The national securities litigation practice at Skadden frequently handle challenging, high-stakes securities litigation matters — “bet-the-company” cases that demand a full range of skills, in and out of the courtroom. From 2013-17, Skadden served as defense counsel in more federal securities cases in the U.S. than any other law firm, according to statistics published in Lex Machina’s 2018 Top Law Firms report on federal U.S. litigation. Additionally, Skadden secured more wins for defendants and resolved more cases as defense counsel in federal courts than any other law firm since January 2017, according to Lex Machina’s Securities Litigation Report 2018. Skadden was named a finalist in both the New York Law Journal’s (2019) and The American Lawyer’s (2018) Litigation Department of the Year competitions. We also were ranked in Tier 1 in Securities Litigation: Defense in The Legal 500 U.S. for 2018 and selected as one of Law360’s Securities Groups of the Year for 2017. According to Chambers USA 2019, which consistently ranks the firm in the top tier for securities litigation, Skadden “enjoys an extremely strong reputation in both securities litigation and regulation.”

We have acted as lead defense counsel in some of the most high-profile securities class actions, including representing Bank of America, Biogen, Citigroup, News Corp. (now known as 21st Century Fox), UBS and Vivint Solar, among others. We have represented or are currently representing diverse clients in securities litigation, including Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, BlackBerry Limited (f/k/a Research in Motion), Booz Allen, El Pollo Loco, Express Scripts, Iconix Brand Group, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Sprint and all the major financial institutions.

Skadden has successfully represented clients in significant and precedent-setting cases in various courts, including at the appellate and U.S. Supreme Court level, such as:

  • Merrill Lynch in a unanimous win before the U.S. Supreme Court in Merrill Lynch v. Dabit.
  • UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico and UBS Trust Company of Puerto Rico in securing a grant of certiorari to resolve a circuit court split over the standard of appellate review for dismissals of derivative suits pursuant to Rule 23.1.
  • Merrill Lynch in securing two major victories before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. This includes Lentell v. Merrill Lynch, in which the Second Circuit adopted a standard for loss causation that has been cited hundreds of times; and Wilson v. Merrill Lynch, which was the first auction rate securities (ARS) class action arising from the market collapse to be decided by an appellate court.
  • Vivint Solar, Inc., several of its officers and directors, and The Blackstone Group in securing a significant Second Circuit decision in a case of first impression that created a circuit split on the standard for determining the disclosure of interim financial data in a prospectus. The court’s decision affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of a putative securities class action complaint stemming from Vivint Solar’s Oct. 1, 2014, IPO, rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that centered around the “extreme departure” disclosure standard set forth in the First Circuit’s ruling in Shaw v. Digital Equipment Corp., and, instead, holding that law of the Second Circuit is the materiality test set forth in DeMaria v. Andersen, which we also successfully argued on behalf of the underwriters in 2003.
  • Citigroup and a worldwide syndicate of underwriters in a putative class action brought by the purchasers of Petrobras’ 2013 and 2014 U.S. dollar-denominated bond offerings. Skadden achieved several victories on behalf of the syndicate, including a Second Circuit judgment that vacated the district court’s class certification order and found that the district court failed to consider the need for individualized inquiries regarding whether each class member’s securities transaction was “domestic” under the Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank. During pendency of a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding class certification, the parties negotiated a settlement of all claims, wherein the underwriting syndicate did not have to pay anything toward the settlement and received full releases.
  • Biogen Inc. and certain of its current and former officers in securing the dismissal of a putative federal class action alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, asserting that the defendants intentionally misled the market regarding revenue projections for the company’s multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera. We also secured the denial of the plaintiffs’ motion to vacate the dismissal.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in breach of contract litigation brought by an affiliate fund of Cerberus Capital Management alleging that CIBC failed to make required payments under two separate agreements that reference a portfolio of CIBC’s structured assets, including certain synthetic assets.