The securities enforcement and litigation practice of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is one of the premier practices of its kind in the United States. A national team of experienced and highly qualified lawyers has achieved great results over many years in helping clients navigate securities-related investigations and litigation. In its Litigation Outlook 2018: Changes, Trends and Opportunities for Law Firms, The BTI Consulting Group, an independent research organization that focuses on how clients acquire, manage and evaluate professional services firms, ranked Akin Gump as a “Litigation Standout” in securities and finance litigation and also recognized the firm on its “Fearsome Honor Roll” of the law firms opponents fear most in litigation.
Our clients include leading public companies and their officers and directors, as well as many of the country’s largest and most sophisticated hedge funds and private equity funds, broker-dealers, investment banks and public accounting firms. We routinely represent clients—including companies and individuals based in the United States and around the world—in investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and state regulators.
Our securities enforcement lawyers are also members of our white collar defense practice in recognition of the fact that securities investigations often result in parallel criminal and civil enforcement efforts by the government. Complementing all of this knowledge and experience, our practice includes leading civil securities litigators who routinely defend a broad array of clients in shareholder class actions and derivative litigation. Through this collaboration, lawyers in the securities enforcement and litigation practice offer clients a nationwide civil, criminal and regulatory defense powerhouse across the spectrum of securities litigation.
Collectively, our securities litigators have many decades of practical, hands-on experience, both in private practice and, in many instances, as government attorneys for the SEC, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Attorney’s offices prior to joining Akin Gump. Our team’s outstanding reputation reaches from the headquarters of the SEC and CFTC to regional enforcement offices to federal courts to international directors and officers (D&O) insurance carriers.
We work closely with in-house legal and management teams to achieve our clients’ objectives in securities matters. We believe it is essential, at the outset of a new securities investigation or lawsuit, to identify a sound strategy that is calculated to lead to a speedy and favorable resolution. In some cases, it is advisable to work cooperatively with the government; in other cases, a more defensive posture is appropriate. Regardless of the strategy, we have a reputation for credibility and effectiveness in our dealings with the government and adversaries in private litigation.
As the securities environment becomes more challenging—increased enforcement, potentially crippling sanctions and penalties, more private class actions and higher settlement costs—the Akin Gump team has the experience and know-how to help clients resolve investigations and lawsuits effectively. Our deep understanding of SEC, CFTC and other investigations allows us to develop the most effective strategies to resolve the inquiry or litigate.
Resolution for Our Clients
SEC and regulatory investigations and enforcement actions: We have broad and deep experience in matters arising from alleged insider trading, market manipulation, accounting improprieties, disclosure problems and SEC reporting, violations of the Investment Advisors Act and market abuse under U.K. law.
Internal investigations and special representations: In recent years, Akin Gump has conducted a number of sensitive and high-pressure internal investigations on behalf of audit or special committees of boards. In addition, we have represented senior officers and directors who are the subject of such investigations.
Investment funds compliance and litigation issues: Our securities enforcement and litigation team has unmatched experience representing investment funds in government investigations and private litigation. Because of our day-to-day interaction with the most sophisticated private investment funds in the world, we understand how funds operate and are well equipped to give sound, practical and effective advice.
Class actions: Our lawyers have defended numerous public companies in securities class actions, and our team has faced all types of securities claims—from accounting fraud and restatements to aggressive projections and missed forecasts.
Fiduciary and derivative litigation: Our representations include scores of public companies and their officers and directors in derivative actions arising from mergers, acquisitions, executive compensation, related-party transactions, mismanagement, misappropriation of corporate opportunities, extraordinary corporate transactions and fiduciary litigation in bankruptcy adversary proceedings.
Investment product litigation: Akin Gump lawyers bring case-specific experience to the issues at hand, whether the claims involve government enforcement of old rules in new ways or broad new rules, such as rules related to pay-to-play and revenue-sharing practices.
M&A litigation: Whether we are representing companies, officers, directors or special committees, we are familiar with the options available to companies for resisting efforts to sidetrack a major transaction. More importantly, we have the experience and the knowledge necessary to assist in evaluating those options as well as the relationships and the credibility necessary to achieve our clients’ objectives.
Avoiding litigation risks: Every public company and soon-to-be-public company can benefit from a review of its disclosure and corporate governance practices. We offer our public company clients a securities litigation risk audit that provides a comprehensive, tailored examination of a company’s risk for securities litigation.