Katie is involved in several the firm’s practice areas, including securities fraud, corporate governance, and advisory services. Most recently, Katie led the teams that recovered $74 million in the securities class action against SunEdison and $50 million in the securities class action against FleetCor Technologies.
Katie played a key role in two of the firm’s largest cases, both of which settled near trial for billions of dollars on behalf of investors. In In re Merck Securities Litigation, she was a leader of the small trial team that achieved a $1.062 billion settlement. This settlement is the second largest recovery ever obtained in the Third Circuit, one of the top 10 recoveries of all time, and the largest recovery ever achieved against a pharmaceutical company. She was also a member of the trial team prosecuting In re Bank of America Securities Litigation, which resulted in a recovery of $2.425 billion, the single largest securities class action recovery ever resolving violations of Sections 14(a) and 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and one of the largest shareholder recoveries in history. Katie was also a leader of the team that led the securities litigation concerning Wilmington Trust, which resulted in a $210 million recovery for the class.
Katie has also been part of the trial teams in numerous other securities litigations that have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured investors. She led the team that recovered $74 million in the take-private merger litigation San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund et al. v. Dole Food Co. et al., and served as a senior member of the teams that recovered $210 million in In re Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Securities Litigation, and $216.75 million in In re Washington Mutual Securities Litigation. Some of her other prominent prosecutions include In re Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Securities Litigation, which resulted in a recovery of $125 million; and In re Biovail Corporation Securities Litigation, which resulted in a recovery of $138 million and represents the second largest recovery in any securities case involving a Canadian issuer.
Katie’s success has earned her many recognitions, including being named a “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal. She has been recognized as a national “Rising Star” and "Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar" by Law360 for her work in securities litigation and, for each year from 2016-2020, was named to Benchmark Litigation’s “Under 40 Hot List,” which recognizes her as one the nation’s most accomplished legal partners under the age of 40. She was recently named a 2020 "Rising Star" by the New York Law Journal.
Omari Mason is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Mr. Mason serves as one of JPMorgan’s lead in-house attorneys working across several of JPMorgan’s lines of business to handle complex civil litigations and arbitrations pending across the United States and abroad. Mr. Mason has worked on several “bet-the company” litigations seeking billions in damages, including class actions concerning the alleged manipulation of key benchmarks and financial instruments such as LIBOR, EURIBOR, interest rate swaps, and stock lending transactions.
Prior to joining JPMorgan, Mr. Mason was a litigation associate in the New York office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he primarily focused on antitrust litigation, securities litigation (including class actions and shareholder derivative actions), insurance litigation, and merger and acquisition litigation.
Mr. Mason’s experience while at Simpson Thacher included representing: JPMorgan and related entities in various class actions and individual actions alleging that JPMorgan and other LIBOR panel banks violated U.S. antitrust and commodities laws by suppressing LIBOR rates; KKR in litigation seeking to block KKR’s acquisition of Del Monte Foods; and The Travelers Companies, Inc. and related entities in multidistrict litigation seeking hundreds of millions in damages arising out of an alleged industrywide bid-rigging and price-fixing scheme.
Mr. Mason was also very involved in various pro bono and diversity initiatives while at Simpson Thacher. Amongst other things, Mr. Mason served as appointed pro bono counsel for an indigent defendant appealing his criminal conviction in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mr. Mason also served as pro bono counsel to numerous clients referred to Simpson Thacher by Legal Service NYC’s Housing Unit, and provided legal assistance to prevent the eviction and harassment of his clients, and to ensure his clients’ apartments were otherwise safe and habitable. Mr. Mason also served as pro bono counsel for immigrants facing removal proceedings in Immigration Court. Mr. Mason received various awards for his outstanding pro bono work and for the number of hours he dedicated to pro bono representation while at Simpson Thacher. He continues his commitment to these efforts in his new role at JPMorgan. Mr. Mason sits on the Board for the National Center for Access to Justice, and previously sat on the Legal Services NYC’s Advisory Board and the Puerto Rican Family Institute Board.
Mr. Mason is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York. He received his B.A. cum laude with specialized honors from York University in Toronto, Canada, and a Certificate in Business Fundamentals from the Schulich School of Business, in 2005. He received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 2009, where he was a Note Editor of the Cornell Law Review and recipient of various CALI Excellence for the Future Awards.
James R. Swanson represents state and local governments, corporations and individuals in commercial disputes, with a primary focus on securities litigation. His securities matters have spanned a range of subject areas, including municipal finance, derivatives, CDOs, and Ponzi schemes.
