Securities Litigation

  • Holland & Knight's Securities Litigation Team is experienced in all types of securities litigation and has defended large and small public and private companies against virtually every kind of securities claim imaginable.
  • We have obtained full dismissal or summary judgment in more than 50% of the cases we handle as opposed to the national average of 19% and our settlements, on average, are for less than one-third of the U.S. average.


Securities litigation is a highly specialized, multifaceted area of practice involving the application of complex securities laws. Cases are generally high stakes, involve sensitive matters and can result in substantial damage awards and negative publicity.

Holland & Knight's Securities Litigation Team is experienced in all types of securities litigation and has successfully defended clients against all types of securities claims. Working in concert with skilled practitioners throughout our firm, we handle complex civil securities litigation matters before courts and arbitration panels. Our securities litigators regularly defend large and small public and private companies, their directors, officers, employees, underwriters and affiliates on a broad spectrum of securities matters. Clients include investment banks, underwriters, accounting firms, professional advisers, venture funds, majority shareholders, broker-dealers, exchanges, hedge funds and lenders. Client industries run the gamut and include high tech, hospitality, healthcare, banking and finance, financial services and retail.

Our securities litigators work closely with firm attorneys in related practice areas such as corporate governance, compliance, securities and white collar criminal defense to provide comprehensive, strategic representation. We have represented clients in such matters as:

  • accounting irregularities
  • breach of fiduciary duty claim
  • broker-dealer defense
  • class action securities litigation
  • "claw back" actions by receivers and trustees
  • corporate control disputes
  • director and officer liability cases
  • FDIC actions against failed banks and their officers and directors
  • going-public and going-private transactions
  • inaccurate or incomplete disclosure
  • internal investigations
  • mergers and acquisitions and corporate control litigation
  • shareholder derivative and class action litigation
  • violations of federal and state securities laws
  • white collar securities defense

Securities Class Action Group 

Our Securities Litigation Team has extensive experience defending issuers, officers, directors and underwriters against claims of securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. In fact, we obtained one of the largest reported Rule 11 sanction awards against plaintiffs and their counsel for bringing a frivolous securities class action. Other significant recent successes include:

  • obtained motion to dismiss in a case of first impression in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that held no general duty to disclose material facts existed, even in a prospectus; the case, affirmed on appeal, is cited as one of ten most significant securities litigation decisions of that year
  • obtained dismissal for pharmaceutical company based on Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSRLA) statutory safe harbor and on truth-on-the-market defense
  • persuaded plaintiffs’ counsel not to file a securities class action based on cookie jar reserve theory by explaining in detail the company’s reserve policies
  • successful motion to dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in an action against underwriters of private offerings of asset-backed securities
  • obtained summary judgment on breach of contract and blue sky law claim against major financial institution selling derivatives pursuant to an ISDA Agreement
  • obtained a $193 million judgment for a defendant class in connection with a determination of the rights of unit investment trust holders arising out of a WPPS municipal bond default
  • obtained a $3.6 million verdict in a three and a half month trial involving federal and Georgia state securities law violations
  • obtained a dismissal of an attempted class action by investors in a limited partnership for a national restaurant franchise in the state of Washington
  • after a three-week trial, obtained a directed verdict and ultimate settlement for defendants in an action brought by investors in oil and gas limited partnerships
  • obtained a motion to dismiss in Delaware for a TV network in a derivative action challenging a $415 million stock purchase by another TV network
  • obtained dismissal of a derivative action challenging the merger between two U.S. food franchise chains

Customer Disputes  

A substantial part of our Securities Litigation practice includes representing brokerage firms, registered representatives, financial planners and investment advisers in securities arbitrations conducted by the FINRA, NYSE, AMEX, CFTC, NFA and AAA.

We have litigated and arbitrated cases on behalf of brokerage firms, mutual fund companies and other financial institutions. These cases have involved claims of fraud, churning, suitability, negligence, negligent supervision, market manipulation, order failures, Regulation T violations, unauthorized trading, wrongful termination, defamation, breach of non-compete covenants and tortious interference claims. Our securities litigators have handled cases involving a variety of securities, including stocks, options, commodities, bonds, derivatives, limited partnerships, mutual funds, collateralized mortgage obligations and annuities.

Our arbitration experience includes both pre-arbitration and post-arbitration proceedings in state and federal courts, the enforcement of arbitration agreements or status quo injunctions and the confirmation, modification or vacatur of arbitration awards.

Case Studies


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