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The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.

Linton Mann III is a partner in the firm’s litigation practice, where he represents clients in a broad range of high-stakes litigation and investigation matters, including securities, shareholder derivative disputes, class actions, antitrust, and complex commercial disputes. Recognized among Crain’s “40 Under 40,” Linton has also been named a “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal, Law360 and Euromoney, and is a repeat honoree on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under List.” He was also recognized among the 2022 “Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association.

A 2007 graduate of Duke Law School, where he served as Co-Chair of the Moot Court Board, Linton is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uncommon Schools New York City and Chair of the Board of Directors of Manhattan Legal Services. A Georgia native, Linton graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004.

A 2012 Cornell Law School graduate, where she served as Managing Editor of the Cornell Law Review and editor of the Legal Information Institute’s Supreme Court Bulletin, Rachel Sparks Bradley is a partner in the firm’s litigation practice, where she also enjoys a broad practice that includes securities, M&A, fraud, antitrust, breach of contract, and other big-ticket commercial disputes for a wide range of clients. Raised in the state of Washington, Rachel graduated summa cum laude from George Fox University, where she was a National Richter Scholar. Rachel regularly represents pro bono clients seeking asylum.

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

Linton: Like my litigation colleagues at Simpson Thacher, I enjoy a broad practice. Our firm trains us to be generalists so that we develop skills useful across a wide range of cases. Over the years, many of us pick a “major” and I focus on securities litigation. I spend significant time handling litigation disputes, but my practice also includes a substantial advisory role. I have frequent discussions with clients in advance of litigation, helping them understand their fiduciary obligations and thinking through various securities-related challenges. 

Rachel: I focus on securities litigation and M&A litigation, but at root I, too, am a generalist. The skills I’ve honed on my securities cases translate to a host of disputes, and my caseload is quite varied. 

What types of clients do you represent? 

Linton: We are fortunate to serve a very broad base of clients. Any publicly traded company can be a potential defendant in a stock-related lawsuit. Over the years, I’ve represented clients from financial institutions to entertainment conglomerates to wireless communications providers. At the moment, I’m representing TD Bank, NatWest Markets, Deutsche Bank, and Paramount Global, among others.

Rachel: I’ve also represented a wide array of clients, including pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, niche companies like Weight Watchers, and large institutional financial clients like JPMorgan Chase. I’ve also defended a variety of underwriters and issuers in IPO and other capital markets-related litigation. 

What types of cases/deals do you work on? 

Linton: Our work runs the gamut and includes securities fraud actions, cases alleging misrepresentations in offering documents, disputes challenging decisions by corporate boards or senior management, stock-drop cases, and others. I have an upcoming trial in Texas federal court on behalf of a multinational bank in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme litigation that includes state-law securities allegations. 

Rachel: My docket has included lots of M&A-related work—both derivative and direct litigations for companies or boards/special committees often concerning the value of stock or fairness of a deal—and numerous 10b-5 stock-drop class actions. I’m currently representing a large group of underwriters in connection with the Archegos liquidation related to a stock offering by ViacomCBS, which raises several exciting issues of first impression under the ’33 Act. 

How did you choose this practice area?

Rachel: I began law school knowing that I wanted to be a litigator. I love research and writing, and in the securities and M&A litigation space, a lot of key action takes place at the motion-to-dismiss stage where a persuasive brief is especially critical. I enjoy thinking about strategy and arguments, examining their potential impact on a client’s business both now and in the future. I also love to teach—I worked as a high school teacher for five years before law school, so I like the challenge of cogently explaining even the most complicated securities topics in a brief or at oral argument. Being a teacher also helped me learn to listen closely and to be genuine in giving answers—a useful skill in and out of the courtroom. 

Linton: Securities litigation involves all the best parts of being a litigator. I love playing detective—nothing interests me more than a good, old-fashioned fraud case! We investigate facts—who knew what, when? Is that information material? And we serve as zealous advocates in court, telling our clients’ story. It’s a privilege to help shape the law, guiding judges to draw the right lines, keeping in mind the fundamental purpose of securities laws as well as business realities. What we do has a direct impact on how companies do business. I also love the advisory component of my work and learning my clients’ businesses. 

