We represent clients in virtually all aspects of securities litigation including individual suits and class actions. 

Shareholder Class Actions
We have substantial experience in defending shareholder class action litigation. Our clients include not only corporations in our home states, but Fortune 500 companies and their officers and directors. Although we are generally lead counsel on such matters, we have established a substantial reputation as Mountain West co-counsel as a result of affiliations with other securities litigation firms throughout the United States.

Shareholder Derivative Claims
Our attorneys often represent directors and officers of public companies in defeating shareholder derivative suits brought by existing shareholders on behalf of the company against its officers and directors for breach of fiduciary duty, corporate control disputes, LLC disputes, and corporate "divorce." Our lawyers also act as special counsel to special litigation committees and panels.

SEC Enforcement
We represent individuals and corporations in connection with government investigations, including Securities and Exchange Commission inquiries and enforcement proceedings, State Attorneys General actions, PCAOB matters, and FINRA arbitrations and investigations. We defend companies, their officers, investment advisors, and accountants in various formal and informal investigations and administrative proceedings involving allegations of insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation, and misrepresentation or omissions. Several of our lawyers have served as court-appointed receivers and special counsels in SEC enforcement actions.

Internal Investigations
We assist special litigation committees and audit committees in investigating allegations of wrongdoing, including account fraud, stock fraud, money laundering, foreign corrupt practices, and insider trading. We also develop compliance programs for our clients relating to insider trading, whistleblower protections and litigation avoidance to help them stay out of trouble. Our Government Investigations/White Collar Crime group handles federal and state criminal proceedings, including grand jury proceedings and congressional investigations.

Broker/Dealer Arbitration and Litigation
We have extensive experience in broker/dealer and customer/broker securities arbitrations and lawsuits involving fraud, unauthorized trading, suitability, churning, trading away, defamation and employment claims. In fact, one of our partners is a former Director of Arbitration and Disciplinary Hearings of the American Stock Exchange.

Securities Enforcement and Shareholder Litigation Client Results

Securities Litigation and Class Actions
  • Represented national bank in defending fraud and civil conspiracy lawsuit arising out of employee's alleged participation in Ponzi scheme.
  • Represented national clearing firm in defending securities fraud and related tort claims brought by court-appointed receiver for entities and investors allegedly defrauded in Ponzi scheme.
  • Represented a Utah community bank in recovering $11,000,000 that had been fraudulently wire-transferred from its correspondent account.
  • Defended a company specializing in quality control products and services from claims filed by seller in asset sale relating to payment under earn-out agreement and related issues, filed in Colorado federal court.

  • Defended a technology services company against a former employee’s claims of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract in Utah federal court.

  • Defended chief legal officer and other principals of a hedge fund in an investigation into alleged violations in a Bernie Madoff-related matter.
  • Conducted internal investigation of one of nation's largest insurance brokerages regarding alleged bid rigging and price fixing.
  • Represented receiver in federal equity receiver suit involving hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and multiple trials and resulting in the recovery by investors of nearly 100% of invested proceeds.
  • Defend coffee company, and its officers and directors, in appraisal litigation filed in Colorado state court after a dispute over the fair value of consideration paid to a shareholder who dissented to an asset sale.
  • Defend large national food company in action challenging the acquisition, and related disclosures, of a Colorado-based food company.
  • Represented eight defendants in lead counsel role for federal securities fraud action arising out of sale of privately held business in outside advertising industry to private equity fund.
  • Defended investment firm and its principals at trial against securities fraud claims under the Colorado Securities Act.
  • Represented former CEO of public company against securities fraud claims by minority investors in Colorado state court.
  • Represented former compliance officer of securities firm regarding SEC investigation of alleged Reg SHO violations.
  • Represented securities firm and investment advisor against customer allegations relating to sale of $35 million of auction rate securities.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of former officer of public company against SEC claims of securities fraud alleging revenue recognition and other accounting fraud.
  • Represented Western Union and its top executives in several nationwide class action suits; achieved dismissal of all claims on motion to dismiss.
  • Represented Colorado Springs based cybersecurity company and its top executives in securities class actions; achieved dismissal of all claims on motion to dismiss.
  • Represented provider of electrotherapy medical devices used for pain management and rehabilitation and its executives in securities class action.
  • Represented former CFO of Idaho educational publishing company in shareholder class action and related SEC litigation.
  • Represented publicly traded company in $10 million earn-out dispute brought by former CEO of acquired company.
Corporate Governance and Shareholder Derivative Suits
  • Represented operator of casino venues in litigation involving breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims and double-derivative claims by investors.
  • Won dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims against client-trustee involving use of derivatives.
  • Represented publicly-traded company and CEO in defending shareholders derivative lawsuit alleging misappropriation of corporate opportunity and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented financial advisor against derivative and class-action claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty by minority shareholders alleging over $500 million in damages.
  • Acted as counsel to Special Litigation Committee in Nevada shareholder derivative case seeking $800 million in damages against DISH Network and its officers and directors.
  • Achieved dismissal of shareholder derivative suit against Western Union and its top executives on motions to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand.
  • Achieved dismissal of shareholder derivative suit against IT consulting company on motions to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand.
  • Acted as counsel to Special Litigation Committee in shareholder derivative suit involving manufacturer of casino chips in Nevada.
  • Acted as counsel to Special Litigation Committee in shareholder derivative suit involving multi-level marketing company in Utah.
  • Representation of target corporations and directors in M&A litigation in Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.
Securities Enforcement Matters / Corporate Internal Investigations
  • Defend large accounting firm in multiple different SEC and DOJ investigations involving various financial reporting, auditing, and disclosure matters, as well as provide counsel in 10A situations.

