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Securities Litigation

Overview

Securities litigators represent individuals and corporations in securities class actions, stock-drop cases, and derivative actions. The work is in some ways similar to criminal defense work, determining what your client has done, whether it violates securities regulations, and how to defend the case. Securities litigators perform internal investigations on behalf of corporate audit committees and represent those audit committees, individuals, and companies in SEC investigations. Securities litigators also advise corporations on director and officer liability insurance issues. The cases can be complicated and involve complex facts patterns; practitioners will spend a lot of time reviewing documents and interviewing witnesses to develop the facts.

Featured Q&A's
Get an insider's view on working in Securities Litigation from real lawyers in the practice area.
Helam Gebremarium, Partner—Litigation
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

My practice broadly covers complex commercial litigation, and a large portion of my work involves representing clients facing securities litigation in jurisdictions across the country in arbitrations, jury trials, and bench trials: the whole gambit. This includes defending individual and class action litigation for clients who come to the firm with significant and pressing issues—what some might call bet-the-company work—and there are no easy answers to the type of questions they bring to Cravath. Clients reach out to us when they need creative solutions, and one part of my practice that I particularly enjoy is being a confidante and trusted advisor to them throughout the proceedings. 

What types of clients do you represent?

I represent clients around the world and across all industries and stages in their life cycle. Right now, I am working on half a dozen matters for various clients and no two issues are the same. Their unique business interests keep me on my toes, and the variety also keeps my practice interesting as I learn their goals and work with them to reach preferred outcomes. A few examples of clients include those in the healthcare and pharmaceutical, banking and finance, entertainment and streaming, and alcohol and spirits spaces. 

My pro bono work is also incredibly important to me and to my identity as a lawyer. Cravath as a firm values pro bono work highly, and I have had the opportunity to go to trial on behalf of pro bono clients in addition to taking on the full spectrum of other kinds of casework. 

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Generally speaking, the cases I work on relate to pressing issues for our clients. That can include everything from a client dealing with a sudden drop in its stock price, an expedited merger litigation, or a confidential arbitration that allows clients to resolve sensitive matters privately. And while all of Cravath’s litigators are based in the United States, we represent clients in cases both domestically and internationally—in fact, I wrapped up an international arbitration earlier this year. 

Two recently closed cases I worked on included representing Tesla CEO and board member Elon Musk in a complete trial victory that defeated a $13 billion stockholder derivative suit related to Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, and representing affiliates of Bacardi in actions brought by SCLiquor LLC, majority-owned by rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, in the Delaware Court of Chancery and other state and federal courts related to the value of SC’s 50% ownership interest in cognac brand D’Usse. All disputes between the parties were settled when Bacardi acquired a majority interest in D’Usse.

How did you choose this practice area?

I have always had a natural inclination to want to advocate on behalf of others, whether it was for my younger siblings or in student government. That desire is what drove me to pursue the law as a career and is something I really enjoy about my day-to-day responsibilities as a litigator: having that relationship with a client, being able to earn their trust, and helping guide them through their decision-making. 

Being trained as a generalist litigator also helped me think deeply about the sort of career I wanted. The idea of being a factfinder really appealed to me, and as an associate at Cravath, I was able to touch a little bit of everything before becoming a partner and having the opportunity to specialize more. My substantive exposure to many of the litigation practice areas has made me a much better lawyer. 

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

No two days are exactly the same, which is one of the aspects of my practice that I enjoy the most. Even within the securities litigation space, I have the opportunity to work with an amazing variety of clients in different industries, and each matter has unique facts and issues to resolve. In a normal workday, getting through my tasks can sometimes feel like “organized chaos” in the sense that in that span of time, I might go from drafting briefs and preparing for arguments to speaking with clients and answering their questions. It is important also to note that I am never doing this by myself—teamwork is instrumental to how we operate at Cravath, and I am constantly providing feedback to and receiving updates from a core team of associates whom I work closely with on every single matter.  

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

Apply for that clerkship; you won’t regret it. My time spent at the Southern District of New York was perspective-shifting and truly impacted how I approach my work today—you are exposed to a wide variety of casework, both criminal and civil, which directly translates to the client work that might come across your desk at any given time. And while you are absorbing the ins and outs of and becoming familiar with court proceedings, you are also being exposed to various styles of advocacy, both in writing and in oration. That is critical exposure for a young attorney.  

What do you like best about your practice area?

I love that every case is different. You rarely encounter the same thing twice, and this is especially true at Cravath, where clients bring us only their most difficult questions in search of bespoke solutions. 

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

People sometimes think that attorneys decide to become litigators because we are adversarial or because we love conflict—that’s not my experience. I was driven to this practice by a desire to help clients effectively navigate through their business and legal challenges in a way that helps them realize their goals. Yes, we of course can be very staunch advocates for our clients, but you also have to remember that it is a very small community—especially in the securities litigation space—and hostility toward opposing counsel doesn’t get you results. Most lawyers recognize that what we say, and how we behave, is in ultimate service of our clients, so I think people would be surprised to see how collegial the practice of law can be. 

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain in this practice area at your firm?