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Rachel: I spend a lot of time communicating with clients, walking through issues, and answering questions. Being a teacher is still part of who I am and I work closely with junior associates, providing a lot of feedback on briefing and research. I’m always writing—whether it’s a letter, a brief, or a client memorandum—and preparing for significant upcoming matters such as an oral argument or deposition. And I make a lot of lists! Our cases have many moving parts, so I like to keep lists so tasks are organized and the case is moving forward. 

Linton: On any given day I might work with witnesses, take a deposition, lead a meeting with experts, read cases and internal legal memoranda, revise a brief, or prepare for an upcoming argument. The cases we handle often involve significant potential damages and are among the biggest matters on the court’s docket, so the client is very invested and we’re in regular contact. 

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

Linton: Simpson has a robust training program—we will teach you the law and the skills you need to litigate these types of matters. For now, I’d recommend that students take advantage of clinical opportunities; roll up your sleeves and work with a client! I learned more from my death penalty clinic, the children’s education law clinic, and moot court than I did in any substantive class. Developing empathy and learning to advocate on someone’s behalf and tell their story in a persuasive way are incredibly instructive experiences. 

Rachel: Another great area to focus on is your writing. Being able to write well provides enormous value to any team and will serve you well in your career. In terms of substantive courses, I didn’t take securities regulations, so it took some time to get the vocabulary down and learn the legal framework. That said, the many other courses I took across different fields broadened my base of knowledge as a lawyer, which is in keeping with Simpson’s generalist approach. 

What do you like best about your practice area?

Rachel: I love that I learn something every single day from people senior and junior to me. It might relate to substantive issues, or it could be strategic in terms of how to approach a case. Other times it’s factual—our junior lawyers in the weeds are often the ones to uncover a key fact, so it’s important to give everyone a seat at the table and encourage them to speak. In addition, securities laws are constantly evolving, so there’s always a legal development to stay on top of. And I love the teaching element. I was fortunate to have had senior people take the time to help me develop, and I want to pay that forward.  

Linton: I love the diversity of our practice, both in terms of the client base and the issues. I also really enjoy serving as an advisor and learning about my clients’ businesses. In addition, it’s a privilege to be in the trenches in terms of the evolution of securities laws. 

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

Linton: Simpson Thacher is a leader in this field and clients turn to us with their biggest, most important cases. Our associates learn this area of law at the very highest level. In addition, we are true partners with our clients, helping them keep abreast of changes in the law and advising them on how those changes impact their business. 

Rachel: We run teams very leanly, which is great for junior associates who will have an opportunity to touch every aspect of a case and handle challenging assignments early on. For example, our junior lawyers often negotiate discovery matters with the other side and will regularly find themselves on the phone with partners from other firms. Simpson is also very good about including the entire team on case developments so everyone stays in the loop. 

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area? 

Linton: The cases we handle offer meaningful opportunities for young lawyers. On any given case, you may be called upon to research facts, take a deposition, work with witnesses, take charge of a discovery dispute, draft a legal memorandum or brief, or prepare senior lawyers for key depositions or oral argument. In my mind, our entire team does the same work—it’s just a matter of degree. 

Rachel: Every assignment a junior lawyer gets is an opportunity to learn and to succeed. Junior lawyers tend to have the facts at their fingertips. For example, when preparing for a deposition, the junior lawyer will review and select the key documents and prepare the outline. They will also be very close to the law and any legal developments, so there are unique and important contributions a junior lawyer can make.  

What are some typical career paths for lawyers in this practice area?

Linton: Securities litigation prepares you for a wealth of jobs. Our work boils down to issue spotting, exercising good judgment, and learning how to get up to speed quickly in a new area. The cases cut across many industries and expose associates to different types of businesses. Many doors will be open to you. 

Rachel: Some folks like me fall in love with BigLaw, but for those who leave there are many different opportunities. My friends have gone to boutique litigation shops or have taken in-house positions at banks or private equity firms. Some have transitioned to compliance work, while others now work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the SEC, or other areas of government. Some have even become law professors. The opportunities are endless!