  • Represent Audit Committee of a public company to conduct internal investigation of certain accounting and disclosure issues.
  • Defend executive of multi-national public company in DOJ and SEC investigation of disclosures concerning product sales.
  • Defend executive of public company in SEC investigation of disclosures concerning expected sales and business operations.
  • Defend China-based executive of public company in resolving SEC investigation of FCPA issues without action against the individual.
  • Defend local accounting firm and individual auditors in SEC and PCAOB investigations involving financial reporting, auditing, and disclosure matters.
  • Defend both entities and individuals in multiple different SEC and DOJ investigations of insider trading.
  • Defend investment advisor and private fund complex in SEC and state investigations.
  • Defend investment advisor in SEC examination and investigation involving 12b-1 fees.
  • Defend executive of adviser to mutual fund complex in SEC investigation of disclosure and other concerns.
  • Defend public company against SOX whistleblower retaliation claims asserted by former employee in OSHA investigation and subsequent ALJ proceeding.
  • Defend CFO of sports nutrition company in SEC investigation and enforcement action involving under reporting of executive compensation.
  • Defend former CFO of environmental emissions controls company in SEC investigation involving accounting irregularities.
  • Defend individual investor in Chinese reverse merger in settled SEC enforcement action.
  • Representation of companies and individuals in state investigations into Ponzi schemes, the sale of annuities, insider trading, supervision, fraud, reverse mergers, accounting fraud issues and market timing.
  • Conduct internal investigation for public company in connection with internal report and defend public company against SOX whistleblower retaliation claims asserted by former employee in OSHA investigation.
  • Defend public company against SOX whistleblower retaliation claims asserted by former employee in OSHA investigation.
Broker Dealer Arbitration and Litigation
  • Represented Great West Financial Services Equities Inc. in a week-long FINRA arbitration brought by terminated executive, seeking over $900,000 in damages and expungement of his Form U-5. Arbitrators denied all relief to executive.
  • Represented Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in FINRA arbitration involving $60 million intraday margin call.
Recent Case Decisions
  • In re DISH Network Derivative Litigation, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 61, 401 P.3d 1081 (2017) (adopting the standard set forth in Auerbach v. Bennett, 47 N.Y.2d 619 (1979) and concluding, as a matter of first impression, that Nevada courts should defer to the business judgment of a special litigation committee's decision concerning whether pursuing a derivative suit is in the best interests of the corporation so long as the committee acts independently and conducts a good-faith, thorough investigation).
  • Parametric Sound Corp. et al. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court et al., 133 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 59, 401 P.3d 1100 (2017) (establishing Nevada’s test for distinguishing direct from derivative shareholder claims for purposes of determining if the shareholder has standing to bring suit) View Court Opinion

  • Las Vegas Sands v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court et al., 130 Nev. 643, 331 P.3d 905 (2014) (recognizing that because a corporation’s current management is the sole holder of its attorney-client privilege, Nevada law does not permit any judicially created class of persons exempt from that privilege’s protections) View Court Opinion

  • Compartment IT2, LP v. Fir Tree, Inc., No. 17-cv-1035, 2018 WL 1567841 (D. Nev. Mar. 30, 2018) (dismissing with prejudice all of plaintiffs' claims on the ground that they were derivative and not direct or dual direct and derivative).

Securities Enforcement and Shareholder Litigation Publications

Best Lawyers®: Securities / Capital Markets Law 2020

Greg Lindley: Securities / Capital Markets Law, Salt Lake City
Lucy Stark: Securities / Capital Markets Law, Denver
Holly Stein Sollod: Securities / Capital Markets Law, Denver

Former Director of Arbitrations American Stock Exchange

Holly Stein Sollod, Former Director

Securities Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement

Brian Hoffman, Former Senior Attorney

Former Regulators and Prosecutors Experience
Andrew Emrich: Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General: U.S. Department of Justice
Gregory Goldberg: Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
Stefan Hasselblad: Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
Brian Hoffman: Senior Attorney: SEC Division of Enforcement
Christopher Jackson: Assistant Attorney General: Colorado Department of Law
Kelly Johnson: Deputy Assistant Attorney General: U.S. Department of Justice
Melissa Lou: Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
John Martin: Trial Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice; Attorney: U.S. Department of the Interior's Solicitor's Office
Bill Mercer: U.S. Attorney; Associate Attorney General and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General; Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
Michael O’Leary: Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
Steven Pelak: Chief of Counterespionage Section, National Coordinator Export Control/Economic Sanctions Enforcement; Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S Department of Justice
Tom Sansonetti: Assistant Attorney General: U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division
John Sullivan: Assistant U.S. Attorney: U.S. Department of Justice
DISCLAIMER

Unless you are a current client of Holland & Hart LLP, please do not send any confidential information by email. If you are not a current client and send an email to an individual at Holland & Hart LLP, you acknowledge that we have no obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you submit to us, unless we have already agreed to represent you or we later agree to do so. Thus, we may represent a party adverse to you, even if the information you submit to us could be used against you in a matter, and even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us.