At Cravath, we treat our summer associates as if they are first-year associates at the firm. They do the same sort of substantive work—there are no “busy” or “fake” assignments here—and get a real taste of what Cravath will look like if they decide to return full time. Speaking from my own summer associate experience many years ago: There is no room for observers here. From day one, summers are expected to contribute strategically, legally, and critically to our work for our clients. It is in our culture as a firm that we value everyone who is brought on to a team, no matter the stage of their career. 

How important is it for securities litigators to have a business background and understanding of corporate law, and what should junior attorneys do if they don’t?

Having a business background is important to deeply understanding your clients’ interests and goals—and it is something you can build over time—but what is even more crucial is your responsibility to keep learning and seeking out relevant ideas and thought leadership. Financial papers such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Bloomberg are a great place to start, as are offerings from the American Bar Association and Practising Law Institute. Staying current with these sources will help you better understand the opportunities and challenges your clients face more generally, and help you better contextualize the particular matters you’re handling for them.

Helam Gebremariam is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department, where she focuses her practice on complex civil litigation related to securities and shareholder derivative suits and antitrust and contractual disputes. She is a partner liaison to the firm’s African American/Black Affinity Group and a member of the Pro Bono Committee. 

Helam received a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia College in 2007 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was Editor‑in‑Chief of the Law Review and an AnBryce Scholar, in 2010. After graduating from law school, Helam served as a law clerk to Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She previously served as Senior Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates at the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Counsel in the Office for Access to Justice.

Helam is a member of the NYU School of Law Board of Trustees and an Executive Board Member of the NYU Law Alumni of Color Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Immigrant Justice Corps and on the Board of Trustees of the Vera Institute of Justice.

Christin Hill, Partner • Michael Komorowski, Associate—Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, and Investigations + White Collar Defense
Morrison Foerster

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

Christin: I defend companies, executives, and directors when they are sued by their shareholders, or when they face inquiries by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). MoFo has been a national leader in securities litigation for decades, with particular expertise in the Northern District of California. Many of the leading Ninth Circuit securities litigation precedents are cases we have won.

Michael: I work in Morrison Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group. My work touches on all aspects of the group’s matters, including securities class actions, derivative and other shareholder suits, deal litigation, government enforcement actions, internal investigations, and white collar criminal defense.

Companies and their officers and directors are at risk of litigation when the stock price falls dramatically. If that happens, investors may sue, alleging fraud. Directors of a company being acquired may be sued once the deal is announced. A special committee may hire us to conduct an internal investigation into a suspected accounting irregularity. All of this and more come across my desk.

Rarely, though, is my work on a matter limited to a single one of these categories. It’s common that a securities class action will prompt a follow-on derivative case. Simultaneously, we may defend the client in a parallel SEC or DOJ enforcement action. Not only is this work inherently interesting—learning a client’s business or understanding a company’s position in the financial markets is part of the job—but thinking through the interaction among these various potential private and government actions is particularly exciting. Any move you make on one front will have implications on another.

What types of clients do you represent?

Christin: Many of our clients are public companies in the technology space. I’m currently defending Oracle, Unity Technologies, and Meta in litigation. We recently won dismissal of a case for Amazon.

Michael: Everything from early-stage to mature public companies and their officers and directors.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Christin: I primarily work on securities class actions, derivative actions, and SEC enforcement actions. Securities class actions occur when a company’s stock price drops and shareholders sue, alleging that the company violated the securities laws by misleading investors. Derivative litigation is when shareholders sue, alleging that the board of directors breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders. SEC enforcement actions are when the SEC is investigating potential harm to investors, or when the SEC charges a company with violating the securities laws.

Michael: Most of my practice is on the litigation side: securities class actions, deal litigations, derivative suits, and the like.

How did you choose this practice area?

Christin: I always knew I wanted to be a litigator because I love writing. But I didn’t know what type of litigation I wanted to do. One of my very first case assignments as a first-year associate was a securities class action. I liked it right away. I liked that we represented individuals: the executives of the company. It helped to put a face to the defense. I also liked that we were dealing with a specific regulatory regime, rather than common law claims. It felt more concrete. I’ve been doing securities litigation ever since.

Michael: My background before law school was in writing, research, and teaching. I was drawn to this area partly by a longstanding interest in economics and partly by the deep thinking the subject matter requires. When, as a summer associate, I got a taste of the work and the chance to meet some of the terrific MoFo lawyers in this space, I was hooked.

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

Christin: I write a lot. Our matters are particularly susceptible to a motion to dismiss. So, we spend a lot of time writing motions to dismiss. As a partner, I’m involved in a fair amount of client counseling with the goal of avoiding litigation.

Michael: Each day is unique. On any given day, I might be writing a motion to dismiss, interviewing a witness as part of fact gathering for a case or an internal investigation, working with an expert on a report or testimony, presenting to a client, or preparing for a hearing.

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

Christin: Strong writing skills are essential to success as a litigator. Each class is an opportunity to practice writing. Clerkships can also be a good way to develop as a writer.

Michael: The most important things are strong writing skills and an equally strong curiosity about how companies and markets work. A formal background in economics or finance is not necessary. I don’t have one. But any classes in these areas would be a plus. Corporations, securities litigation, and accounting courses are all good options.

