Securities Litigation

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
and Best Lawyers®

National Tier 2, Litigation - Securities

Metropolitan Tier 1, Houston
Litigation - Securities

Gardere’s securities litigators represent public corporations, officers, and directors when major financial, accounting, or compliance problems arise and the stakes are high.  We also represent stakeholders in private companies in major disputes over control as well as the value of ownership interests.  What sets us apart is our ability to understand complex financial and accounting issues combined with our ability to efficiently handle complex cases without sacrificing quality or strategic advantage.  We staff our cases with small teams of highly experienced lawyers that contribute value rather than simply billing time.  For these reasons, Director and Officer insurers know us and rely on us to aggressively and effectively defend these actions more efficiently than many of our peers. When necessary, we rely on the resources inherent to a full service firm, including our seasoned securities transactional partners, to bring subject matter expertise to technical compliance issues.

Our securities litigators have a vast breath of experience:

  • Investigating and defending shareholder class actions and shareholder derivative suits against officers and directors of public companies, from major Wall Street corporations to mid- and small-cap corporations.
  • Representing officers and directors of public companies facing SEC, DOJ and other regulatory organization investigations and enforcement actions, as well as DOJ investigations.
  • Representing Special Litigation Committees, including those convened by Texas corporations pursuant to the Texas Business Organizations Code, investigating claims asserted by shareholders in a demand made on an entity’s board of directors.

We recently represented the former audit committee members of Penson Worldwide, Inc., a publicly-traded a provider of financial clearing services and related operational and technology products, in both fiduciary duty litigation and a formal investigation commenced by the SEC in connection with the disclosure in 2011 of a $42 million dollar write down of receivables.  In January 2013, the company was forced to liquidate its business in bankruptcy.   The representation drew upon the extensive background in handling complex financial and accounting cases of the partner leading the effort, and also involved extensive testimony before the SEC.  The civil litigation, which sought damages in excess of $30 million, was resolved at mediation well within the policy limits of available D&O insurance.

One of our experienced securities litigation partners led a team of lawyers in the defense of high-profile securities and fiduciary litigation filed in Dallas and New York, by what was then one of the largest plaintiffs’ firms in the country, alleging fraud and breaches of fiduciary duties against the CEO of one of the world's leading industrial providers of fluid motion and control products.  The litigation sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, spanned over 5 years, involved over 90 fact and expert witness depositions, 13 million pages of documents, and an appeal of a summary judgment ruling to the Fifth Circuit heard by a panel that included the Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (Ret.), sitting by designation.  The facts involved in the matter required an in-depth understanding of complex accounting, audit, and finance issues and well as the ability to manage a sizable team effectively and efficiently to conserve the available D&O insurance.  The representation also involved the defense of a STET investigation by the SEC.  The litigation ultimately settled at mediation well within the policy limits of available D&O insurance.

The Firm represented the CEO of a failed federally insured bank in the only case brought in Texas by the SEC’s Financial Fraud Task Force arising from the financial crisis of 2008. The representation involved (1) shareholder lawsuits, which were dismissed, (2) a DOJ investigation, which resulted in a declination, (3) an FDIC administrative action and threatened professional liability lawsuit, which were settled favorably, and (4) the SEC case, in which we obtained a near-disposition partial summary judgment, resulting in the case’s extremely favorable disposition.

Securities Litigation Practice Essentials

We are seasoned securities litigators providing clients with aggressive, efficient representation.  This often involves:

  • Financial and Accounting Expertise.  Our partners have in-depth experience with complex and financial and accounting matters, including both academic and hands-on experience in accounting and fraud investigations, in addition to engagements representing officers, directors, and “Big-4” firms in complex audit and accounting matters.
     
  • Litigation Planning and Defense.  Our lawyers have handled public and private accounting fraud cases year-in and year-out, so we do not have a learning curve when it comes to tactics and strategy. 
     
  • Efficiency.  We have years of experience handling cases with documents numbering in the millions that are fraught with discovery pitfalls, so we are one of only a handful of firms that can cite experience and success litigating and trying a lawsuit of the size and complexity normally associated with these types of matters. 

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