Of Counsel Nancy Harris is a trial lawyer with expertise in commercial litigation and class action defense, professional malpractice, insurance litigation and governmental investigations and claims. Ms. Harris has significant experience and expertise in actions involving complex financial, auditing and accounting issues, including securities litigation and accounting malpractice cases.
With more than 15 years experience managing and resolving complex litigation, Ms. Harris has been a member of trial teams in federal, state courts and in arbitration and has first chaired three jury trials. Ms. Harris has defended and prosecuted cases involving insurance coverage, unfair competition, data breach and privacy actions, securities fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, commercial real estate disputes, breach of contract, and state and federal criminal charges. She provides policyholder advice and counsel on maximizing coverage for data breach events.
Ms. Harris brings her extensive breadth of knowledge and strategic approach to bear on every case. She is careful and pragmatic and acutely attuned to efficiently and effectively managing litigation toward sensible economic outcomes.
The following is a sample of Ms. Harris’ engagements:
Complex Financial Litigation
- Represented the former Chief Financial Officer of McKesson Corporation in an eight-week federal criminal securities fraud trial in the Northern District of California. Following a trial that involved complex accounting and financial issues relating to a restatement of McKesson's financial statements, the client was acquitted on all counts in the indictment. Ms. Harris was responsible for all aspects of trial, including supervising a large team of associates and legal assistants, coordinating joint defense counsel, managing expert witnesses and examining witnesses at trial. Ms. Harris also represented the client in the parallel SEC action, federal securities class action and state civil actions.
- Represented an international accounting and auditing firm against a foreign lender in an auditor and accountant malpractice claim involving complex issues of GAAP and GAAS.
- Represented an internet technology company in a complex fraud, breach of contract and fiduciary duty dispute arising from an asset purchase agreement between principals of a wholly-owned subsidiary and the parent corporation and the officers and directors of the parent corporation. The case required analysis of complex financial accounting arrangements, including application of GAAP accounting and valuation of stock and purchased assets.
Class Action and Commercial Litigation
- Lead counsel representing Vendini, Inc., in defense of a nationwide class action asserting privacy claims arising from a 2013 data breach.
- Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of class action claims relating to Google’s mobile subscription service AdWords.
- Third-chair of trial team representing a Japanese corporation in seven-day bench trial before the International Trade Commission in Section 337 Investigation involving issues of patent infringement and validity.
- Member of team that successfully prosecuted a three-week arbitration for a public company involving claims of breach of contract and an accounting from a former joint venture partner. The arbitrator dissolved the joint venture and awarded client all requested damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Member of the trial team in an employment age discrimination and breach of contract case tried before federal court jury in Northern District of California.
Insurance Coverage Disputes
- Represent on-line event ticket service company in dispute with General Liability insurance carrier regarding coverage for claims arising from data breach event.
- Counsel for numerous companies seeking to maximize insurance coverage for data breach and/or privacy events.
- Second chaired arbitration on behalf of hospital system in dispute with an excess reinsurer regarding coverage of medical malpractice claims. Verdict in excess of US$16 million.
Governmental Investigations and Claims
- Lead counsel for higher education technology company in connection with False Claims Act investigation by Department of Education and Department of Justice.
- Defense of West Publishing Corporation against UCL claims relating to alleged negative option subscriptions asserted by the Contra Costa County District Attorney.
- Representation of the former President of Countrywide Financial Corporation in connection with investigations by and litigation with the California Attorney General and the SEC.
- Represented the former General Counsel of two publicly traded companies in SEC enforcements action alleging backdating of stock options.
Ms. Harris is an active participant in Orrick’s pro bono and associate training programs. She also devotes substantial time to community service. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area since 2006.