Securities Litigation & Enforcement - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Public company executives, boards of directors and general counsel are under extreme scrutiny in how they handle securities, discuss company performance and structure stock options and compensation packages. Work in the complex and shifting field of securities law requires not only legal proficiency, but also a clear understanding of the industries governed by today’s securities regulations.

Through years of in-depth involvement in the field, Brownstein’s Securities Litigation & Enforcement Group has established a reputation for knowing the law, the business and how to best represent our clients no matter what situation arises. Our securities litigators are part of the firm’s top-ranked trial team. Unlike many securities practices at other firms, our team has significant courtroom experience and has an impressive track record of achieving positive results.

The firm’s securities enforcement and litigation services include internal investigations, shareholder litigation, derivative litigation, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations, and mergers and acquisitions litigation. We represent parties in court and arbitrations as well as in enforcement proceedings brought by self-regulatory entities and state and federal regulators.

Our clients include public and private companies, senior management and boards of directors, audit and special committees, investment banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity firms

We often team our securities litigators with the firm’s corporate attorneys to advise clients on disclosure and other corporate and securities matters, and tap the resources of our Government Relations Department and its knowledge of the inner workings of the Congress, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Representative Matters
  • In a two week trial, successfully defended a major brokerage and investment bank against securities fraud claims asserted by purchasers of millions of dollars of municipal bonds. The plaintiffs alleged under the Colorado Securities Act that defendants made material misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the sale of the bonds, and that our client could not show that it exercised appropriate due diligence according to the standard of care. The judge rejected the plaintiffs’ claims and concluded that our client satisfied the standard of care for a municipal underwriter of securities and that the alleged misrepresentation most strongly contested at trial was not material.

  • Successfully defended clients in Securities Exchange Act Section 16(b) short swing profits case. All Claims dismissed by US District Court judge on motion to dismiss.

  • Successfully represented former in house counsel in SEC inquirty.

  • Successfully represented investment bank in an inquiry by the SEC resulting in termination letter declining to recommend matter for enforcement.

  • Successfully represented a former officer of a large financial institution in an inquiry by the United States Securities & Exchange Commission; negotiated for client one of the first cooperation agreements in Denver Region of SEC.

  • Successfully defended mining company in inquiry by Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Defending one of the country's largest telecommunications companies in multiple derivative cases.

  • Defended investment bank in a FINRA enforcement action.

  • Represented a private issuer in one of the first cases where the SEC issued a subpoena, pursuant to the new Dodd-Frank Act, to a company solely to assist the Hong Kong securities exchange with its investigation of a Hong Kong issuer.

  • Successfully defended Cayman Islands hedge fund entities in federal securities class action litigation.

  • Successfully advised and defended independent directors and company in mergers and acquisition litigation.

  • Successfully defended a company and its officers in derivative and direct shareholder litigation against claims of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and civil conspiracy.

  • Successfully defended a medical malpractice insurer against charges in market conduct examination by the Colorado Division of Insurance; represented the insurer on appeal of an adverse ruling before the Colorado Court of Appeals.

  • Successfully defended a client against most charges in a broad market conduct examination by the Colorado Division of Insurance, and representing the client on appeal of a single significant adverse ruling before the Colorado Court of Appeals.

  • Represented the lender of $13 million residential development. Brownstein also represented the company in a lender liability defense.

  • Advised and defended the Board of Directors of one of the country's largest public utility companies in parallel proceedings involving a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and shareholder litigation.

  • Defended an investment bank in a multi-district class action litigation involving allegations of bid rigging in the municipal bond industry.

  • Defended a Fortune 500 public company in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation relating to the merger between two major breweries.

  • Defend a financial services company in a Department of Justice criminal investigation.

  • Successfully defended a public construction company and its directors in a class action litigation challenging a going-private transaction.

  • Defended a regional bank in multiple cases alleging that it participated with one of its customers in large feedlot ponzi scheme fraud.

  • Defended investment bank in a securities fraud case where purchasers of municipal securities alleged that the investment bank engaged in fraud in the underwriting and sale of securities.

  • Avoided execution of collateral on a line of credit keeping construction equipment intact for Diamond Construction Co., Inc.

  • Defended a hedge fund manager and its principals against investors in a Bernie Madoff-related dispute.

  • Represented the officers and directors of Delta Petroleum Company in a shareholder derivative suit in Federal Court in Denver, involving allegations of options backdating. Brownstein obtained a dismissal of all claims. The Firm also represented Delta before the SEC and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Britton v. Parker et al.

  • Defended a securities firm from charges brought by state regulators alleging fraud in the sale of auction rate securities.

  • Assisted in the successful defense of Shuffle Master, Inc. in the alleged violation of an option agreement seeking damages in excess of $14 million.

  • Defend registered investment advisors in multiple jurisdictions in investigation into alleged pay-to-play activities involving government officials, government pension plans, placement agents and private equity funds.

  • Defended a hedge fund manager in parallel proceedings alleging securities fraud brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholders.

  • Defended the CFO of a public company airline against insider trading allegations made by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Defended a broker-dealer against multiple cases brought by clients alleging market manipulation of securities.

  • Defended a public company charged with securities fraud by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in a class action brought by shareholders.

  • Defended CEO of large public computer company against allegations of insider trading by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Defended the chairman of the audit committee for one of the world's largest agri-business companies facing an SEC investigation alleging accounting fraud.

  • Defended an attorney in a case alleging securities fraud brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Brownstein represented the lead defendant in Federal Court in a case brought by the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) alleging manipulation of natural gas trading markets.

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Meet The Team

Maximilien D. Fetaz Associate T 702.464.7083 mfetaz@bhfs.com
Emily R. Garnett Associate T 303.223.1171 egarnett@bhfs.com
Van Aaron Hughes Of Counsel T 303.223.1253 vhughes@bhfs.com
Carrie E. Johnson Shareholder T 303.223.1198 cjohnson@bhfs.com
Thomas J. Krysa Shareholder T 303.223.1270 tkrysa@bhfs.com
Penny G. Lalonde Paralegal T 303.223.1337 plalonde@bhfs.com
David B. Meschke Associate T 303.223.1219 dmeschke@bhfs.com
John V. McDermott Shareholder T 303.223.1118 jmcdermott@bhfs.com
Jeffrey S. Rugg Shareholder T 702.464.7011 jrugg@bhfs.com
Joshua A. Weiss Associate T 303-223-1268 jweiss@bhfs.com
Lawrence W. Treece Shareholder T 303.223.1257 ltreece@bhfs.com