Securities and Shareholder Litigation
Snell & Wilmer's Securities and Shareholder Litigation Group handles securities litigation under federal and state law, shareholder litigation and disputes, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, and internal investigations and compliance matters. Our clients include public companies, board of directors and board committees, officers, directors, private and closely-held companies, and individuals.
Our securities litigation lawyers have broad experience in federal and state court, including federal securities class actions, securities claims under federal and state law, shareholder derivative litigation, handling of shareholder demands, and requests to inspect corporation books and records, regulatory enforcement actions, and internal investigations and related compliance matters. We represent clients in addressing investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, state attorneys general, and other regulatory and government agencies. We frequently resolve issues informally and privately before any issues are made public or litigated. We represent companies, boards of directors, and board committees in conducting internal investigations regarding alleged wrongdoing and financial restatements. We advise clients on best practices for avoiding litigation, protecting whistleblowers, and developing corporate compliance programs.
We represent public and private companies, their directors and officers, closely-held companies, and securities-related litigation and investigations. Our clients include leading public companies, board of directors and board committees, acquirers and targets in significant transactions, as well as individuals.
The lawyers in Snell & Wilmer's Securities and Shareholder Litigation Group have wide-ranging experience in securities litigation and regulatory enforcement. We work closely with a company's management and in-house legal team to resolve complex legal matters in the securities area, which may include resolution of numerous litigation, investigations, and regulatory issues. For instance, a securities class action often triggers the filing of shareholder derivative suits, and an investigation may proceed at the same time as governmental inquiries and parallel litigation. We have substantial experience in coordinating these different matters. We work cooperatively with other stakeholders in the process, which may include outside auditors, financial and accounting consultants, and investors. In today's environment of increased regulation and government oversight, we closely monitor legal and regulatory developments in the field. We draw on the collective experience of our lawyers and we can assemble an effective and efficient team for a variety of situations. We work closely with the transactional securities attorneys in our firm's Corporate & Securities Group and the White-Collar Defense and Investigations Group in all our offices.
Several of our representative engagements illustrate the breadth of our experience:
Federal Class Actions and Shareholder Derivative Suits
- We represented two former officers of a public consumer electronics company in a class action and two related cases arising from alleged misstatements concerning the company's financial condition and eventual bankruptcy.
- We represented a public pharmaceutical company in a class action alleging violations of the federal securities laws in connection with a complex accounting restatement that covered a six-year time period.
- Represented a national chain of fitness centers and its CEO against allegations of securities fraud arising in connection with the acquisition of a rival fitness club chain.
- Represented a retail store and its owners against claims of securities fraud brought by a former employee and investor.
Shareholder litigation, derivative actions, and books and records requests
- We represented a Fortune 500 technology public company in multiple shareholder derivative lawsuits that were filed in both state and federal court that followed the company's accounting restatement.
- We represented a public education company in two related shareholder derivative suits that arose out of alleged stock option backdating and disclosure of a governmental inquiry.
- We represented a public company in connection with suit to inspect books and records in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
- We have represented numerous companies in connection with confidential resolutions of issues and demands by shareholders.
SEC and Regulatory Enforcement
- We represented a public company in an SEC investigation relating to alleged material misstatements in connection with a transaction with a business partner.
- We represented an individual in an SEC investigation focused on alleged insider trading.
- We represented the managing member of an investment fund in connection with an SEC investigation into a former business partner.
- We represented a former employee in connection with an SEC securities fraud investigation into her former employer.
Internal Investigations and Compliance
- We represented the board of directors of a public healthcare company in connection with an anonymous complaint that alleged wrongdoing by senior management. The resulting investigation involved non-U.S. issues and corporate structural changes.
- We represented a public technology company in connection with investigating a potential financial restatement that exceeded $50 million. The investigation enabled the company to ascertain the scope of the restatement and to address all concerns of outside auditors.
- We represented a public company in connection with a review of international tax issues.
- We represented a public company in connection with retaliation claims brought by an alleged whistleblower under SOX.
- We have represented numerous clients in connection with evaluating compliance programs and making appropriate recommendations.