Katie represents banks, private investment funds, corporations and their senior executives in investigations and enforcement proceedings arising under the federal securities and commodities laws.
An experienced trial lawyer, Katie’s practice builds on nearly 12 years of experience as a federal prosecutor where she served in several significant leadership roles. After joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in 2004, she prosecuted a wide range of securities fraud cases, among others, and was promoted to Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in 2015 after serving as Deputy Chief for one year, and before that Co-Chief of the General Crimes Unit for two years.
During her nearly three years as Chief, Katie supervised a team of approximately 20 senior prosecutors in connection with some of the most complex and high-profile white collar and securities matters in the country. She led all aspects of the unit’s work from investigation through prosecution, spanning a broad range of matters, including:
Notable prosecutions brought under her leadership include a professional gambler charged with trading on inside information obtained from a board member of a publicly traded company; insider trading charges against individuals for hacking major New York law firms; corporate executives charged with honest services fraud; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with trading on government secrets obtained from a political consultant; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with the mismarking of illiquid fund assets; accounting fraud charges of an executive who manipulated a significant non-GAAP metric; and senior executives charged with a multi-year accounting fraud scheme at a publicly traded digital media company, as well as the market manipulation of the company’s stock. She also supervised the unit’s trials and appeals.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Katie was an accomplished trial lawyer and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit. Among the high-profile cases she tried were U.S. v. Mandell, et al. (a $100 million market manipulation and investor fraud, which resulted in a 12-year sentence) and U.S. v. Ebbers (public company accounting fraud by the CEO of WorldCom, which resulted in a 25-year sentence). As Chief of the General Crimes Unit, she supervised the office’s new Assistant U.S. Attorneys, numerous investigations and dozens of trials.
Katie is a member of the Bharara Task Force on Insider Trading, a working group composed of eight leading experts on insider trading commissioned to develop proposals to update and improve the clarity of federal insider trading laws. Led by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the group issued its report and recommendations earlier this year. (Click here to learn more.)
Katie is ranked by Chambers USA, where she is noted for her “strong reputation” and her “broad criminal defense practice” and where clients have described her as a “really excellent lawyer — very levelheaded, so smart and really able to get into the details.”
Katie received her B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Duke University, and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School where she was co-chair of the Harvard Law Review’s Supreme Court Issue. From 2000 to 2001, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
*Matters handled prior to joining Akin Gump.
Public Service and Affiliations
Linton Mann III is a Partner in the Firm’s Litigation Practice. Linton represents clients in a broad range of high-stakes litigation and investigation matters including securities, shareholder derivative disputes, class actions, antitrust and complex commercial disputes. Linton is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Knowledge, Innovation and Technology Committee. Linton was recently named a “Next Generation Partner” by The Legal 500, where sources say he “stands out from his peers for his securities work.” He was named a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal and Law360, and is also a repeat honoree on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” which honors the achievements of the nation’s most accomplished law firm partners under the age of 40.
Linton is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uncommon Charter Schools New York City which oversees twenty-four public charter schools in Brooklyn, New York. He is also on the Board of Directors of Manhattan Legal Services, a program of Legal Services NYC, the largest provider of pro bono civil legal services in the country.
Linton joined Simpson Thacher following his graduation in 2007 from Duke University School of Law, where he served as the Co-Chair of the Moot Court Board. He was selected as the recipient of Duke Law’s 2017 Young Alumni Award, honoring an individual who has graduated within the past 15 years and has made significant leadership and service contributions to Duke Law School and the legal profession. He received B.A. degrees in political science and speech communications from the University of Georgia in 2004.
Nicholas I. Porritt is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Levi & Korsinsky LLP. He prosecutes securities class actions, shareholder class actions, derivative actions, and mergers and acquisitions litigation. He has extensive experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation, including civil fraud, breach of contract, and professional malpractice, as well as defending SEC investigations and enforcement actions. Mr. Porritt has helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of shareholders. He was one of the lead counsel in In re Google Inc. Class C Shareholder Litigation that resulted in a payment of $522 million to shareholders and overall benefit of over $3 billion to Google’s minority shareholders. Recently he was one of the lead counsel in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, et al. that settled during trial resulting in a $35 million payment to the former shareholders of Occam Networks, Inc., one of the largest quasi-appraisal recoveries for shareholders. Some of Mr. Porritt’s other recent cases include:
Mr. Porritt is also qualified as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales and advises international clients in the United States and Europe on the recovery of losses suffered to their investment portfolios attributable to financial fraud or other misconduct, including participation in shareholder class actions and other representative litigation in the Unites States, England, and in other jurisdictions.
