Argentina to recover on defaulted bonds.  Our clients recently finalized a settlement with the Republic in which they recovered approximately $1.3 billion. The litigation involved novel issues of contract, creditor and judgment enforcement law, and their intersection with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 
  • We successfully represented HomeSide Lending, Inc., the U.S.-based subsidiary of National Australia Bank, in district court and on appeal in the Second Circuit in defense of Morrison v. National Australia Bank, a securities class action addressing the "foreign-cubed" extraterritoriality issue in a matter of first impression. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a unanimous decision in favor of our clients and their parent company, represented by Wachtell Lipton.
  • We represented a major hedge fund in the defense of shareholder litigation arising out of Kmart’s merger with Sears.
  • We are representing an investor in Bear Stearns in litigation alleging securities fraud against J.P. Morgan in its capacity as successor to Bear Stearns. The matter is scheduled to go to trial in late 2015.
  • We represented Lazard Frères Asset Management in connection with claims to recover securities from the Lehman estates in the U.S. and U.K. 
  • We advised the liquidators of a failed residential mortgage-backed securities fund in connection with potential litigation against their lenders alleging improper margin calls.
  • We represented large groups of investors in Lancer Offshore, Inc. and The Omnifund, Ltd., as well as in feeder funds of Beacon Hill Master Fund and the joint official liquidators and receiver for those funds, following the funds’ demise. In both cases, we brought claims against the funds’ third-party service providers, alleging that they aided and abetted the fund managers' fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. 
  • We represented the Litigation Advisory Board of the Granite Funds, for which we obtained $77 million in settlements from the defendants, three major broker-dealers, in a case arising out of the liquidation of complex derivative securities.
  • We represented two former employees of Trust Company of the West (TCW) in defense of litigation brought by China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB) in connection with a CDO on which TCW had served as collateral manager. CDIB had purchased a portion of the CDO from Morgan Stanley in a secondary-market transaction, and then sued Morgan Stanley, TCW, and our clients.
  • We represented a Canadian pension fund in connection with a dispute regarding derivatives trades in which the fund's counterparty, a major U.S. investment bank, had defaulted. 
  • We represented a private equity firm in connection with a shareholder derivative action in Delaware Chancery Court related to the fund’s investment in Penske Media Corporation.

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