Securities Litigation and Enforcement

Corporations, officers, directors, and investors are frequent targets for class action lawyers, government regulators, prosecutors, and disgruntled former employees and shareholders. Without experienced legal counsel, targets are at risk for loss of liberty, crippling fines, penalties and damages, bankruptcy, loss of employment, industry bars, and career destruction.

Members of Stradling’s securities litigation and enforcement practice group defend public and private companies and their officers and directors in connection with shareholder class actions, derivative cases, and direct cases. We have been very successful in these cases, often obtaining complete dismissals and walk-away results.

We also prosecute and defend litigation involving:

We pride ourselves in never letting shareholder claims interfere with proposed transactions; we get involved early in our clients’ transactions to build in defenses and create the best record possible to defend our clients’ objectives.

Our practice also frequently includes representing individuals and corporations in connection with civil and criminal government investigations, including inquiries and investigations by the:

Regulatory investigations have spiked over the last decade, with the government touting lottery-sized penalties, commensurate awards to whistleblowers, and the increased prosecution of individuals.

For example, federal and state governments have recently turned their attention towards utilizing the False Claims Act (FCA) in connection with claims against businesses and their owners, officers, employees, and directors. The U.S. Congress expanded the reach of the FCA within the last five years to provide regulators and prosecutors with an even larger tool kit of weapons.

The SEC has brought historic numbers of enforcement actions, spearheaded by the formation of specialization units and the offer of bounties to whistleblowers. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has also become a frequent tool of choice in the government’s pursuit of penalties and fines from corporations.

Our team includes a former SEC attorney from the Division of Enforcement, a former Assistant United States Attorney, several former U.S. District Court law clerks, and a dedicated team of trial lawyers, some with 25 years of experience specializing in securities and enforcement defense. The team’s lawyers draw upon these years of experience to critically assess each matter to implement proven strategies tailored to the particular case and client needs.

Our team is intimately familiar with the law and tactics at stake in these disputes.

As a corollary to our class, derivative, and enforcement defense practice, we are frequently called upon to conduct internal investigations for:

  • Companies
  • Boards of directors
  • Audit committees
  • Special committees

We approach such matters with great care to maintain confidentiality and privilege, and are thoughtful about the duties at issue and the appropriate scope of the investigations.

Given our depth of experience with and understanding of the risks associated with securities claims and enforcement matters, our team members are frequently called upon to provide counseling and training to prevent violations and liabilities before they become a problem.

We regularly provide advice and training to our clients on issues such as:

  • Insider trading
  • Legal compliance programs
  • Directors and officers insurance
  • Securities law disclosure obligations