Before joining Levi & Korsinsky, Mr. Porritt practiced as a partner at two large international corporate law firms. He is a graduate from The University of Chicago Law School.
Sherrie R. Savett, Chairwoman Emeritus, Chair of the Securities & Investor Protection, Commercial Litigation, Technology, Privacy & Data Breach, and Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act departments, and member of the Firm’s Management Committee, has practiced in the areas of securities litigation and class actions since 1975.
Ms. Savett serves or has served as lead or co-lead counsel or as a member of the executive committee in many important securities and consumer class actions in federal and state courts across the country, including In re Rite Aid Corp. Securities Litigation ($334 million settlement); In re Waste Management, Inc. Securities Litigation ($220 million settlement); In re Fleming Companies, Inc. Securities Litigation ($94 million settlement); In re CIGNA Corp. Securities Litigation ($93 million settlement); and In re Alcatel Alsthom Securities Litigation ($75 million settlement); among others.
Ms. Savett has also helped establish several significant precedents. Among them is the holding (the first ever in a federal appellate court) that municipalities are subject to the anti-fraud provisions of SEC Rule 10b-5 under § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and that municipalities that issue bonds are not acting as an arm of the state and therefore are not entitled to immunity from suit in the federal courts under the Eleventh Amendment. Sonnenfeld v. City and County of Denver, 100 F.3d 744, Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit 1996.
In the U.S. Bioscience securities class action, a biotechnology case where critical discovery was needed from the federal Food and Drug Administration, the court ruled that the FDA may not automatically assert its administrative privilege to block a subpoena and may be subject to discovery depending on the facts of the case. In re U.S. Bioscience Secur. Litig., 150 F.R.D. 80 (E.D. Pa. 1993).
Ms. Savett speaks and writes frequently on securities litigation, consumer class actions and False Claims Act litigation. She has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and at the Stanford Law School. She is frequently invited to present and serve as a panelist in American Bar Association and American Law Institute conferences on securities class action litigation and the use of class actions in consumer litigation.
Ms. Savett is widely recognized as a leading litigator and a top female leader in the profession by local and national legal rating organizations.
Adam Hakki is the Firm's Global Managing Partner. He is also Global Litigation Practice Group Leader and Global Head of Disputes, maintaining a full time litigation and government investigation practice, with particular focus on securities, antitrust, and corporate governance matters, both civil and criminal. Widely recognized as one of the country’s preeminent litigators, Adam regularly appears in the courtroom, boardroom and before the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, CFTC, FINRA, and other regulators. With decades of experience, Adam is seasoned in crisis management and a first-choice counsel to the financial industry for major cases and investigations. Adam also frequently represents companies, directors and senior executives in other industries, especially healthcare and biotech, technology and media. In four of the last five years, Benchmark Litigation named Adam the sole “Securities Lawyer of the Year” for the entire United States. Additionally, in each of the last two years, Law360 has recognized Adam as a Banking “MVP” in recognition of his high-profile courtroom victories for clients in the financial sector in securities, antitrust and commercial cases.
As co-head of Davis Polk’s Civil Litigation Group, Dana has extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation, securities class actions, and intellectual property and bankruptcy litigation. In the summer of 2020, Dana secured the dismissal of a federal securities class action on behalf of Livent Corporation arising out of its IPO. She is currently representing the underwriters of two major utility companies in two securities litigations concerning the devastating California wildfires. Recently, she represented the underwriters of the initial public offering of Velocity Financial in federal securities litigation and helped secure a dismissal with prejudice of all claims.
Dana has significant trial experience, having acted as trial counsel for numerous clients in various litigations and arbitrations throughout the United States. In early December 2020, Dana served as lead trial counsel for IHS Markit and affiliated entities in a four-day bench trial in Delaware Chancery Court in a breach of contract case arising out of IHS Markit’s acquisition of Ipreo in 2018.
In recent years, Dana has represented Aetna Inc. and its board of directors in several securities and shareholder matters, and either obtained dismissal of those matters or successfully resolved them. Comcast and NBCUniversal routinely turn to Dana to represent them in a wide variety of commercial litigations, as well as to provide pre-litigation advice and counsel. Dana also represented Sterling Equities and the owners of the New York Mets in highly publicized litigation arising from the Madoff liquidation proceeding, and successfully handled several securities matters for Morgan Stanley related to residential mortgage-backed securities.
