Securities and shareholder litigation
Litigators for high-stakes securities, M&A, and shareholder litigation matters.
Our securities and shareholder litigation attorneys are widely recognised as elite practitioners, with a long track record of obtaining dismissals for leading corporations, financial institutions and executives in high-stakes securities class actions, M&A-related litigation, and shareholder derivative matters, as well as advising on related issues and potential disputes before they reach state or federal courts.
We have unrivalled experience defending businesses across a range of industries, and by leveraging our 600-strong global litigation team we excel in complex cases that span multiple jurisdictions within and outside the United States. Our team includes seven former senior litigators from the Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, who together have decades of experience taking dozens of federal and state trials to verdict – an invaluable weapon in securing the best outcomes for our clients.
We boast a unique and sophisticated understanding of our clients’ businesses, allowing us to execute proactive, commercial and creative litigation strategies. Our securities and shareholder litigation team works hand-in-hand with our white-collar investigations practice to deliver strategic, efficient counsel in the event of parallel investigation by the Securities and Exchange Committee, the Department of Justice, state attorneys general or other regulators around the world. And our prowess in corporate governance and seamless integration with our securities, capital markets and disclosure lawyers ensures similarly strategic advice in relation to any related securities litigation, shareholder derivative suit and/or shareholder demand for books and records.
We have deep experience defending boards, special committees, acquirors and financial advisors in litigation related to mergers, tender offers and other control transactions valued at billions of dollars, including in proceedings involving expedited or preliminary injunctive relief and damages. We also advise on potential litigation issues from the early stages of M&A transactions.
Securities and shareholder litigation representations
Representing 3M Company, several officers and directors in securities class action and derivative suits based on alleged failure to disclose environmental liabilities; motions to dismiss securities class action and derivative suit granted in full with prejudice.
Representing AstraZeneca and several officers in securities class action challenging statements regarding COVID-19 vaccine; motion to dismiss granted with prejudice and affirmed on appeal.
Representing ACM Research in securities class action alleging that the company released false statements that overstated revenues and profits; motion to dismiss granted.
Representing Pinterest in securities class action alleging that it made false and misleading statements with regard to future growth; motion to dismiss granted.
Representing Tyson Foods and its officers and directors in securities class action and derivative actions alleging failure to disclose purportedly insufficient COVID-19 safety protocols at Tyson facilities; lead plaintiff appointment defeated and case withdrawn.
M&A-related litigation representations
Representing Mandiant in a shareholder challenge to the $1.2b sale of its products business to a private equity buyer.
Freshfields previously represented the company in a shareholder action for books and records pertaining to the deal; motion to dismiss granted.
Representing CarLotz and its Board of Directors in shareholder litigation, alleging that Defendants' de-SPAC proxy/prospectus contained material omissions; case successfully settled.
Representing AstraZeneca as alleged controlling stockholder of Viela Bio in a challenge to Viela’s sale to Horizon.
Representing SourceHOV in an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court from an adverse judgment in an appraisal action after its merger with Novitex to become Exela Technologies.
Representing buyers, sellers, and various special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) parties in federal and state litigations, brought under the Securities Exchange Act, challenging merger- and SPAC-related disclosures in connection with proposed transactions and public listings.
Awards & Recognitions
Recognised for Securities and M&A Litigation – Chambers USA, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation
All US Securities and Shareholder Litigation partners recommended by Chambers USA, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation
2023 Securities Litigation Practice Group of the Year – Benchmark Litigation
Ranked Band 1 globally for litigation – Chambers and Partners
“The securities team is very smart and they each bring a lot of experience which brings a variety of solutions."
“I was impressed by the ability of the Freshfields litigators to develop a deep and nuanced understanding of our matter and translate those arguments into the briefing papers. They have a detailed and sophisticated understanding of the legal issues."
“They are outstanding, and notable for total command of the facts and applicable law.”
“[They are] sophisticated and savvy practitioners capable of giving down-to-earth advice; their knowledge of the law is vast, and their connection to many jurisdictions is a plus.”
James Kennedy Partner
Doru Gavril Partner