Litigation > Professional Liability

Accountants Liability

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP represents accounting firms in a wide variety of matters before federal and state courts across the country, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state boards of accountancy. Our practice is led by the first director of the Division of Enforcement at the PCAOB and includes a public certified accountant with previous in-house auditing experience.

We represent accounting and auditing firms in the defense of individual, class action and litigation trustee lawsuits, as well as SEC, Department of Justice (DOJ) and board of accountancy investigations involving claims of federal and state securities law violations, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act violations, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, civil conspiracy, deepening insolvency and breach of contract.

Effectively representing the accounting profession requires a multidisciplinary approach, significant experience and a reputation for the highest-caliber work. Our accountants’ liability practice includes lawyers highly experienced in all matters involving the PCAOB, securities litigation, SEC enforcement, criminal defense, class action defense and regulatory enforcement.

There has been a proliferation of constituencies targeting the accounting profession. Heightened enforcement standards of the SEC and the PCAOB have created a new environment for auditors. In civil actions, accounting firms face increasingly larger claims by a variety of plaintiffs, including shareholders, bondholders, lenders and other creditors, litigation and bankruptcy trustees, and clients. In criminal prosecutions, individual members of accounting firms have been charged with a host of crimes, including conspiracy, bribery, perjury, mail fraud, wire fraud and forgery. These actions and prosecutions are arising from myriad sources, including federal and state securities laws, SEC enforcement actions, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and regulations, Department of Labor regulations, state licensing boards and the common law. Foreign companies that access the U.S. capital markets and their auditors also face increasing exposure to civil liability and criminal prosecution.

Akin Gump offers accounting firm clients the unique combination of government enforcement experience, highly skilled trial lawyers and one of the largest and most respected public policy and regulation practices in the nation.

To read about some of our significant representations, click here.

Legal Malpractice

Former clients are filing malpractice lawsuits against their lawyers and law firms at increasing rates.  These lawsuits pose not only a financial threat, but an equal, if not greater, threat to the lawyer’s and law firm’s carefully built reputations.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP defends lawyers and law firms against malpractice claims in courts across the country.  Akin Gump’s legal malpractice team faces each lawsuit with excellent trial attorneys who are aware of the unique risks posed by each lawsuit.  Our broad and deep experience across all practice areas allows our attorneys to effectively and efficiently represent clients.

Legal malpractice lawsuits require litigating two key issues: whether the attorney met the standard of care and whether the underlying lawsuit or transaction would have succeeded if not for the attorney’s alleged malpractice (commonly known as the “case-within-the-case”).  Akin Gump is able to draw upon its attorneys’ diverse backgrounds to quickly understand the underlying case-within-the-case and use that knowledge to best represent its clients.

Akin Gump also has broad experience advising clients regarding defense strategy and evaluations of legal malpractice claims.  Akin Gump is frequently asked by clients to evaluate ongoing legal malpractice lawsuits to determine the most effective trial strategy to pursue, the financial risk posed by the lawsuit, the likelihood of success and the value of disposing of the lawsuit without a trial.

To read about some of our significant representations, click here.