Prior to joining Davis Polk, Dana clerked for the Honorable Carol Bagley Amon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Duke University.
Athena Cheng is a Managing Director in the Chief Legal Office and Blackstone’s Head of Litigation and Investigations.
Before joining Blackstone in 2015, Ms. Cheng practiced at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP where she focused on litigation, investigations and antitrust matters. Prior to joining Cravath, Ms. Cheng served as a law clerk to the Honorable William G. Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Ms. Cheng received a BA in Psychology, magna cum laude, from Yale University, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD, summa cum laude, from Boston University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review.
Ben is a Vice President with AXA XL where he manages a team of attorneys who handle D&O, Financial Institution and Fiduciary Liability Claims.
Ben obtained his law degree from Fordham University School of Law and entered private practice with Mendes & Mount LLP in 2000 where he represented London, Bermuda and U.S.-based insurers in matters arising out of professional indemnity, media liability and errors and omissions liability policies. Thereafter, Ben joined the New York office of Sedgwick LLP where he continued to represent insurers in the United States and abroad in connection with professional liability claims and litigation. Ben joined XL Professional in 2008.
Prior to law school, Ben held various positions in finance and politics. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and is admitted to practice in New York.
Brad Karp has been the Chairman of Paul, Weiss since 2008. One of the country’s leading litigators and corporate advisers, Brad has successfully guided numerous Fortune 100 companies, global financial institutions and other companies and individuals through “bet the company” litigations, regulatory matters, internal investigations, and corporate crises. Prior to being named chairman, Brad chaired the firm’s Litigation Department. Brad has spent his entire career at Paul, Weiss, beginning as a summer associate.
Brad has received dozens of industry awards and recognitions. Brad has been selected as the “Attorney of the Year” by the New York Law Journal and by Lawdragon, the “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer and by Benchmark Litigation/Euromoney, and one of the most innovative lawyers in the United States by the Financial Times. Brad received the “Special Achievement Award” from the Financial Times in recognition of his legal achievements and leadership of Paul, Weiss. Brad has repeatedly been named by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the most influential people in the boardroom. The New York Law Journal awarded Brad its first-ever Impact Award, in recognition of Brad’s “significant and lasting impact on the legal community in New York.” Brad received the William Nelson Cromwell Award from the New York County Lawyers Association in recognition of his “unselfish service to the profession and the community.”
Brad speaks and writes frequently on business litigation, securities litigation and corporate governance. He has spoken at more than 600 conferences and has lectured at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School and The Federal Judicial Center. Brad has written more than 600 articles on business litigation and corporate governance issues. For the past 36 years, Brad has written a monthly column for the New York Law Journal, “Second Circuit Review,” which analyzes developments in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Brad is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
Brad frequently speaks out and writes about pressing issues of social justice. In 2020, Brad authored three op-eds concerning responses to the coronavirus pandemic: “We Need Obama, Bush and Clinton to Beat the Coronavirus” (March 2020, The American Lawyer); “The Legal Community Must Protect Workers and Small Businesses From Coronavirus Fallout” (March 2020, The American Lawyer); and “Protecting the Rule of Law in Times of Coronavirus” (April 2020, Bloomberg International). Brad is also active in the community, serving on more than 30 public interest, educational, cultural and charitable boards.
Brad is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School and clerked for The Honorable Irving R. Kaufman, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Dr. Conroy, Managing Director in NERA’s Securities and Finance Practice, specializes in economic analysis of securities and finance issues. Dr. Conroy has provided evidence in US federal district and state court proceedings, and in European, Asian, and Latin American venues. In addition, he has provided opinions at various arbitrations and mediations.
His securities and finance-related work at NERA is focused on providing expert testimony and consulting involving securities trading, corporate finance, EFTs and mutual/hedge funds, securities lending, securities fraud, derivatives, leases, swaps, FX, ADRs, private equity, and FCPA matters. Examples of Dr. Conroy’s notable engagements include: United States v. Blankenship; Veleron Holding, B.V. v. BNP Paribas SA; Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cuban; and U.S. v. Alcoa World Alumina LLC.
Dr. Conroy served as Chair of NERA’s Securities and Finance Practice for a six-year term. Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Conroy was an economist at the US Securities and Exchange Commission where he conducted research on ECNs, foreign securities, IPOs, underwriting, mutual funds, and securities fraud, and provided support for policy areas such as market microstructure and market regulation. Previously, he was a product manager at the fintech online broker Folio Investing where he designed content and developed new functionality.