What do you like best about your practice area?

Christin: I like that our matters are high stakes and often newsworthy. When the CEO is personally named in a lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in damages, the leadership team pays attention. Our cases are often written about in the legal and business press.

Michael: I’m constantly learning, not just developing the typical skills you think of—how to take and defend depositions, what to say to the judge about a discovery dispute, how to present to a client—but also taking deep dives into my clients’ businesses. The high stakes and sometimes sprawling nature of many of our matters mean that I’ve been fortunate to work with excellent lawyers. They are generous with their time and have helped me to grow.

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

Christin: Our junior associates are responsible for legal research and may write the first draft of a brief. We also rely on our junior associates to be the master of the facts. We expect them to know the documents better than anyone else on the team.

Michael: A lawyer just starting out may conduct legal research, develop the team’s understanding of the facts, and handle discovery responses. There is no substitute for becoming the master of the facts, and a junior lawyer is in an excellent position to dive in and help the team understand what’s important.

How do you see this practice area evolving in the future?

Christin: I’m interested to see the role that AI plays in legal writing in the future. So far, most newsworthy examples of using AI in legal writing have been cautionary tales with very bad outcomes such as AI inventing fake cases. But as AI evolves, I expect that AI work product will improve dramatically. I’m interested to see a future where AI creates the first draft of a brief.

Michael: On the private side, plaintiffs’ attorneys will adapt their cases to the latest business trend: SPACs, crypto, ESG statements, you name it. They will continue to think up creative ways to allege fraud. On the government side, I expect continued intense scrutiny from the SEC and other agencies that regulate markets.

How important is it for securities litigators to have a business background and understanding of corporate law, and what should junior attorneys do if they don’t?

Christin: There is no requirement to have a business background or understanding of corporate law. As long as you’re curious and interested, you can learn everything you need to know on the job.

Michael: Curiosity about business and markets is a must. A formal background in these areas isn’t. Find a publication you like that offers sophisticated business news and make a habit of reading it. The Economist, New York Times DealBook, and The Wall Street Journal are all good options. Try to get experience with as many kinds of cases in this area as you can.

Christin is a partner in MoFo’s San Francisco office and a member of the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Practice Group. She has extensive experience representing clients in securities class actions, derivative actions, and other complex civil litigation, as well as in government and internal investigations. Before joining MoFo, Christin served as senior counsel at Uber Technologies, where she managed civil litigation and was a lead member of Uber’s global compliance team. Christin grew up in the Bay Area and attended UC Davis as an undergraduate, then Stanford Law School.

Michael Komorowski represents companies and their officers and directors in securities class actions, shareholder litigation, and government-facing investigations. His clients have included companies and individuals in technology, manufacturing, logistics, and financial services (including crypto). Before law school, he taught English literature and writing at several universities. Outside the office, he can be found hiking and backpacking in Northern California.

Brittany Rogers, Partner—Litigation
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

My practice focuses on defending companies and their officers and directors in high-stakes lawsuits in state and federal court.

My work spans securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, and complex business litigation, with an emphasis on securities class actions, derivative suits, and fiduciary duty litigation. 

What types of clients do you represent?

I generally represent companies and their officers and directors when they are sued over complex business transactions, stock offerings or sales, and alleged securities fraud. Often, these are public companies subject to federal securities laws, but I also represent private companies and their officers and directors in connection with similar disputes. 

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

I work on a variety of cases. The majority of my practice is focused on traditional securities litigation and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits, but I also apply my knowledge of corporate structures and dynamics to more traditional civil litigation, including mass torts, financial services cases, and administrative proceedings.

Past cases include:

  • Securing pre-discovery dismissals of securities class actions and derivative lawsuits filed against clients in various industries, including a multinational semiconductor company, a commercial real estate credit REIT, a leading global real estate and investment management firm, and an energy services company.
  • Representing a Nasdaq-listed company in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in a unanimous decision for O’Melveny’s client that significantly limited the scope of equitable tolling in securities class actions across the country.
  • Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a national law firm that faced civil RICO, false advertising, and tort claims filed by a competitor.
  • Coordinating high-profile board-level investigations at public and private institutions and defeating multiple attempts to obtain attorney-client privileged materials and attorney work product generated during those board-level investigations.
  • Defending a national bank and its executive officers in multiple consumer class actions challenging banking practices, mortgage servicing policies, and customer fees.
  • Obtaining pre-discovery dismissal of civil RICO action against natural resources company.
  • Representing a U.S.-based technology company in a tax investigation by the European Commission.

How did you choose this practice area?

I chose my practice area based on a combination of factors. I genuinely like the work, and I very much enjoy helping my clients navigate a complex area of law. Securities litigation is also an intellectual field, heavy on briefing and economics arguments, and I enjoy that aspect of it as well.

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

There is no typical day in my line of work. Whether it’s counseling clients on urgent questions, working on briefs at the trial court or appellate level, conducting witness interviews or fact investigations, or planning trial strategy, every day is different.

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

Financial literacy is an important part of securities litigation, but that does not require formal financial education. Staying current on business news and economic developments is key, and it can be as simple as reading the news regularly.

