Peter B. Morrison has a broad litigation practice with a particular emphasis on securities litigation, M&A deal litigation and tax litigation.

Bio

Mr. Morrison advises corporations on matters involving both federal and state securities laws, duties of corporate directors, SEC and stock exchange inquiries and investigations, contests for corporate control and tax reporting. In 2019, Mr. Morrison was named a Top Litigator and Trial Lawyer in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In 2018, Mr. Morrison was named Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Securities, Los Angeles by The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Morrison has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2016 and The Best Lawyers in America since 2014. For three consecutive years (from 2011-13), Mr. Morrison was named to Law360’s list of Rising Stars.

Among others, Mr. Morrison has represented:

  • Ripple Labs Inc. in a putative class action alleging that it should have registered its virtual currency XRP as a security under federal securities laws;
  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and certain of its directors and officers in the favorable resolution of class action lawsuits in California and Delaware brought by shareholders in connection with the proposed $3.3 billion merger of Valeant and Biovail;
  • American Apparel, Inc. in connection with securities class actions and derivative lawsuits brought in federal and state court in California;
  • Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals) 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;
  • KPMG in multiple actions involving claims ranging from fraud, negligence and contract enforcement to constitutional violations;
  • Bank of America:
    • in the defense of a putative nationwide class action related to tax reporting; and
    • (formerly LaSalle Bank, N.A.) in successfully defeating five related class actions in Orange County Superior Court brought by plaintiffs alleging that the defendants sold them fraudulent securities and real estate investments;
  • CytRx Corporation in various actions, including the successful dismissal upholding a Delaware forum-selection bylaw in a federal shareholder derivative suit;
  • Oakley, Inc. and its board of directors in a lawsuit brought by one of Oakley’s shareholders seeking to enjoin the $2 billion acquisition of Oakley by Luxottica Group S.p.A. (Italy);
  • certain former outside directors of Countrywide Financial Corporation in securities, derivative and ERISA litigations;
  • Fortress Investment Group, Inc. in the successful dismissal of an action arising from loans that a hedge fund made to assist in financing films;
  • American Land Lease, Inc. in successfully preventing attempts in state and federal court to enjoin the pending $438 million acquisition by Greene Court Partners LLC;
  • Gateway, Inc. and its board of directors in a lawsuit brought by Gateway’s shareholders in both California and Delaware seeking to enjoin its $710 million merger with Acer, Inc.;
  • the special committee of independent directors of Station Casinos, Inc. in litigation seeking to enjoin Station Casinos’ more than $8 billion going-private transaction;
  • Leonard Green & Partners in a lawsuit seeking to enjoin PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.’s $1.8 billion going-private transaction;
  • certain directors and officers, as well as certain former officers, of Apollo Education Group, Inc. in securing the dismissal with prejudice of a federal class action asserting violations of federal securities laws arising from allegedly backdated stock options, as well as securing the settlement of a related class action;
  • Tharaldson Motels, Inc.’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), its ESOP committee and the individual directors of Tharaldson Motels, Inc. (TMI) in a successful dismissal with prejudice of a complaint alleging that defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA; and
  • Freedom Communications, Inc., publisher of the Orange County Register, in a wage and hour class action lawsuit concerning the independent contractor status of the Register’s newspaper carriers, including a two-month trial.

A regular speaker at various conferences and bar groups, Mr. Morrison participated in an event hosted by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, focusing on "Critical Lessons for Young Lawyers & Summer Associates by Some of LA’s Rising Stars" and at an ALI-ABA program titled "Supreme Court in Janus Limits Securities Fraud Suits: What Does This Mean to Investment Advisers, Attorneys, Accountants and Bankers?" He also was featured in a discussion about securities class actions moderated by and published in Financier Worldwide titled "TalkingPoint: Securities Class Actions in the United States."

Mr. Morrison is on the firm’s Los Angeles office recruiting committee and leads new lawyer training.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1999 (Order of the Barristers)
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1996 (magna cum laude)

Admissions

  • California
  • New York

Associations

  • Board of Trustees, Seven Arrows Elementary School (2014-Present)
  • Board of Trustees, The Accelerated School (2009-Present)
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Litigation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association (Commencing 2014)
  • Board of Directors, Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library (Commencing 2014)
  • Board of Directors, New York University School of Law Alumni Association (2013-Present)
  • Chair of the Board of Directors (2018-Present) and Member of Board of Directors (2011-Present), Constitutional Rights Foundation
  • Board of Directors, The Growing Place (2009-2016)

Experience

  • Law Clerk, Chancellor William B. Chandler III, Delaware Court of Chancery, 1999-2000

Peter B. Morrison