Private Securities Litigation
Our lawyers achieve value for our securities litigation clients in many ways, including the following:
- Winning appeals that have resulted in the development of case law favorable to our clients, including representing Tellabs, Inc. in the U.S. Supreme Court case involving the “strong inference” of scienter required under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
- Providing highly current, informed advice as to plaintiffs’ likely strategies and negotiating with plaintiffs’ counsel.
- Collaborating closely with our counterparts in offices across the globe, harnessing our comprehensive legal and sector knowledge.
“They have substantive knowledge in every area a company can need, and they’re good at leveraging talent throughout the firm to suit the client.”
Chambers USA, Securities: Litigation 2015
- Regularly representing underwriters, which enhances our services not only for these clients, but also for other issuer clients we defend in lawsuits alleging violations of the securities laws.
- Regularly representing accounting firms, enabling us to better advise all of our clients in cases involving complex accounting issues.
- Defending cases brought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including alleged violations of Section 10(b), Rule 10b-5 and Section 14(a)); under the Securities Act of 1933, including alleged violations of Section 11 and Section 12 stemming from IPOs and other offerings; and under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 relating to mutual fund advisors’ purported receipt of excessive compensation.
Because of our broad client base, we have extensive experience representing companies in industries that are frequent targets of securities litigation. We also regularly represent foreign issuers. Examples of industries in which we have been involved, as well as our work with foreign issuers, include:
- Life sciences. Life sciences companies are increasingly targeted by the plaintiffs’ bar, including when they experience stock drops stemming from FDA regulatory actions such as product recalls and new clinical trial requirements, failure to obtain product approval, and product safety issues or other setbacks, such as not meeting financial projections. We have achieved terrific results for a range of life sciences clients, including major pharmaceutical and medical device companies, developers of new drugs, drugstores and health insurance carriers.
Sidley Austin LLP has “a solid and pragmatic defense practice that effectively cuts to the chase.” It has “superb strategists who always provide timely and cost-effective advice.”
The Legal 500 US, Securities: Shareholder Litigation 2015
- Financial services. We are well versed in the issues faced by financial services companies, including complicated accounting matters and sophisticated product offerings.
- Energy. We have great experience representing energy companies in securities litigation, including oil and gas, electricity, renewable energy and coal. We won dismissal of securities claims against the CEO and CFO of Patriot Coal Corporation, who were sued in the wake of Patriot’s bankruptcy and restatement of financial statements.
- Food. We represent a range of food companies in securities cases, including major food producers, packaged goods companies and large restaurant chains. Our recent victories include dismissals of securities cases following food safety issues and companion government investigations.
- Foreign issuers. Our lawyers understand the unique circumstances foreign issuers face when engaged in securities litigation in the United States. We have successfully defended numerous Chinese companies, including China Life, as well as one of China’s largest oil and gas companies and another major Chinese oil producer. Canadian-based companies are increasingly becoming the targets of class actions on both sides of the border, and we have recently achieved a very favorable settlement for SMART Technologies following its cross-border, dual-listed IPO. The decision we obtained is the first to have expanded a landmark U.S. Supreme Court holding, Morrison v. National Australia Bank, to expressly bar claims under the Securities Act of 1933 by foreign purchasers in a U.S.-registered public offering.
Recognition for Our Practice
Sidley received the 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Law Firm of the Year” in the Litigation – Securities category, and seven of our offices were ranked first-tier in the survey’s regional rankings. In the 2015 edition of Chambers USA, Sidley’s securities litigation lawyers were noted as being “creative” and skilled at “figuring out what needs to be done and executing it.” According to The Legal 500, clients commented that our lawyers bring “matters to a conclusion swiftly and on good terms.”