Securities Litigation



We provide efficient and strategic advice and litigation representation to resolve high exposure securities actions faced by individual directors, officers and their companies.

Our approach

Plaintiffs and enforcement agencies are increasingly targeting directors and officers and their companies in class actions, derivative actions, enforcement matters and government investigations alleging misrepresentations in securities filings. State securities enforcement divisions are regularly keeping a lookout for corporate fraud, trading violations and unsuitable recommendation practices. Meanwhile, securities law issues are growing more prevalent in private investment funds and complex derivative investments disputes.

Our securities litigators help clients limit exposure from the earliest phases of an internal investigation through complex litigation. By using their deep knowledge of state and federal securities laws and leveraging longstanding and valuable relationships with federal and state regulators, our team of attorneys, which includes many former federal and state prosecutors, are ready to serve your needs.

We have successfully represented companies and their executives through an extensive evolution of securities actions up through and after the financial crisis of 2008. This includes matters involving analyst conflicts, software revenue recognition, market timing in mutual funds, stock-option backdating, residential mortgage-backed securities, LIBOR manipulation, China IPO issues and a host of complex derivative investments such as CDOs. We’ve successfully protected our clients’ interests in securities class-action suits, shareholder derivative claims, state and SEC investigations and enforcement actions and FINRA arbitrations. 

Our veteran trial lawyers and investigators are very experienced in helping individuals and businesses navigate complex state and federal securities investigations and litigation. We understand our clients’ businesses and recognize the high financial and personal costs that prolonged disputes have on corporate performance and individual lives. We leverage our extensive experience and knowledge to generate the best results for clients confronting high-stakes securities matters.

We work with

  • Individual directors and officers of public and private companies
  • Public and private companies
  • Participants in complex derivative financial instruments, including CDOs, CLOs, RMBs, CMBs and other ABs, CDS’s and REITs.
  • Banks and other financial service institutions, and their officers and directors

Recent experience

We have successfully defended:

  • A major pharmaceutical company against shareholder class action and derivative claims in Delaware and Massachusetts challenging disclosures in merger proxies. 
  • A fund collateral asset manager in SEC enforcement action in New York federal court alleging failure to disclose that complex $1.2 billion dollar CDO portfolio was purportedly selected by hedge fund that shorted certain portfolio assets.
  • The CEO of public software company in 15-day federal jury trial in an SEC enforcement action alleging improper revenue recognition for software sales.
  • Multiple issuers and co-issuer defendants in securities fraud claims brought by a bank alleging losses from CDO issuances backed by pools of trust-preferred securities.

We have also successfully prosecuted on behalf of:

  • A corporate trustee in a complex interpleader action in New York federal court concerning the use of funds for investments in connection with a billion dollar collateralized loan obligation.

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.

Plaintiffs firms in State Street probe in talks to settle with special master

National Law Journal | August 21, 2018

Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this story on his ongoing representation of Thornton Law Firm in a dispute over billing in a securities class action case.

Ruling Allowing Securities Litigation in State Courts Could Spur Additional Lawsuits

Business Insurance | March 26, 2018

Rochester commercial litigation partner Carolyn Nussbaum is quoted in this article on the impact of a recent Supreme Court ruling that upends a set of 1995 reforms to the process of securities-offerings litigation.

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” ranked as National Tier One in Commercial Litigation, Litigation—First Amendment, Litigation—Labor & Employment and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants. Received Tier One Metropolitan Honors in Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Litigation—Banking & Finance, Litigation—Bankruptcy, Litigation—First Amendment, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Securities, Litigation—Tax, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation—Defendants in numerous cities throughout the U.S.
  • Best Lawyers “Lawyers of the Year” 2014
    • Scott O'Connell, Boston Litigation—Banking & Finance, Securities (2013)
    • Carolyn G. Nussbaum, Rochester—NY Litigation —Securities
    • Susan C. Roney, Buffalo— Civil Rights Law
  • BTI Litigation Outlook 2014
    • “Most Feared Law Firms”—Honor Roll
    • Strong Performance—IP Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation
  • Chambers USA/Global
  • Legal 500
  • Law 360 —Employment 100
  • Benchmark: Litigation/Appellate
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