What do you like best about your practice area?

I enjoy the intellectual challenge and the help we provide our clients. Often, these are high-exposure cases, both in terms of dollars and in terms of publicity. They can also be very personal. These cases often attack the credibility of hard-working, decent people doing their best for shareholders and their companies, based on nothing more than a stock drop driven by market or business forces. 

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

People often think that securities litigation is highly technical and difficult to master. It may be somewhat technical, but it is not difficult to learn. And once you know the basics, you can apply them to most cases as long as you’re staying current on legal developments.

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

Junior lawyers are involved in all aspects of our securities cases. They research legal arguments, draft discovery requests and responses, draft motions, prepare deposition outlines, appear at depositions, manage discovery, interact with clients, and work with witnesses.

How important is it for securities litigators to have a business background and understanding of corporate law, and what should junior attorneys do if they don’t?

It’s helpful to have an understanding of business organizations, basic finance, and securities regulation, but it is certainly not required at the outset. I had no idea in law school that I would end up a securities litigator, and I did not take any of the generally recommended courses. I learned on the job. All you really need is a good mentor and a desire to learn.

Brittany Rogers defends companies and their officers and directors in high-profile lawsuits in state and federal court. Brittany’s diverse practice spans securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, and complex business litigation, with a particular emphasis on securities class actions, derivative suits, and fiduciary duty litigation. She has an impressive track record of obtaining early dismissals in securities matters and successfully defending clients who face multiple overlapping lawsuits in different jurisdictions.

Brittany also represents companies, boards, and special committees in government and internal investigations, where she has significant experience advising on conflicts and privilege issues. She is also dedicated to pro bono work involving social impact litigation and the representation of underserved litigants.

At O’Melveny, Brittany emphasizes teamwork, efficiency, and the primacy of her clients’ goals. Her commitment to excellence, leadership, and citizenship has been recognized with the Warren Christopher Values Award, the highest honor awarded by O'Melveny. In addition to her legal work, Brittany serves as O’Melveny’s Firmwide Work Advisor Partner, and she is a longtime member of the Los Angeles office’s Employment Committee. Outside of the firm, Brittany is the President-Elect of the Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Chapter.

Ryan A. McLeod, Partner—Litigation
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

My practice focuses on litigation related to corporate matters—complicated transactions, securities issues, and corporate governance. Such cases involve issues of both federal and state (usually Delaware) statutory and common law, and they generally concern the interaction between corporate entities, their investors, and their officers and directors. Because litigating these cases has required me to learn a lot of substantive corporate law, my practice also includes advisory work for clients when they are considering taking actions or engaging in transactions that might lead to litigation. As a result, I have the chance to do more than just classic litigation.

What types of clients do you represent? 

I have been lucky to work for a diverse, eclectic, and talented group of individuals and businesses. Our clients come from just about every industry sector there is and at every stage of the corporate life cycle. In the past few years, for example, I have represented Chemours in litigation concerning its spinoff, AOL in an appraisal proceeding, the directors of Facebook in a suit challenging a proposed revision of the company’s governance structure, Harman International Industries in multi-forum stockholder and securities litigation challenging its merger with Samsung, Lionsgate in litigation related to its acquisition of Starz, and the board of Sotheby’s in connection with litigation challenging its use of a poison pill against an activist stockholder during a proxy fight.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

My caseload is pretty varied. The bulk of my work is made up of stockholder litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by corporate boards, traditional securities matters (such as defending Section 11 suits brought against underwriters and Section 14(a) claims against companies issuing proxy statements in support of proposed mergers), takeover battles between hostile acquirers and target companies, and busted deal litigation between jilted merger partners. These cases are often litigated on extremely expedited schedules that call for rapid document productions, compressed deposition schedules, and swift briefing and argument. It makes for an intense practice, but it also means my cases do not tend to drag on and on for years.

How did you choose this practice area?

I am an unabashed corporate law and equity jurisprudence geek. Several years ago, then-Chancellor Strine of the Delaware Court of Chancery wrote about how a particular legal issue was only fit for discussion among a Red-Bull-fueled group of nerdy corporate law junkies; if you replace Red Bull with Diet Pepsi, I would be in that group. Late last year, Vice Chancellor Glasscock included a footnote in an opinion asserting that “equity enthusiasts” exist, and I’m living proof. I have been interested in this sort of law since I was a 2L at Duke, I got the best break in the world by securing a clerkship with Chancellor Chandler in Delaware, and I found a home of like-minded lawyers at Wachtell Lipton. 

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

My days and weeks are seldom predictable, and they largely depend on the matters I am handling and the stage of litigation of those matters. Some weeks, I spend the bulk of my time holed up in my office with cases and treatises scattered about while I type away at a brief; others, I spend flying around the country meeting with witnesses to prepare them for and then defend them in depositions. 

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

As with any form of litigation, writing skills are key. That goes well beyond wordsmithing. The foundation of good writing is good structure; knowing how to put together a sound and logical argument, organized in a simple and clear way, makes for a great writer. It also makes for a great litigator because building your case requires the same sort of thinking. As to the specifics of my practice, I would recommend to anyone interested to take all the corporate law courses available, to keep current on recent developments by reading blogs on corporate governance, and to try to take a basic corporate finance class to understand some of the fundamentals behind the transactions that generate all this litigation. 

