Skip to Main Content

Practices

Securities Litigation & Enforcement Defense

WTO’s Securities Litigation & Enforcement Defense practice runs the gamut of federal and state securities laws and regulations. We have the depth of experience, subject-matter expertise, and deep trial bench needed to deliver highly desirable outcomes in these highly complex disputes.

WTO regularly defends investment advisors, broker/dealers, regulated entities, and those entities’ officers, directors, and compliance professionals in enforcement investigations and proceedings brought by federal, state, and private regulators, as well as both plaintiffs and defendants in individual and class actions. We have:

•    Represented officers, directors, and management teams on multiple fronts against parallel actions brought by investigators, private litigants, and court-appointed receivers; 
•    Proactively investigated internal concerns for corporate committees;
•    Guided securities industry professionals and regulated entities through civil investigations and administrative proceedings; and
•    Represented defrauded investors in prosecuting private rights of action through FINRA arbitrations and in federal and state courts. 

Our clients often face catastrophic risk to their businesses and brands, as well as to professional and personal reputations, licensure, or finances. These companies and individuals rely on WTO to provide no-nonsense counsel and to develop and deliver forward thinking, pragmatic, and cost efficient legal analysis and litigation strategy. In certain circumstances, that means working discretely and quickly to mitigate threats and resolve claims against our clients. In others, WTO mounts vigorous defenses and, when appropriate, takes the offensive to surmount what can be deeply flawed factual narratives and legal theories adopted by investigators and other litigation adversaries. 

Client Wins

Defending a founder/CEO of architecture, design, and development conglomerate in a highly contentious business divorce litigation.
12.14.2023

Client Wins

Defending a founder/CEO of architecture, design, and development conglomerate in a highly contentious "business divorce" litigation.
12.14.2023

Client Wins

Defending a construction industry founder/officer in a highly contentious shareholders' derivative action.
12.14.2023

Client Wins

Defending a construction industry founder/officer in a highly contentious shareholders' derivative action.
12.14.2023

Client Wins

Defended founders/C-Suite executives of a national technology company in shareholders' derivative action.
12.14.2023

Client Wins

Obtained termination/no action letter in defending a registered investment advisor in an enforcement proceeding alleging suitability violations.
11.6.2023

Client Wins

Defended the Colorado arm of the second-largest home building company in the U.S., together with executives and employees, against alleged violations of the Colorado Securities Act.
7.7.2023

Client Wins

Obtained dismissal of a putative Securities Act class action for a global telecommunications company.
4.13.2023

Cases

  • Defending a founder/CEO of architecture, design, and development conglomerate in a highly contentious business divorce litigation involving intellectual property and tortious interference claims.
  • Representing a special committee of board of directors of closely held corporation in conducting internal investigation of company-to-executive lending activity and related corporate governance and controls.
  • Defending a construction industry founder/officer in a highly contentious shareholders' derivative action seeking to unwind purchase transaction, dissolution, and damages.
  • Counseling a major development-round investor in protecting/enforcing ownership rights with regard to a blockchain technology company's contentious restructuring transaction and related public offering.
  • Defended founders/C-Suite executives of a national technology company in shareholders' derivative action claiming minority oppression and seeking dissolution and damages—obtained dismissal of four claims and favorable settlement of remaining two claims.
  • Represented a regional business in the nutraceutical industry in defending against claims and in prosecuting counterclaims in commercial contract dispute—obtained six-figure jury verdict.
  • Obtained termination/no action letter in defending a registered investment advisor in an enforcement proceeding alleging suitability violations.
  • Helped secure a $21 million settlement (pending court approval) as liaison counsel to the lead plaintiff in a $42 million securities class action alleging that a silver mine made materially false and misleading statements to defraud investors.
  • Defended the Colorado arm of the second-largest home building company in the U.S., together with executives and employees, against alleged violations of the Colorado Securities Act, among other claims—obtained dismissal of all claims against nine out of 10 defendants, paving the way for a favorable settlement.
  • Defended a pharmaceutical startup company in an SEC enforcement action alleging misappropriation of investor funds and related Securities Act and Exchange Act claims.
  • Obtained dismissal of a putative Securities Act class action for a global telecommunications company and, after a partial reversal and remand, again obtained dismissal of amended claims.
  • Represented a startup contract carrier operation in contested application proceeding before the PUC—prevailed at hearing and obtained Interim Order and subsequent Commission Order granting requested authority over intervenor's objection.
  • Helped secure a $142 million settlement as liaison counsel to the lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a pharmaceutical company.
  • Prosecuted business tort claims for a registered investment advisor against former partners in a FINRA industry dispute, and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of arbitration.
  • Obtained a termination/no action letter in defending co-founder/CEO of digital asset issuer in an SEC investigation alleging violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, and the Advisors Act.
  • Obtained favorable settlement and dismissal for a business consulting and credit repair enterprise and its founder/CEO in an enforcement action alleging a Ponzi scheme.
  • Represented a regional vocational college in defending against Title VII racial discrimination claims asserted by a former employee—obtained summary judgment, dismissal of subsequent appeal, and denial of subsequent petition for a writ of certiorari.
  • Represented a seller of local business in defending against claims brought by a potential purchaser and in prosecuting counterclaims and cross-claims against multiple parties—obtained full dismissal after first week of trial.
  • Obtained a termination/no action letter in defending a Certified Financial Planner in an enforcement proceeding before the CFP Board.
  • Defended (local counsel) municipal funds and former trustees in seven consolidated securities class actions alleging securities fraud and seeking damages in excess of $1 billion.
  • Defending a venture capital fund's founder, C-Suite executive, and management company in an SEC investigation regarding the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, and the Advisors Act.
  • Defending a construction industry CEO in civil investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the SDNY alleging False Claims Act violations.
  • Obtained favorable settlement and an administrative order for a private equity fund and management team in an SEC investigation alleging Ponzi scheme and related violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, and the Advisors Act, and in a parallel receivership action and investors' actions.
  • Won full dismissals of putative class action and parallel dissenter's rights actions for a manufacturing company, C-Suite executives, and directors in shareholder litigation seeking to unwind a complex merger transaction and damages.
  • Obtained favorable settlement and dismissal for a real estate development company and its principal in enforcement action and parallel receivership actions alleging Ponzi scheme.
  • Obtained a termination/no action letter in defending mutual fund's former independent trustees in SEC investigation alleging violations of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
  • Won judgment on behalf of defrauded equity investor for full investment amount plus attorneys' fees in securities fraud action against former business partner in the health supplements industry.
  • Obtained favorable settlement and administrative order in defending mutual fund's management team and interested trustee in an SEC proceeding alleging violations of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
  • Obtained favorable settlement and an administrative order for a registered investment advisor and its president in an SEC enforcement proceeding alleging violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Advisors Act.
  • Negotiated "walk away" settlement on the eve of FINRA arbitration for a brokerage firm defending a customer dispute alleging state and federal securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Obtained a termination/no action letter in defending retail securities trader in an SEC investigation alleging market manipulation violations.
  • Represented the board of directors of a bankrupt alternative energy company in connection with its reorganization and defense of several securities, breach-of-fiduciary-duty, and whistleblower claims.
  • Represented an oil and gas developer in responding to a multi-agency securities investigation involving the Securities Exchange Commission and several state securities boards and divisions.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Fortune 500 holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms relating to a former employee's allegations of retaliation, discrimination and violations of the Securities Exchange Act.

Stay Up To Date

Subscribe to receive news and insights from WTO.

Sign Up