Emma Gilmore, a partner at Pomerantz, is regularly involved in high-profile class-action litigation. In 2020, Emma was named by Benchmark Litigation as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” — an honor bestowed on only seven plaintiffs’ lawyers in the U.S. this year. Also in 2020, both the National Law Journal and the New York Law Journal honored Emma as a “Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer.” Emma was honored by Law360 in 2018 as an MVP in Securities Litigation, part of an “elite slate of attorneys [who] have distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals.” Only up to six attorneys nationwide are selected each year as MVPs in Securities Litigation. Emma is the first woman plaintiff attorney to receive this outstanding award since it was initiated in 2011. Emma was also honored in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as a Super Lawyer®. She has been recognized by Lawdragon 500 as one of the top Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers in both 2019 and 2020. Emma is regularly invited to speak about recent trends and developments in securities litigation. She was recently selected to serve on the New York City Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Committee for a three-year term beginning on August 1, 2019.
In courts across the United States, Geoff Ritts focuses on defending corporations, officers, and directors in securities, shareholder, and derivative litigation. He also counsels boards on a wide range of governance issues. Chambers USA has described Geoff as "an excellent strategic thinker" and "very professional, knowledgeable and easy to work with." The Legal 500 US called him a "strong all-round litigator."
Geoff represented a top 10 bank in numerous securities, derivative, and ERISA lawsuits arising from the subprime mortgage crisis. He also represented a major financial institution in an MDL relating to the Bernard Madoff scandal. Geoff has represented many public companies in securities cases where courts dismissed complaints under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Representative clients in matters of public record have included KeyCorp, Conagra Brands, Macy's, Cardinal Health, U. S. Steel, Goodyear, Cleveland-Cliffs, Erie Indemnity, Diebold Nixdorf, and Cooper Tire.
Geoff received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1993 and a B.A. from Yale College in 1989. After law school, he clerked for Judge David A. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Geoff is an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he teaches complex litigation. Geoff has coauthored a treatise on complex litigation in state courts and has written articles on securities law and class actions in publications such as Litigation, National Law Journal, Journal of Corporation Law, and Defense Law Journal. Geoff has been invited to testify before the Ohio Legislature on class actions. He is a trustee of Notre Dame College and the Lake Erie Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Jonathan K. Youngwood is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department. For more than 20 years, Jon has represented financial institutions, corporations, executives and boards of directors in a wide range of high-profile litigations, arbitrations and regulatory investigations. His practice focuses on matters involving securities, antitrust and ERISA law as well as M&A litigation.
In 2017, Jon was the recipient of the “Securities Lawyer of the Year” award by Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, an award that recognizes the country’s leading litigators, and was also honored as a “Distinguished Leader” by the New York Law Journal. Chambers and Partners consistently recognizes Jon as a leading securities litigator, describing him as a “very well-respected lawyer with a tremendous reputation, and is very good in the courtroom”; “the best lawyer on his feet - he is incredibly comfortable before judges and panels”; a “smart, focused and creative lawyer who brings the required intensity to the job.” Chambers also recognizes him as “a detail-oriented litigator with the ability to get to the nub of an issue” who “has extensive securities knowledge” and “flair for written work and oral advocacy.” He is recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500, where market commentators describe him as “very talented”; who has a “client-oriented approach”; “technically superb, bright and articulate”; an “outstanding securities litigator”; and “smart, hardworking and extremely professional.” Jon has also been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “Top 10 Nationwide Securities Star”; and is consistently recognized as a national and New York “Litigation Star” in Securities Litigation, where sources have described him as “one of the smartest lawyers I know. He not only is hardworking, but he has the ability to be both a big-picture thinker and also pay incredible attention to detail.”
He edits the Securities Law Alert, a monthly newsletter published by the Firm, is the Co-Chair of PLI’s annual program entitled “Handling a Securities Case: From Investigation to Trial and Everything in Between,” and received the Burton Award for Achievement in Legal Writing.
Among a number of significant pro bono achievements, Jon served on the Simpson Thacher team that achieved a finding (after a seven-month trial) that the New York City public schools fail to provide a constitutionally adequate education.