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

The most challenging part of my practice is how intense it is. Litigating high-stakes matters on expedited schedules can be stressful and taxing. It requires putting in very long days, mastering an incredible volume of evidence in uncomfortably little time, and staying ever vigilant in thinking strategically. These cases are won in inches, and, thus, small details and tiny tweaks in one’s theory can make all the difference in the end.

What do you like best about your practice area?

The best thing about my practice is the opportunity it affords for creative, tactical thinking. Litigation concerning matters of corporate control and governance is dynamic—the cases are “live” as we are litigating them, and the facts can change during the course of a matter. This means a good litigator in my practice has more weapons in her arsenal than in most other types of litigation. She can, and should, seek to mold the record as the case progresses to optimize the outcome for her client. In more traditional forms of commercial litigation, by contrast, cases generally involve facts that happened long ago—an immutable, cold record—and all the litigators can do is try to marshal them in a persuasive fashion. Here, though, we can modify the structure of a deal or create and implement a different defense and, consequently, make new, more-favorable law.

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

I think many people believe that securities litigation is limited to 10b-5 fraud suits involving routine matters subject to the same sorts of motion practice over and over again. Not so. If there is one thing about my practice that is predictable, it is how unpredictable it is. Nothing about what I do can fairly be said to be routine. The M&A markets are constantly evolving, and M&A-related litigation consequently evolves along with them. 

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

The litigation practice at Wachtell Lipton is unique, I think, because there is so much crossover with our corporate practice. Not a day goes by that I fail to talk with my corporate partners about the transactions they are doing and the cases I am litigating. They come to me to get my perspective on how courts would consider transactions that have not yet happened, and I go to them to benefit from their expertise in understanding how past transactions have worked and the reasons they were structured the way they were. It is a symbiotic relationship that makes all of us better lawyers.

Ryan A. McLeod is a litigation partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. His practice focuses on representing corporations and directors in complex corporate, commercial, securities, and deal-related litigation and advising on transactional, fiduciary, and governance matters. Ryan received his B.A. in Latin and English from Ursinus College in 2004 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law in 2007 (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif). After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable William B. Chandler III, the former Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery. Ryan is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, where he teaches a seminar on corporate litigation; a fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; and a member of Wachtell Lipton’s Diversity Committee. He is admitted to practice in New York and Delaware.

Lauren M. Rosenberg, Partner—Litigation
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I practice within Cravath’s Litigation Department, where we train and provide generalist litigators with the tools to tackle complex cases in different industries and subject matters from every angle. While our Litigation Department does not have formal practice groups, I focus on securities litigation, antitrust litigation, and general commercial matters. In securities litigation matters, I represent companies and individuals in class action lawsuits for alleged violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. I also handle shareholder derivative actions and help clients navigate the important strategic issues that arise from them.

What types of clients do you represent?

Our clients represent a wide range of companies in different industries all over the world. A few examples of the diverse companies in securities class action litigation I have represented include an international organization developing blockchain technology, an American solar technology company, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop cancer immunotherapy drugs, a U.K.-based software technology company, and an Australian banking and financial services company. The one common thread between them is that clients come to and trust Cravath to help them resolve their most challenging legal issues.

I also devote significant time to pro bono clients, who receive the full resources of the firm when we take on their matters. I am currently representing a proposed class of inmates at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama who are exposed to shocking levels of violence and excessive use of force at the prison, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Some examples of recent securities litigation matters I have worked on include: representing Micro Focus International and certain individual defendants in securities fraud class action litigation in federal and state court regarding Micro Focus’s $8.8 billion acquisition of certain of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software assets; and representing First Solar and certain of its senior executives in putative class action securities litigation and related shareholder derivative litigation in federal court regarding the company’s solar modules and project development business.

How did you choose this practice area?

I decided to become a litigator because I enjoy the challenge of finding the best solution to our clients’ complex legal issues when they may have to go to trial. That process requires that I partner closely with clients to develop and execute a litigation strategy at every stage of a case, whether it is analysis of the complaint, forum and jurisdiction issues, motions to dismiss, class certification (if applicable), fact and expert discovery, dispositive motion practice, and trial. Often, we are able to win or resolve cases for our clients in advance of trial, though we also try our cases where appropriate. I enjoy the complexity and high-stakes nature of securities litigation. My clients are often facing considerable exposure, and it is rewarding to achieve successful resolutions for them.

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

Other than regular meetings with the associates on my team—where we collaborate on the strategy of our cases—most days are incredibly varied. On any given day, I might be writing or editing a brief; taking or defending a deposition; meeting with my partners, clients, and/or opposing counsel; attending a court appearance; and more. I tend to work on several different matters at once, so each day typically includes a combination of many different tasks, all of which I am able to accomplish with the assistance of our amazing associates.

