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Shareholder Litigation Developments and Trends


Speaker(s): Alexander K. Mircheff, Jennifer L. Conn, Robert F. Serio
Recorded on: Feb. 12, 2020
PLI Program #: 295006

Robert F. Serio is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a Co-Chair of Gibson Dunn's national Securities Litigation Practice Group.  His practice involves complex commercial and business litigation, with an emphasis on securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, SEC enforcement matters, ERISA litigation and corporate investigations.  Mr. Serio is consistently ranked as one of the top securities litigators in New York and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© and New York Super Lawyers.  From 2004 to 2015, he served a Co-Partner in Charge of the Firm's New York office.

Mr. Serio is a co-author of the Practising Law Institute's leading treatise on securities litigation entitled Securities Litigation:  A Practitioner's Guide.  Routinely, he has been a guest lecturer on securities-related developments where he has presented on such topics as "Trends in Securities Litigation."

Mr. Serio received a law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1985 and a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1980.  Mr. Serio is a member of the New York and California Bars.

Representative Matters

Mr. Serio has successfully represented numerous underwriters in securities class action lawsuits involving more than $70 billion in mortgage pass-through certificates, including:

  • Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs:  Won affirmance in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit of a ruling declining to extend the American Pipe tolling doctrine to the statute of repose of the Securities Act of 1933.
  • RBS Securities Inc.:  Won dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit brought by one of the world's three largest pension funds alleging fraud in the sales of more than a billion dollars of residential mortgage-backed certificates.
  • Lynn Tilton:  Currently a lead lawyer representing Ms. Tilton in various civil litigations.
  • Och-Ziff Capital:  Currently representing the company and its directors and officers in securities and derivative litigation.
  • Flagstar Bancorp:  Successfully represented the current and former directors and officers in shareholder derivative litigation.
  • Al-Sanea:  Won dismissal in the New York Court of Appeals on grounds of forum non conveniens of a multi-billion dollar fraud claim involving a Saudi partnership.
  • First American:  Defended The First American Corporation and its subsidiary eAppraisIT LLC in a putative securities class action lawsuit.  Defeated class certification and obtained dismissal with prejudice.
  • Bear Stearns:  Represented Bear Stearns in resolving 100 securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigations involving IPO allocation and research analyst issues.  Won dismissal of shareholder derivative action against Bear Stearns and its directors over alleged research analyst conflicts.  Represented Bear Stearns officers and directors in shareholder derivative actions over subprime issues.
  • Merrill Lynch:  Won dismissal of all claims against Merrill Lynch in In re Merrill Lynch Limited Partnership Litigation and In re Duke Energy Securities Litigation.

Mr. Serio has represented financial institutions and directors in litigation matters arising from the collapses of Enron and Adelphia. 

In addition, he has represented numerous other companies in securities class action lawsuits, including Cincinnati Bell, Inc.; Veeco Instruments, Inc.; The FINOVA Group, Inc.; and Citiscape Corporation.

EDUCATION

  • University of California - Los Angeles - 1985 - Juris Doctor
  • Harvard University - 1980 - Bachelor of Arts


Jennifer L. Conn is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She is a member of Gibson Dunn's General Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, Appellate, and Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Practice Groups.

Ms. Conn is a commercial litigator, who has extensive experience in a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters, including those involving securities, accounting malpractice, antitrust, contracts, insurance and information technology. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Conn was an associate with Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. She also was a law clerk for the Honorable Lawrence M. McKenna, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Conn received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1995, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She graduated, cum laude with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, in 1992, with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.

Ms. Conn is admitted to practice in the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second and Eighth Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Conn regularly writes and speaks on various subjects, particularly those relating to securities litigation. She is the co-author of the Firm's Practicing Law Institute Treatise, Securities Litigation: A Practitioner's Guide.