Jon received his B.A. with honors from Brown University in 1990. He received his J.D. in 1994 with honors from the University of Chicago, where he served as Comments Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review. He also holds a Master of Public Policy from The University of Chicago (1992). Jon joined Simpson Thacher in 1995 following a one-year clerkship with Hon. Dennis G. Jacobs of United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He became a Partner in 2003.
Jonathan Schorr is Managing Director and Senior Counsel in the Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings Group at Goldman Sachs. He handles a range of civil, regulatory and enforcement matters, including class actions and regulatory investigations arising from investment banking, trading and other businesses. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Jon held a number of senior positions in the Legal Department at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, including First Vice President for Global Markets and Investment Banking Litigation, Assistant General Counsel for Global Research and Senior Counsel for Private Client Litigation. Before joining the industry, Jon was in private practice with Rogers & Wells, where he focused on securities class action and complex commercial litigation. Jon earned a BA in Political Science from Union College in 1980 and a JD from Boston University School of Law in 1983 where he was Editor of the Law Review.
Kathleen Goodhart is an experienced litigator who has tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts. In addition to leading teams preparing for and through trials, she represents clients before administrative tribunals and negotiates with state and federal regulators on behalf of her clients.
Kathleen has considerable experience in white collar and securities matters, including the defense of executives and companies in high profile litigation in the areas of oil and gas exploration, blood testing, engine emissions, excess casualty insurance, issuance of stock options, and corporate disclosures. She has defended civil and criminal claims of trade secret misappropriation and antitrust violations. Kathleen litigates putative class action claims and has defended class claims pertaining to securities violations, product liability, property damage and bodily injury. Kathleen also has litigated False Claim Act cases and successfully pursued claims on behalf sexual assault survivors at the heart of the #MeToo movement. She regularly advises on contract disputes including, for example, biotechnology licenses, commercial supply agreements, and insurance coverage. Kathleen also represents venture capital clients in a wide variety of litigation matters and heads Cooley’s venture capital litigation group.
Finally, Kathleen has deep experience on environmental matters and advises clients on environmental claims and risks. Her experience includes defending and pursuing nuisance and trespass claims, environmental insurance coverage, state and federal agency claims, Proposition 65 claims, CEQA and NEPA issues, and claims pertaining to asbestos, mold and lead paint. Kathleen served as special litigation counsel in two contested bankruptcy proceedings involving significant environmental claims, one of which was tried to verdict in bankruptcy court.
Kathleen served as a member of Cooley’s Board from 2008 to 2014 and chaired the Bay Area litigation department from 2008 to 2018. She presently serves on Cooley’s partner compensation committee.
Laurie Smilan is Senior Of Counsel in the Washington, D.C., and New York offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where her practice focuses on securities litigation and counseling, SEC and government investigations, and M&A and corporate governance matters.
Laurie has counseled Fortune 500 corporations and their directors and officers with respect to corporate governance, M&A strategy, financial and other corporate crises, disclosure obligations, fiduciary duties, SEC and internal investigations, insurance, and risk management. She has handled more than 100 securities class actions, derivative actions, SEC and internal investigations, and related matters involving Adecco SA, AES Corporation, Alphabet (Google), Bally Total Fitness, The Boeing Company, The Carlyle Group, The Chicago Board of Trade, Choice Hotels International, Dell Computer Corporation, Lifelock, Mesa Air Group, The Mills Corporation, Nutanix, Republic Services, Sallie Mae Corporation, Tyco International, and many others, including biotechnology companies Adolor, Applied Biosystems, MacroGenics, Pacific Biosciences, Sonus, and Synergen. Laurie has been cited as a leading securities litigation attorney and a "first-rate lawyer" by Chambers USA legal guide and recognized as a leading litigator and firm leader in Euromoney Institutional Investor Benchmark: Litigation.
From 1994 to 2002, Laurie was a securities litigation partner at Wilson Sonsini and served as co-managing partner in the firm's former Reston, Virginia, office. Prior to rejoining the firm, Laurie was a senior partner at Latham & Watkins, where she served as co-chair of Latham's securities litigation and professional liability group. Laurie also was an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she designed and taught a simulated practice course involving all aspects of corporate governance. Previously, she was an associate in Wilson Sonsini’s securities litigation practice.
Laurie has written and lectured on securities, derivative and M&A litigation, corporate governance, SEC and internal investigations, and financial disclosure issues across the country in programs sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, the SEC Institute, the NACD, the NASD, KPMG's Audit Committee Roundtable, and the Center for Professional Education. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and admitted to practice in the New York, California and the District of Columbia.