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

I would recommend that law students take key procedural classes, such as Federal Courts and Evidence. Litigators utilize these foundational procedural aspects all the time, and they are critical to know in assessing the best strategy for our clients.
I also recommend that students take small seminars in areas of interest. Unlike a large lecture, seminars allow you to really get to know the other students as well as your professor, and to collaborate openly. While substantive areas of the law can be learned later, it may be difficult to replicate the environment of a collaborative seminar in any other way. Additionally, seminars often lead to incredible mentorship from professors.
Finally, I highly recommend clerkship opportunities for those who are interested in litigation. Clerkships are a rare opportunity to obtain a behind-the-scenes understanding of how judges evaluate legal issues. I learned so much during my clerkship and feel incredibly grateful for that once-in-a-career opportunity.

What do you like best about your practice area?

What I enjoy most is working with clients to create a strategy from start to finish. Securities litigation poses large exposure to public companies, so our strategy begins at the very outset. We partner with our clients to learn the specifics of their businesses and industries so that we can truly understand the facts and present the strongest case. I enjoy the deep collaboration with our clients and digging into the ever-evolving knowledge of different industries, as well as the complexities of securities litigation. It also helps that I work with amazing clients who are incredibly appreciative of our tireless efforts when they come to Cravath seeking a solution.

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

Conventional wisdom is that class actions—especially securities class actions—never go to trial. But while the vast majority of securities class actions are resolved in advance of trial, our teams at Cravath always prepare each case with this possibility in mind, and we are one of the few firms to have tried a securities class action for clients. We formulate a strategy for all stages of the litigation and develop our record with trial in mind. And because we are trained as general litigators when we come up through the firm’s rotation system as associates, each one of us has the foundations of an experienced trial lawyer capable of handling the unique aspects of a jury trial.

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

Junior lawyers receive meaningful and substantive experience, training, and feedback from the moment they walk in the door here; I experienced this firsthand when I joined the firm as an associate. Within my first two years at Cravath, I was given the opportunity to take depositions, conduct calls with opposing counsel, and examine witnesses at trial, among many other tasks. The firm’s rotation system meant that I received incredible guidance from the partners to whom I was assigned—each one of them encouraged and trusted me to contribute to our overall strategy and to take ownership of the cases I worked on.

Now, as a partner, I try to do the same with every one of my associates. Our unique training system encourages a natural mentorship relationship in which we can guide and encourage associates so that they can excel in complex work at an early stage in their professional development and careers.

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain at this practice area at your firm?

We pride ourselves on providing our summer associates with hands-on experience so that they obtain a real sense of what it is like to work at Cravath. Summer associates are staffed the same way as our full-time associates, and they participate in the same work—such as brief writing, client meetings, and preparing for depositions—while working closely with and learning from the partner to whom they are assigned and other associates on their team.

This past year, for example, the summer associate on my team participated in a mock jury exercise to evaluate the best way to present our case to a jury, presented to our client regarding our factual development and strategy, and drafted a motion to dismiss brief.

 

Lauren M. Rosenberg is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. She focuses her practice on a broad range of litigation, including securities, antitrust, and general commercial matters; she also devotes significant time to pro bono work. Within Cravath, she works to enhance the firm’s D&I efforts, both through recruiting and as an active participant in the Women’s Initiative.

Lauren was born in Miami, Florida. She received a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2011, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Managing Editor of the Journal of Transnational Law.

Lauren joined Cravath in 2011. In 2014, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She rejoined Cravath in 2015 and was elected a partner in 2019.

Sarah D. Efronson, Partner
Jones Day

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

The Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice at Jones Day is a group of about 35 attorneys located in several Jones Day U.S. offices that defends companies and individuals in matters arising under federal and state securities laws. The types of matters we typically work on include: (1) shareholder actions arising from mergers and acquisitions, corporation transactions, derivative cases, and securities fraud class actions; (2) conducting internal investigations, which are often cross-border in nature; (3) government and regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, and related litigation; and (4) counseling clients on issues of corporate governance matters and ethics and corporate compliance issues. The diversity of matters we work on means that we get to engage in new and cutting-edge legal issues every day.

What types of clients do you represent? 

We typically represent financial institutions, large corporations, and the officers and directors of these companies. One of the aspects of our practice that I enjoy the most is learning about our clients’ varied industries. This has meant that I have gotten to learn a considerable amount about, for example, blockchain technology, drug development in the biopharmaceutical industry, trading of commercial mortgage-backed securities, and the permitting process involved in overseas commercial construction.

What types of cases/deals do you work on? 

I work on a variety of matters that are consistent with the types of matters typical of the Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice at Jones Day. For example, we currently represent a biopharmaceutical company in a securities fraud class action, which concerns alleged misstatements about two drug products and for which we are concluding expert discovery. We also represent a large financial institution in a securities fraud class action that was just recently filed and for which we are in the very early stages of litigation. We also represent the former president of an IT company in a criminal Foreign Corrupt Practices Action matter and in related civil shareholder and SEC litigation involving bribery allegations over a construction permit in India.

How did you choose this practice area?

