Experience

Securities Class Actions and Other Civil Litigation

Public companies, accounting firms, hedge funds, and individuals have all turned to Wiggin and Dana when faced with high stakes securities class actions and civil litigation. Our firm has defended, and obtained favorable results for, our clients in jurisdictions around the country.

We represent or have represented:

  • A financial services company and its senior executives in a securities fraud class action alleging the company misled investors about its compliance management systems.
  • A hedge fund in a class action lawsuit related to alleged insider trading. We obtained a dismissal of the case at the pleading stage. 
  • A financial services company and certain of its officers and directors in a securities class action arising out of the NY Attorney General's investigations of alleged contingent commissions and bid-rigging.
  • A food service management company in a securities fraud class action based on alleged accounting irregularities. We were able to resolve the case on favorable terms.
  • A Big Four accounting firm in a multidistrict securities fraud litigation arising out of the firm's audits of one the largest health care financing companies in the country that was involved in a $3 billion Ponzi scheme. In addition to the civil litigation, we represented the firm in DOJ and SEC investigations. We were able to resolve the civil case on favorable terms. No charges were filed against the firm in the government investigations.
  • A regional bank, in connection with the collapse of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, relating to orders by custodial account holders directing the bank to invest their money with Madoff. Our team defended multiple cases, including a putative class action, in state and federal court. In addition, we successfully settled a lawsuit filed by the Connecticut banking commissioner.


Government Investigations

Our team has significant experience representing broker-dealers, investment advisors, accounting firms, investment banks, other companies and individuals in a broad range of securities matters involving the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, DOJ, and state Attorneys General. We have counseled clients at every step of regulatory investigations, including through the SEC's Wells process, in interviews and depositions in civil and criminal matters, and in preparing for and testifying at trials.

For example, we represent or have represented:

  • A large national brokerage firm in a SEC investigation into public disclosures and custody practices of a subsidiary investment advisor. We convinced the SEC, after a three-year investigation, to drop all charges against the investment advisory firm.
  • A New York based hedge fund investigated by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for alleged insider trading. We successfully persuaded federal authorities not to pursue the matter.
  • A principal of a hedge fund charged criminally with securities fraud and wire fraud, and civilly with securities violations. After conducting a lengthy internal investigation and after aggressively litigating discovery issues and motions to dismiss, the government abandoned the securities fraud charges against our client.
  • A large national investment advisory firm in connection with SEC investigations into mutual fund disclosures. As a result, the SEC did not file any charges.
  • An on-line broker-dealer in connection with a FINRA inquiry into private placement disclosures.
  • A broker-dealer in connection with twin SEC and DOJ investigations into possible market manipulation.
  • A broker-dealer of securities and commodities in connection with investigations conducted by the CFTC. Following a Wells Notice alleging numerous violations of the CFTC's rules and regulations, we submitted a response that convinced the CFTC to drop some of its charges.
  • An off-shore broker-dealer in an SEC investigation. We served as Independent Monitor of the broker-dealer in an SEC-mandated review following a settlement involving trading practices.
  • A major global financial institution in connection with all matters related to the Madoff Ponzi scheme, including lawsuits brought by a number of Madoff "feeder funds." We have assisted in responding to subpoenas served by, among others, government regulators, the Madoff Trustee and various court-appointed receivers, and provided advice on complex issues related to the Securities Investor Protection Act, bankruptcy law and securities law.
  • An international bank and several of its officers in SEC and state Attorney General investigations, as well as a federal securities lawsuit brought by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, in connection with the sale of over $30 billion in RMBS.
  • A major global financial institution in connection with a complex, on-going DOJ and SEC investigation relating to the purchase and sale of RMBS. We conducted an internal investigation and continue to respond to Government requests for documents and information.
  • A Big Four accounting firm in an SEC investigation of whether a large multi-national company made material misrepresentations in its financial statements.
  • A Big Four accounting firm in DOJ and SEC investigations into stock options backdating at the accounting firm's clients.
  • A manager at a Big Four accounting firm in DOJ and SEC investigations, and in related civil lawsuits, arising out of the collapse of a major cable television company. After the SEC issued a Wells notice, the SEC declined to charge our client.