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Emerging Dynamics Impacting Section 11 Litigation: SPACs, Direct Listings, and PSLRA Litigation

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Description: BLB&G partners John C. Browne and Lauren A. Ormsbee will build on their recent articles concerning the risks to alleging Section 11 liability posed to investors in new public companies through the unprecedented and potentially dangerous rise of SPACs and the pending Ninth Circuit decision addressing the applicability of Section 11 remedies in the case of IPO direct listings.
The session will review the elements and framework of Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, examine both plaintiff’s and defendant’s arguments for and against Section 11 accountability in the case of SPACs and direct listings, and argue that Section 11’s remedial purpose, recent SEC releases and statements, and relevant jurisprudence suggests that Section 11 strict liability should prevail. We’ll also discuss other emerging issues impacting Section 11 litigation, including the Supreme Court’s decision to review whether the PSLRA’s discovery-stay provision applies to Section 11 claims brought in state court and other new developments, including a recent decision granting defendants summary judgment in a Section 11 case on the affirmative defense of negative causation.
Presenter Bios
John Browne’s practice focuses on the prosecution of securities fraud class actions. He represents the firm’s institutional investor clients in jurisdictions throughout the country and has been a member of the trial teams of some of the most high-profile securities fraud class actions in history.
John was Lead Counsel in the In re Citigroup, Inc. Bond Action Litigation, which resulted in a $730 million cash recovery – the second largest recovery ever achieved for a class of purchasers of debt securities. It is also the second largest civil settlement arising out of the subprime meltdown and financial crisis. John was also a member of the team representing the New York State Common Retirement Fund in In re WorldCom, Inc. Securities Litigation, which culminated in a five-week trial against Arthur Andersen LLP and a recovery for investors of over $6.19 billion – one of the largest securities fraud recoveries in history.
Other notable litigations in which John served as Lead Counsel on behalf of shareholders include In re Refco Securities Litigation, which resulted in a $407 million settlement; In re SCANA Corp. Securities Litigation, which settled for $192.5 million, the largest securities class action settlement in the District of South Carolina history; In re BNY Mellon Foreign Exchange Securities Litigation, which settled for $180 million; Medina v. Clovis Oncology, where John represented an Israeli institutional investor and recovered $142 million in cash and stock on behalf of the class; In re ComScore, Inc. Securities Litigation, which settled for $110 million in cash and stock; In re State Street Corporation Securities Litigation, which settled for $60 million; and In re the Reserve Fund Securities and Derivative Litigation, which settled for more than $54 million.
John also represents the firm’s institutional investor clients in the appellate courts across the country, arguing appeals in the First Circuit, Second Circuit, Third Circuit and the Fifth Circuit, and obtaining appellate reversals in In re Ariad Securities Litigation (First Circuit), In re Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Second Circuit), and In re Amedisys Securities Litigation (Fifth Circuit).
In recognition of his achievements and legal excellence, Law360 has twice named John a “Class Action MVP" (one of only four litigators selected nationally), and he was named a "Litigation Trailblazer" by The National Law Journal. He is regularly named to lists of leading plaintiff lawyers by Lawdragon, Legal 500, and Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers.
Prior to joining BLB&G, John was an attorney at Latham & Watkins, where he had a wide range of experience in commercial litigation, including defending securities class actions, and representing major corporate clients in state and federal court litigations and arbitrations.
John has been a panelist at various continuing legal education programs offered by the American Law Institute ("ALI") and has authored and co-authored numerous articles relating to securities litigation.
Lauren Ormsbee practices out of BLB&G's New York office, focusing on complex commercial and securities litigation.
Representing institutional and private investors in a variety of class and direct actions involving securities fraud and other fiduciary violations, she has successfully prosecuted multiple major litigations obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries on behalf of the firm’s clients. 
Recognized as a “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer” by Lawdragon, Lauren has been an integral part of trial teams in numerous major actions, including: In re HealthSouth Bondholder Litigation, which obtained $230 million for the HealthSouth bondholder Class; In re Wilmington Trust Securities Litigation, in which a $210 million recovery was obtained for Wilmington Trust investors; In re New Century Securities Litigation, which resulted in $125 million for its investors after the mortgage originator became one of the first casualties of the subprime crisis; In re State Street Corporation Securities Litigation, which obtained $60 million in the wake of a series of alleged misrepresentations about the company’s own internal portfolio; Levy v. GT Advanced Technologies Inc., which resulted in a $36.7 million recovery for GTAT investors; In re Ambac Financial Group Securities Litigation, which obtained $33 million from the now-bankrupt insurer; In re Altisource Portfolio Solutions, S.A. Securities Litigation, which obtained $32 million from the mortgage loan servicer; In re Goldman Sachs Mortgage Pass-Through Litigation, which obtained $26.6 million for the benefit of the class of RMBS purchasers; and Barron v. Union Bancaire Privée, which recovered $8.9 million on behalf of the class of investors harmed by investments with Bernard Madoff, among others.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review, following law school Lauren served as a law clerk for the Honorable Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York.  Prior to joining the firm in 2007, she was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where she had extensive experience in securities litigation and complex commercial litigation.

Practice Areas: Litigation & Appeals, Tax Law
Online Media Type: Audio
Production Date: 11/12/2021
Level: Intermediate
Category: Standard
Duration: 1 Hours, 1 Minutes
Online Format: On Demand

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Total Credits: 1
Specialty Credits: 
Status: Reciprocal Credit Available
Expiration: 11/11/2024
Training Type: Online

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John Browne, Esq. - Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Lauren Ormsbee - Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
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