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Practice Overview

Securities Litigation

Cravath is one of the preeminent firms in representing clients in securities litigation, principally representing corporate defendants as well as individual officers and directors in class actions and large individual actions.

We regularly handle cases asserting claims under Sections 10(b), 14(a) and 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, as well as cases brought under the securities laws of various states. We have represented U.S. and multinational clients in securities litigation in federal and state trial courts throughout the United States, as well as in appeals. In addition, we represent clients in all major industries, including financial services, technology, telecommunications, media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and real estate.

Cravath has been consistently ranked in the top tier for securities litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005‑2018), The Legal 500 United States (2007‑2018), Benchmark Litigation (2008‑2019) and the U.S. News & World Report‑Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey (2011‑2019). We received the Securities Litigation “Team of the Year” award from Legal 500 in 2014 and “Securities Firm of the Year” awards in 2013 and 2014 from Benchmark Litigation. We were also selected as one of four preeminent securities litigation firms in the nation by The American Lawyer in 2014 and have been named a “Securities Group of the Year” by Law360 four times since 2010.

Cravath has played a leading role in the most significant and prominent securities litigations in recent memory, including Enron (representing Credit Suisse), Vivendi, AOL Time Warner, Xerox, AIG (representing PricewaterhouseCoopers), Adelphia (representing Deloitte) and Merck. In particular, in the Enron federal class action litigation, after other financial institution defendants had paid billions of dollars in settlements, we achieved a complete victory for our client, Credit Suisse, getting the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the district court’s prior grant of class certification on the grounds that Credit Suisse and other defendant banks did not owe a duty of disclosure to Enron’s shareholders and plaintiffs were thus not entitled to a presumption of classwide reliance. The district court subsequently granted summary judgment for Credit Suisse on all claims. In other major cases, we have obtained dismissals and favorable settlements where our clients faced catastrophic potential liability.

In addition to our private securities litigation practice, we often represent clients in connection with formal and informal investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to potential violations of the securities laws. Our experience in such investigations is discussed in more detail here.

In connection with our representation of clients in securities class actions, we also handle shareholder derivative litigation (discussed here) and ERISA litigation (discussed here). Because of our experience in handling the largest and most complex cases, we have particular expertise in coordinating the defense, and often the global resolution, of parallel related actions, as well as in advising clients and their boards of directors in dealing with such litigation.