Securities and RICO Litigation

Eaton & Van Winkle’s securities litigators have extensive experience in defending and prosecuting securities fraud and civil RICO actions. We handle securities, derivatives and RICO private and class suits, including Rule 10b-5 litigation, merger and acquisition litigation, bond and arbitrage litigation, broker-dealer and broker-customer securities arbitration, including municipal arbitrage fraud arbitration and securities regulatory matters. Led by partner Lawrence Steckman, listed as one of New York’s Super Lawyers in securities litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine, our attorneys have handled billions of dollars in client matters and have achieved very strong results for clients.

Our clients have included mutual, hedge and private equity funds, insurance companies, accounting and audit firms, real estate/mortgage companies, officers of domestic and foreign banks and energy companies, investment bankers, brokers, and entrepreneurs. EVW attorneys have achieved aggressive dismissals in many private and class cases and highly favorable settlements in several cases. Led by Partner Lawrence Steckman, our attorneys have have prevailed in dismissing several class suits brought against audit firms for claimed Rule 10b-5 violations and/or Section 11 and 12 claims prejudice.

Mr. Steckman has successfully handled cases involving alternative investments and structured products ranging from synthetic equity derivatives in federal court, to municipal arbitrage structured products involving mean-reverting strategies, in FINRA arbitrations. He obtained dismissal on Rule 12 motions in two high-profile class suits each seeking in excess of $300 million against a bank officer accused of market manipulation through the mis-structuring of swap agreements in a multidistrict proceeding in district court in Maryland and defended a member of the Egyptian parliament in a case seeking more than $200 million, predicated on allegations of securities and bond fraud in Egypt, preventing arbitrators from determining their own jurisdiction, by federal court order.

Mr. Steckman successfully defended on a pre-answer motion RICO claims for $60 million brought against the Chairman and CEO of one of Europe’s largest energy companies, resulting in forum non conveniens dismissal, and successfully represented the target of proxy fight takeover attempt of closed end fund in which the court refused to dismiss Section 16 claims in Southern District of New York filed by the target against potential acquirer, after Maryland court denied five successive summary judgment motions by the potential acquirer to obtain the target’s shareholder list.

He successfully represented a national retailer in a class suit holding plaintiffs’ claim that collective bargaining agreement provision was illegal under New York law and was preempted under Labor Management Relations Act Sec. 301. On the plaintiff side, Mr. Steckman successfully represented, for example, a Canadian private equity firm seeking in excess of $95 million from two French aerospace conglomerates, for misconduct in a failed acquisition of Mexican, English and U.S. subsidiaries, two plaintiff insurance companies in Rule 10b-5 suit seeking $22 million damages arising from alleged $200 million fraud, denying underwriter, issuer and law firm defendants’ motions for summary judgment, resulting in favorable settlement, and successfully represented (as special derivatives counsel), and a securities fraud plaintiff seeking $40 million in losses arising from the defendant bank’s abandonment of a synthetic option hedging strategy and sub silentio adoption of a physical hedging strategy, in one of the first circuit level cases to construe the effect of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act on synthetic equity derivatives.

Mr. Steckman has published extensively on the RICO statute, including articles on RICO predicate acts, enterprise theory, RICO standing, direct injury, and RICO statute of limitations claim accrual, RICO causation, RICO extraterritoriality and the PSLRA RICO Amendment.

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