Virginia F. Milstead has a broad commercial litigation practice, representing clients in both federal and state courts, with a particular emphasis on securities and M&A litigation, shareholder derivative litigation and related claims.

Bio

Ms. Milstead has advised clients on matters involving federal and state securities laws, duties of corporate directors, civil RICO, unfair business practices, and various other contract and tort claims. Among others, she has represented:

  • Baidu, Inc. and two of its senior officers in securing the dismissal of a federal securities class action alleging that the company had misrepresented its ability to comply with Chinese internet content regulations in a series of 12 public statements spanning more than a year;
  • ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc. in securing the dismissal of a securities class action alleging offering materials related to ZTO’s IPO omitted a change in the company’s pricing;
  • Pinduoduo Inc. in securing the dismissal of Securities Act claims in connection with its 2018 initial public offering of American depositary shares, alleging that the defendants made material misstatements and omissions in the offering documents filed in connection with the IPO; 
  • Yirendai Ltd. in securing a dismissal with prejudice of federal securities class action claims;
  • ChinaCache International Holdings, Ltd. in securing a dismissal with prejudice of federal securities class action claims;
  • the underwriters for an offering of preferred units in an oil and gas master limited partnership in securing a dismissal and favorable settlement of federal securities class action claims;
  • the founder and CEO of a semiconductor manufacturer in federal securities class action claims;
  • Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a federal securities class action and derivative litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging misrepresentations in press releases, conference calls and SEC filings related to, among other things, the effectiveness of the company’s flagship product and prospects for growth;
  • Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors in litigation arising from Nationwide’s merger with Ventas, Inc., resulting in a dismissal with prejudice and a favorable decision on an issue of first impression under Maryland law;
  • UNC Lear Services, Inc. and Lear Siegler Services, Inc. in a successful defense at trial and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against breach of contract and civil RICO claims brought by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
  • certain former outside directors of Countrywide Financial Corporation in securities, derivative and ERISA litigations; and
  • the founder of a casino in Las Vegas in a successful defense at trial against claims for fraud and invasion of privacy brought by the founder’s former spouse.

In 2021, Ms. Milstead was named a Woman of Influence by the Los Angeles Business Journal and recognized in Chambers USA, in which she is described by clients as “a gifted litigator and a strong oral advocate ... [with an] ability to cut through complexity and focus on the critical issues.” She also received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in 2021. Ms. Milstead is a frequent speaker at, and organizer of, legal education events. Among other roles, Ms. Milstead has taught constitutional law at the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, has been a regular panelist for the annual Federal Court Boot Camp and Superior Court Boot Camp presented by Pincus Professional Education, has served as co-chair of the Litigation Committee of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and has organized WLALA’s annual Litigators’ Forum. Ms. Milstead also served as a panelist at the Third Annual William French Lecture at the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, featuring retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law, 2004 (summa cum laude, Literary and Citation Editor, Pepperdine Law Review)
  • B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1999 (summa cum laude)

Admissions

  • California

Associations

  • Board Member, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Co-Chair of the Litigation Section, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA)
  • Board of Regents, Pepperdine University
  • Board of Advisors, The Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

Experience

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Arthur L. Alarcón, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2005-2006)
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Florence-Marie Cooper, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (2004-2005)

Virginia Milstead