Lyle Roberts is a partner in the firm’s Litigation practice. Lyle represents companies, officers, and directors in securities cases and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement matters throughout the United States. He also conducts corporate internal investigations and counsels clients with respect to securities regulatory issues. Lyle represented Mark Cuban in obtaining a complete victory against the SEC in Cuban’s closely watched insider trading case. Lyle also has represented a number of prominent companies in the defense of securities class actions, including Northrop Grumman, Fidelity National Financial, CenturyLink, and Lumber Liquidators.
Lyle is recognized as a Band 1 securities litigator by Chambers USA and a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation. He is widely-published on securities law issues, including in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, National Law Journal, and Law360. Lyle also is the author of the well-known blog, The 10b-5 Daily, which tracks key developments in securities litigation and is the co-chairman of the annual Practicing Law Institute securities litigation program. Lyle frequently submits amicus briefs in prominent securities litigation cases on behalf of clients, including recent briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Washington Legal Foundation in the Goldman Sachs, Emulex, Halliburton, and ANZ Securities cases and SIFMA and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America in the Matrixx case.
Maya Saxena, co-founder of Saxena White P.A., has been practicing exclusively in the securities litigation field for over 20 years, representing institutional investors in shareholder actions involving breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of the federal securities laws. Prior to forming Saxena White, Ms. Saxena served as the Managing Partner of the Florida office of one of the nation’s largest securities litigation firms, successfully directing numerous high-profile securities cases. Ms. Saxena gained valuable trial experience before entering private practice while employed as an Assistant Attorney General in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During her time as an Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Saxena represented the State of Florida in civil cases at the appellate and trial level and prepared amicus curiae briefs in support of state policies at issue in state and federal courts. In addition, Ms. Saxena represented the Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies in civil forfeiture trials.
Ms. Saxena has been instrumental in recovering nearly a billion dollars on behalf of investors. Recently, Ms. Saxena played a key role in obtaining a $320 million settlement against Wells Fargo & Company. The settlement includes a $240 million cash payment from Defendants’ insurers-representing the largest insurance-funded monetary component of any shareholder derivative settlement by over $100 million. Ms. Saxena also led the litigation team that settled against Wilmington Trust for $210 million, one of the largest settlements in 2018. Other prominent settlements include: Rayonier, Inc. ($73 million settlement), SIRVA, Inc. ($53.3 million settlement), Aracruz Celulose ($37.5 million settlement), Brixmor Property Group ($28 million settlement), and Sunbeam (settled with Arthur Andersen LLP for $110 million-one of the largest settlements ever with an accounting firm-and a $15 million personal contribution from former CEO Al Dunlap).
Ms. Saxena is a frequent speaker at educational forums involving public pension funds and advises public and multi-employer pension funds on how to address fraud-related investment losses. She is an active member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (“NAPPA”) and co-chairs its Securities Litigation Committee. As part of her professional endeavors, Ms. Saxena writes numerous articles on protecting shareholder rights, and works closely with other NAPPA members to author, update, and publish a white paper on post-Morrison International Securities Litigation.
Ms. Saxena has been recognized in the South Florida Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” as one of the top lawyers in South Florida, and has been selected to the Florida Super Lawyers list for ten consecutive years in a row. Ms. Saxena was also selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® four years in a row, as well as one of Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend magazine. Recently, Ms. Saxena was named a “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer” by Lawdragon.
Ms. Saxena graduated from Syracuse University summa cum laude in 1993 with a dual degree in policy studies and economics, and graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1996. Ms. Saxena is a member of the Florida Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Melinda A. Nicholson, a partner in Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC’s (“KSF”) Louisiana office, focuses on shareholder derivative and class action litigation, representing institutional and individual shareholders in corporate governance litigation and securities fraud actions, and antitrust matters. Ms. Nicholson also oversees KSF’s shareholder derivative practice.