Jones Day is different in that first-year lawyers are part of the New Lawyers Group (“NLG”) and have up to a year to explore various practices before officially joining a practice. Although I knew I was litigation leaning, I appreciated the opportunity to explore the various litigation practices throughout my first year at the firm and to dabble in some transactional work. This experience gave me a more holistic understanding of how the firm operates and how various practice groups work together to serve our clients. Ultimately, I joined the Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice because I enjoyed the variety of work between civil litigation, internal investigations, and regulatory enforcement matters, which kept me excited about the day-to-day activity. I also felt very fortunate that I could choose to be part of a practice where I felt that I had been organically developing mentoring relationships over the course of my time in the NLG program. Without the time to explore various practices through the NLG program, I’m not sure that I would have found my way to securities litigation. I appreciate that, even as a very junior attorney, Jones Day gave me ownership over the direction of my career.

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

As a partner, a typical day includes communicating and interfacing with our clients, coordinating strategy with senior partners, supervising teams of associates, and providing them with feedback on their work product. Substantively, I work on a wide range of projects, such as drafting dispositive motions, working with expert witnesses, and developing overarching defense strategies for our matters, including for trial.

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

If I had known while I was in law school that I was going to pursue securities litigation, I would have taken courses in government regulation and securities regulation, among others. However, there is no requirement that you have coursework or other relevant experience in order to join the Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice. The law school classes that I felt set me up for success were the legal clinics and internships that I participated in where I got to hone my legal research and writing skills and through which I obtained standup oral advocacy experience. These are skills you need to continue to hone as a litigator throughout your career. Because I felt confident in my legal research abilities as a junior associate, I felt I had the tools to research and learn the substantive law despite not having the specific prior coursework or work experience.


What do you like best about your practice area?

I enjoy the diversity of matters that we work on, from civil shareholder litigation to internal and government investigations and enforcement matters. I think the skills that I developed as an associate by engaging in these different types of matters were complementary and helped develop me into a well-rounded litigator with experience, for example, not only in fact development but also with drafting motions and conducting depositions and being part of a trial team. I also am very appreciative of the close-knit nature of my practice group at the firm. I have been able to develop relationships with several senior attorneys who have become my mentors and have helped shape my career by looking out for great opportunities for me, whether from a skill perspective or by helping me grow my network by sponsoring me and recommending me to work with particular attorneys or clients. The last three associates to make partner in the Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice have been up through the ranks as associates at Jones Day, which I think speaks volumes to the level of training and experience associates receive in the group and the confidence that the firm has in their development.

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

One of the things that attracted me most to Jones Day was that it was described to me as a meritocracy by everyone from junior associates to senior partners. My own experience at the firm has confirmed that there is no ceiling to what you can do as a junior associate. Junior associates are key members of the team, involved in everything from legal research and drafting motions to crafting trial strategy. If you do excellent work and are ready for a new experience, you will be given the opportunity to take that next step—whether that be a deposition or a cross examination at trial—and you will be supported by the senior lawyers on your team while you do so. In part because Jones Day has many attorneys that grew up through the ranks at the firm, there is a strong culture at the firm of training, mentoring, and sponsoring more junior attorneys and a desire to pay it forward to those attorneys coming up under you.

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

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for lawyers in Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement. There are many, like me, who have had their entire legal careers at Jones Day. Others have been a judicial clerk at some point in their career. Others have significant government experience, for example, at the Securities and Exchange Commission or Department of Justice, before joining the firm.

How important is it for securities litigators to have a business background and understanding of corporate law, and what should junior attorneys do if they don’t?

I think it is certainly helpful for attorneys to understand corporate law or have a business background, but it’s not required, and lack of business background should not prohibit new attorneys from entering this practice. I did not have such a background, but I was dedicated to learning the substance through the matters I was engaged on as well as through doing my own independent reading and learning outside of my cases. I became involved in financial products litigation early on in my career at Jones Day, which taught me how to understand bespoke and other financial products. I also made sure to stay up to date on important decisions in litigations key to my practice as well as the news about business, financial markets, and related issues.

Sarah D. Efronson, Partner—Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement (2023)

Sarah is a partner in the Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement practice at Jones Day. She has almost a decade of experience defending public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder litigation, including in securities fraud class action cases. Her experience covers all stages of litigation, including trial. Sarah has considerable experience conducting internal investigations on behalf of companies and representing individuals and entities in connection with regulatory investigations and enforcement matters. She is experienced in defending clients in matters involving parallel criminal and civil litigation. Sarah maintains an active pro bono practice and has represented clients in immigration, housing, and family court proceedings.

Linton Mann III, Partner • Rachel Sparks Bradley, Partner—Litigation
Simpson Thacher

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!

 

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.

Caroline Zalka, Partner
Weil

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I focus on representing companies and their senior executives and directors in all types of shareholder disputes, including securities class actions asserting claims under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; shareholder derivative, breach of fiduciary duty, and other corporate governance-related litigation; and M&A litigation. I also regularly oversee sensitive internal and governmental investigations, and counsel boards of directors and senior management on M&A, corporate governance, and other regulatory issues. 

What types of clients do you represent? 

I represent clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including consumer products, energy, pharmaceuticals, retail, private equity, and financial and professional services, among others. My clients are national, and often global, companies and organizations, and I represent them in courts and jurisdictions around the country and in international engagements. Some of my current and past clients include Carlyle Group, General Electric, lululemon, Morgan Stanley, Sanofi, and Walgreens.