Recent Significant Representations

  • ITT Educational Services, Inc.: Representing ITT Educational Services, Inc. in securities class action lawsuits pending in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and Southern District of Indiana, relating to alleged misrepresentations concerning ITT's private student loan agreements with third party lenders and accounting for those agreements.
  • Royal Bank of Canada: Representing RBC in a securities fraud action pending in state court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin relating to RBC's sale of synthetic collateralized debt obligations.
  • Eastman Kodak Company: Represented officers of Kodak in securities class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York relating to allegations that Kodak and its officers misrepresented the company's financial prospects prior to filing for bankruptcy. The dismissal of the action was unanimously affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Flagstar Bancorp: Represented Flagstar in actions brought against it by monoline insurers in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York relating to residential mortgage-backed securitizations.
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and Marsh Inc.: Represented Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and Marsh Inc. in a consolidated securities class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and in various state actions around the country, relating to allegations first made by the New York Attorney General relating to misconduct in connection with insurance placements.
  • Mercer: Represented Mercer in an actuarial malpractice action in state court in Juneau, Alaska.
  • UBS AG: Represented UBS AG in connection with investigations into its conduct relating to the setting of LIBOR by antitrust agencies around the world, including those in the United States, the European Union and APAC.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: Represented the Canadian firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in a securities class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning allegations relating to accounting for theater installations by its client, IMAX.
  • Deloitte LLP: Represented the Cayman Islands firm of Deloitte LLP in several accounting malpractice actions in federal courts in Nebraska and Texas and in the Cayman Islands.
  • Deloitte LLP: Represented the U.K. firm of Deloitte LLP in an accounting malpractice action in Florida state court.
  • Deloitte LLP: Represented the Irish and Bermuda firms of Deloitte LLP in an accounting malpractice action in California state court.
  • Deloitte LLP: Represented the Irish firm of Deloitte LLP in connection with disciplinary proceedings before the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants.
  • Issuers and individuals in securities class action: Represented several issuers and individuals in a consolidated securities class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning allegations relating to the issuers' initial public offerings.
  • Accounting firms: Represented several accounting firms in connection with SEC civil actions and investigations of their clients relating to various issues, including allegations of accounting improprieties and subprime issues.

Education

  • Columbia University - 1995 - Juris Doctor
  • Cornell University - 1992 - Bachelor of Arts

Admissions

  • New York Bar

Practice

    Securities Litigation
    Appellate and Constitutional Law
    Litigation
    Media, Entertainment and Technology
    Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection


Alex Mircheff is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles office.  His practice emphasizes securities and appellate litigation, and he has substantial experience representing issuers, officers, directors, and underwriters in class action and shareholder derivative matters.

Mr. Mircheff has handled matters across a variety of industries, including biotech, financial services, accounting, real estate, entertainment, engineering, manufacturing, and consumer products.

Multiple of Mr. Mircheff’s wins in stockholder class actions have been recognized as “Defense Verdict of the Year” by publications including The Recorder and Los Angeles Daily Journal.  Those matters include dismissals of claims for hundreds of millions of dollars against Herbalife; and against Arrowhead Research Co., where Mr. Mircheff was lead counsel at the trial court and on appeal.

Mr. Mircheff’s clients have also included Dole; Zillow; Panda Restaurant Group; Toyota; Deloitte; PwC; UBS; Deutsche Bank; Goldman Sachs; Edward Jones; Trust Company of the West; major retail, construction, and media companies; law firms, and others.

Mr. Mircheff has been named a “Rising Star” each year since 2012 by the Southern California “Superlawyers” edition of Los Angeles Magazine.  In 2019, Mr. Mircheff was recognized as a “Next Generation Lawyer” by Legal 500 in the area of M&A: Litigation Defense.  Before joining the firm, Mr. Mircheff served as a law clerk to the Honorable Cynthia Holcomb Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Gary A. Feess of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Mircheff earned his law degree summa cum laude from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he was the winner of the William T. Aggeler Award for ranking first in his graduating class, elected Order of the Coif, and served as an editor on the Loyola Law Review.

Mr. Mircheff is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for Central and Eastern Districts of California, and all California state courts.

Mr. Mircheff also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for California YMCA Youth and Government, a statewide organization with a mission of promoting civic engagement and character development in high school and middle school students.