Ms. Nicholson has been involved in a number of significant derivative and class action cases throughout the country seeking recovery for harmed shareholders and individuals, obtaining seminal decisions in shareholders’ favor, including:
Since joining KSF, Ms. Nicholson has also been involved in a number of cases which ultimately resulted in successful settlements, including:
Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Ms. Nicholson worked for defense firms in New York, handling complex commercial litigations and regulatory investigations involving a variety of legal issues, including fiduciary obligations, securities violations, contractual breaches, antitrust and insurance coverage. Ms. Nicholson completed a joint B.A./J.D. program at Tulane University, receiving a B.A. in Political Science, with a concentration in American Politics and Policies and a minor in Economics, from Tulane in 2003 and a J.D. from Tulane in 2005. While at Tulane Law School, Ms. Nicholson served as a Notes and Comments Managing Editor for the Tulane Law Review, which published her comment, The Constitutional Right to Self-Representation: Proceeding Pro Se and the Requisite Scope of Inquiry When Waiving Right to Counsel, 79 TUL. L. REV. 755 (2005). She has received numerous awards, including the Dean’s Medal for attaining the highest grade point average during the third year, the George Dewey Nelson Memorial Award for attaining the highest grade point average in common law subjects throughout the three years of law study, and Order of the Coif. She graduated from the law school summa cum laude and ranked second in her class.
Ms. Nicholson is admitted to practice in Louisiana and New York, and before the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Western District of Louisiana, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, District of Colorado, and Eastern District of Michigan.
Rob Stern is the Chair of the Firm’s White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance practice group and a nationally recognized securities litigator by both Chambers USA (Band 1) and Legal 500 (Leading Lawyer).
Rob has a demonstrated track record of achieving outstanding results for financial services institutions, Fortune 100 companies, officers and directors of public companies and accounting firms. Rob's mastery of the field enables him to develop creative litigation strategies and business solutions for his clients in a broad array of situations.
For the past 20 years, Rob has handled many of the most complex financial services and civil and governmental securities matters. Rob has litigated dozens of securities and commodities class actions and the parallel SEC, CFTC, PCAOB and/or criminal enforcement matters that accompany them. Rob has also tried numerous FINRA, AAA and international arbitrations and litigated merger and acquisition disputes in Delaware Chancery Court. Rob possesses particular expertise litigating claims involving accounting-related matters, structured products, mortgages, futures and derivatives.
In addition to being a recognized practitioner, Rob is also a thought leader -- lecturing and publishing widely. Rob is a faculty member of Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Litigation program and Chairs PLI's Storming the Gatekeepers: When Compliance Officers and In-House Lawyers Are at Risk program. Rob has also spoken on Bond Buyer webinars, NERA's Securities and Finance Seminar, the Advanced Litigation Strategy Summit and Strafford Seminars.
Samantha L. Schreiber is an Executive Director and the Co-Head of ISG Litigation for the Americas at Morgan Stanley in New York. She has been with Morgan Stanley since 2007. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Samantha was an attorney in private practice at Goodwin Procter LLP, representing individuals and entities in white collar criminal and regulatory matters. From 2000 through 2004, Samantha served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. As a federal prosecutor, Samantha investigated and prosecuted terrorism and terrorist financing cases in the wake of September 11, as well as cases involving non-traditional organized crime groups. She received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 2003. Samantha earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School and her bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
Tim Cameron is a Litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he has practiced in the area of securities litigation for more than 20 years.
Tim regularly defends companies in securities class action, opt-out litigation, and shareholder derivative suits. He is one of the few lawyers in the country to have tried a securities class action to verdict and appeal, having been a partner on the In re Vivendi trial team, as well as a member of the related individual trials that followed it. Tim’s clients include Westpac, ChemEd, Morgan Stanley, Vivendi and more.
With nearly two decades of legal experience, Jill Sperber has handled over 1,200 mediations and arbitrations, helping parties achieve satisfying settlements ranging from five- to ten-figure values. She has served in a neutral capacity on a variety of business and financial matters, including high-stakes, complex, multi-party actions in the securities, D&O coverage and banking areas. Relying heavily on her business and legal acumen, Jill facilitates creative and equitable resolutions, often restoring the parties' confidence and saving future business relationships.
Before joining Judicate West, Jill practiced as a neutral full-time in the Irell & Manella Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, serving as a mediator, arbitrator, co-mediator and liaison on several arbitration panels. Prior to pivoting to dispute resolution full-time, Jill litigated high-stakes, complex business disputes for nearly a decade with the law firms of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Irell & Manella. She also clerked at the Central District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
C. Evan Stewart's practice focuses principally on the financial services industry, where he handles litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.
Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the "Top Trials of 2005" for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for "late trading" mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.
Mr. Stewart previously served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., and as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc. Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to, among other things, oversee and litigate all of the disputes arising out of the company's Private Wealth Management Division.
Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received the Sanford D. Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject." In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990, the New York Business Journal since 2006, and has published approximately 300 articles on diverse legal subjects. He is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities professional responsibility and complex litigation issues.