What types of cases/deals do you work on? 

I work on a wide variety of securities litigation cases, but the most interesting are the ones that involve newsworthy developments and/or novel issues of law. For example, my recent representation of Brazilian bank BTG Pactual involved a two-week-long arbitration in Switzerland, in a dispute arising from the acquisition of another bank that was revealed to have been implicated in the 1MDB scandal. For Carlyle Group, we handled a bellwether transactional dispute arising out of the pandemic, successfully blocking an attempt by the opposing party to force the closing of a deal that had seen its value plummet after the shutdown in March 2020. That enabled our client to invoke a material adverse effect clause to scuttle the proposed transaction, which the press later referred to as “a seminal legal event” of the COVID era. I am also currently handling a massive $12 billion securities class action on behalf of South African energy company Sasol, which involves cutting-edge issues regarding confidential witnesses.

How did you choose this practice area?

I find it appealing—and personally very rewarding—to practice in a field that presents a variety of challenging legal issues and different types of disputes that often make the front pages of the business press. The work I do encompasses high-stakes litigation and trials, and counseling boards of directors and senior company management on securities and corporate governance issues that are often crucial to the success of the business. 

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

Since I serve as both litigation counsel and an advisor in situations where there may not be any active litigation, there really is no typical day. I am routinely in court, writing briefs, taking and defending depositions, and meeting with my colleagues at Weil to strategize about our clients’ cases.

While there is a regular ebb and flow of litigation, we also pride ourselves on navigating our clients through crises. If a client runs into an issue involving a deal, becomes embroiled in litigation, discovers an unanticipated problem that requires an immediate investigation, or becomes the subject of a regulator’s or governmental body’s inquiry, then my team and I have to be ready to respond on a moment’s notice.  

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

Courses that delve into corporate management and regulatory issues provide a solid foundation for what we do. But there are no special courses or experience that you must have to become a securities litigator. Good judgment and great writing skills are the most important traits. Verbal communication skills are important too—the ability to synthesize complex information and present it clearly to courts and clients is crucial. And given the novel, first impression problems with which we are presented daily, the ability to think creatively and “outside the box” is a valuable asset as well. 

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

Clients in securities litigation are often facing huge financial and reputational challenges themselves, so there is added pressure because these are typically “bet the company”-type cases, with high stakes involved. Clients also rely on us for the expert guidance needed for them to navigate issues of business and media exposure that surround the legal dispute.

What do you like best about your practice area?

The variety of work and ability to work directly with my clients makes the job interesting and challenging, and that is probably the most consistently rewarding part of my practice. Since the high-profile matters we work on at Weil often make headlines, that brings an extra measure of excitement to our successes, as well. However, even more satisfying is that we often achieve landmark decisions on behalf of our clients, or simply advise clients on various courses of action, that have a lasting, positive effect on their businesses and, at times, the law more generally. To see our clients succeed with the advice we provide to them is an immensely gratifying experience.

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

One of the things that sets Weil’s Securities Litigation practice apart from our peers is that we focus exclusively on securities litigation matters. As a result, our practitioners possess a real depth of securities litigation expertise. Another differentiator is that rather than focusing on one type of securities dispute, we handle all types—from securities fraud, M&A, and fiduciary duty litigation to other complex shareholder litigation, such as bondholder disputes and restructuring-related claims. We also regularly provide corporate counseling and conduct sensitive internal and governmental investigations. 

As an example, we have a formidable Delaware law practice, with a strong presence in the Delaware Supreme Court and the Delaware Court of Chancery, where we have an opportunity to shape corporate law in ways that other firms are not in a position to do. Our robust White Collar Defense, Regulatory & Investigations practice, while separate, closely coordinates with the Securities Litigation team, providing us with exposure to many more types of matters. We also have a very close working relationship with Weil’s transactional lawyers, with whom we work closely from the inception of deals to the resolution of related litigation on corporate transactions.

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

Many Weil Securities Litigation associates become counsel or partners at the firm, while a number of our former associates work in high profile in-house roles at public companies and private equity funds. Notably, one of our former associates is now a Delaware Supreme Court justice. 

Caroline Zalka, Partner and Co-Head—Securities Litigation (2022)

Caroline Zalka is Co-Head of Weil’s Securities Litigation practice. She focuses on litigation of securities, derivative, and complex business matters at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts, and before arbitration panels. Caroline also has extensive experience advising in connection with internal investigations, as well as federal, state, and foreign governmental and regulatory investigations, including those commenced by the DOJ, the SEC, the New York District Attorney’s Office, and the New York Attorney General’s Office. Additionally, Caroline counsels boards of directors and senior management with respect to a broad range of matters, including securities, corporate governance, disclosure, and regulatory issues.

In 2021, Caroline was named by Chambers USA as a leading securities litigator in New York, and was again recognized by Legal 500 as a “Next Generation Partner” for Securities Litigation: Defense. She also was recognized as a 2022 “Future Star” for Securities by Benchmark Litigation, and has been recognized as a national “Rising Star” by several legal industry publications, including for Securities Litigation by Law360, and for Litigation by Euromoney in its Americas Women in Business Law Awards.

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