Williams & Connolly has a broad and active practice in civil securities litigation and has been involved in many of the largest and most high-profile securities cases of the last two decades. The firm has represented issuers, directors, officers, underwriters, self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”), investment banks, private equity firms, accountants and lawyers in an array of actions brought under federal and state securities laws, derivative actions and merger disputes.
In recent years, the firm has prevailed on motions to dismiss for a number of major corporate clients, including Pfizer (in a case alleging misleading statements about clinical trial results); The Carlyle Group (in a case involving alleged misstatements and omissions in offering materials for a Carlyle-sponsored investment vehicle); The Washington Post Co. (in a case involving alleged misstatements about its for-profit college subsidiary); FBR (in a case relating to its disclosures in its role as underwriter of issues relating to the emerging mortgage crisis), and others. In many of these instances, the firm also has successfully defended its clients’ victories on appeal, often establishing important legal propositions in the field of securities law.
The firm also has defended a number of professional firms, including “Big Four” accounting firms and major national law firms, in some of the most high-profile securities cases in recent history. For example, it represented the auditors for HealthSouth in class action and related litigation; the main law firm for Refco; and the main law firm for Enron all in cases raising various securities-related claims. In the latter instance, while other defendants were paying the largest securities class action settlement in history (over $7 billion), the claims against Williams & Connolly's client were dropped after the Court of Appeals accepted our appeal from the order certifying the class.
The firm also has represented national investment banks in litigation related to residential mortgage-backed securities and other litigation arising from securities underwriting; private equity firms in a variety of litigation contexts, including class action litigation and short-swing profits litigation; and numerous individual directors and officers of public companies in various securities-related proceedings.