Burns Kathleen Ceglarski

Kathleen Ceglarski Burns

Kathleen Ceglarski Burns is a partner in the Litigation department who concentrates her practice on government investigations and complex commercial disputes. Kathleen regularly guides clients through internal investigations, SEC enforcement actions and inquiries conducted by the Department of Justice and other governmental agencies. She also has broad experience handling all phases of civil litigation, from pre-suit demands through trial and the appellate process. Kathleen is active in the firm’s Women’s Resource Group, and is recognized as a trusted advisor who takes an efficient, business-focused approach to solving clients’ problems.

What do you focus on?

SEC Enforcement, Government Investigations

I advocate for individual and corporate clients facing investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and state regulatory agencies. I guide clients through the process of responding to subpoenas and civil investigative demands (CIDs), providing testimony, preparing Wells notices, negotiating settlements and, if necessary, litigating against the SEC. I routinely advise clients in connection with investigations concerning alleged insider trading, disclosure violations, securities fraud, False Claims Act violations, anti-kickback claims and other corporate governance matters. I focus on protecting my clients’ interests and minimizing the exposure of individuals and companies through all phases of government investigations, and I provide business-focused advice to help clients minimize future risk.

Complex Commercial Disputes

I help clients solve their business problems. Oftentimes, I work with clients to resolve disputes without going to court. When litigation is necessary to achieve a client’s goals, I provide efficient and effective strategic representation. I have successfully represented clients in connection with a wide range of issues, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, Chapter 93A violations, valuation disputes, breach of partnership agreements and ownership and control disputes.

I have a particular focus on issues affecting investors, including private investment partnerships, financial institutions and their officers and directors. For example, I regularly assist tax credit investors in resolving partnership disputes, valuation issues and compliance matters.

What do you see on the horizon?

While the administration has suggested that regulation will decrease, I continue to see aggressive enforcement tactics from the SEC and Department of Justice, and I expect that financial services companies will continue to face scrutiny from the government and potential plaintiffs.

Representative Matters

  • Representing bank executives in connection with DOJ and SEC investigation of alleged securities fraud.
  • Defending investment banker in federal court against the SEC’s allegations of securities fraud.
  • Representing officer of publicly traded company in connection with SEC investigation of alleged misstatements in public filings.
  • Represented health care provider in DOJ investigation into alleged overbilling practices.
  • Defended national hospice company in an ongoing DOJ probe of a qui tam action.
  • Represented hedge fund and its manager in connection with insider trading investigations launched by the U.S. Attorney in the SDNY and the SEC.
  • Represented hedge fund, its manager and trader in connection with SEC investigation for insider trading concerning a trade made in the hours preceding a takeover announcement. Successfully obtained termination notice following written and oral testimony six months after the investigation was opened.
  • Defended corporation, officers and directors in shareholder derivative action brought by former senior executives and major shareholders.
  • Defended private equity fund and two individual partners in litigation brought by a commercial lender in connection with the liquidation of a portfolio company. Assisted in obtaining the dismissal of litigation against two individual partners and settlement of the litigation on favorable terms.
  • Represented selling corporation in failed M&A transaction where prospective purchaser submitted falsified documents in connection with premerger filings with the FTC. Client obtained favorable settlement with the prospective purchaser. Also assisted client in obtaining favorable resolution in subsequent DOJ investigation.
  • Represented major financial institution in action against former executives for employee raiding, breaches of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully argued for dismissal of all product liability claims against medical device corporation without leave to amend.
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar judgement on behalf of global travel company in three-week trial in dispute with international software company over software company’s unfair and deceptive business practices and breach of contract.
  • Represented institutional investor and member of the liquidation committee of Fairfield Sentry Limited, the largest Madoff feeder fund. Counseled client regarding complex issues including settlement with the Madoff trustee, claims of fraud, claw back actions, investor class actions, distribution of recovered assets and Chapter 15 proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
  • Represented large European investment fund that lost approximately $400 million in various Madoff feeder funds.
  • Represented institutional limited partners and members of the LP advisory committee of two venture funds in dispute with general partners. Assisted with successful negotiation of a resolution through mediation that preserved the value of the investment portfolio and restructured fund management while avoiding litigation.
  • Represented public limited partnership and its general partner in governance and control contest, defeating a limited partner’s efforts to gain control of the limited partnership by removing the general partner through a consent solicitation and litigation.
  • Represented registered investment adviser who placed more than forty clients into a hedge fund that collapsed. Negotiated settlement on favorable terms.

Banker Cannava claims victory over SEC in 38 Studios case

The Bond Buyer | June 12, 2019

In the following coverage, Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted regarding the favorable district court decision for Nixon Peabody’s client, a Wells Fargo banker cleared of charges related to his role in the bond transaction for 38 Studios. The team on this matter also included partners Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Stephen LaRose and Steven Richard, associate Charles Dell’Anno and paralegal Kanda Faye.

Judge clears banker in 38 Studios case

The Providence Journal | June 12, 2019

In the following coverage, Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted regarding the favorable District Court decision for NP’s client, a Wells Fargo banker cleared of charges related to his role in the bond transaction for 38 Studios. The NP team on this matter also included partners Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Stephen LaRose and Steven Richard, associate Charles Dell’Anno and paralegal Kanda Faye.

How I Made Partner: Nixon Peabody’s Kathleen Ceglarski Burns

Law360 | May 31, 2019

In this Q&A, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns discusses her legal career and path to partnership.

Making partner with kids in tow

Best of Both Worlds Podcast | November 26, 2018

Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Burns was a guest on the Best of Both Worlds podcast, discussing her experience as a working attorney with four children and highlighting Nixon Peabody’s many family-friendly policies.

Law360 names attys who moved up the firm ranks in Q1

Law360 | April 27, 2017

This article mentions recent leadership promotions at the firm including David Brown, Jared Lusk, Jim Vallee, Graham Beck, Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Emily Crandall Harlan, Daniel Gibbons, Linda Huber, Ilana Kameros, Haydon Keitner, Darren Miller, Neal Pandozzi, Edward Puerta, Stephen Reil, and Elizabeth Young.

Cannava Fighting SEC's Effort to Put Him Back in 38 Studios Suit

The Bond Buyer | October 02, 2016

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted throughout this piece that follows the ongoing developments in the fight between Peter Cannava and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Boston commercial litigation partner Steve LaRose and associate Kathleen Ceglarski Burns are also part of the legal team representing Cannava.


Kathleen Ceglarski Burns



Phone: 617-345-1109

Fax: 866-810-0481

Northeastern University, J.D.

Boston College, cum laude


Kathleen is a member of the Women’s Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association.

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