Robert Stern

Partner

Washington, D.C.

New York

Rob Stern is the Chair of the Firm’s White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance practice group and a nationally recognized securities litigator by both Chambers USA (Band 1) and Legal 500 (Leading Lawyer).  

For the past 20 years, Rob has handled many of the most complex financial services and civil and governmental securities matters with clients lauding Rob's outstanding work telling Chambers 2021 "[h]e has my interests at the forefront, he's a great advocate who gives strategic, candid advice and direction." "I find him great to deal with, he's a godsend." That praise is echoed by Legal 500 2021 " Rob is an excellent attorney and strategist as well as a superb client attorney. He is a guy you want in your corner.’  

Rob has a demonstrated track record of success, achieving outstanding results for financial services institutions, Fortune 100 companies, officers and directors of public companies and accounting firms.  Rob has litigated dozens of securities, commodities and M&A class actions as well as the parallel SEC, CFTC, PCAOB and/or criminal enforcement matters that accompany them. Rob's mastery of the field enables him to develop creative litigation strategies and business solutions for his clients in a broad array of situations.

In addition to being a recognized practitioner, Rob is also a recognized thought leader -- lecturing and publishing widely. Rob is a faculty member of Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Litigation program and Chairs PLI's Storming the Gatekeepers:  When Compliance Officers and In-House Lawyers Are at Risk program. Rob has also spoken on Bond Buyer webinars, NERA's Securities and Finance Seminar, the Advanced Litigation Strategy Summit and Strafford Seminars. 

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    Civil Securities and Financial Services Litigation Experience

    • Trial counsel representing Louis Dreyfus in In Re: Term Commodities Cotton Futures Litigation a commodities class action alleging manipulation of the cotton futures market
    • Representing defendants in Hall v. Johnson & Johnson, et. al, a securities class action arising out of allegations of trace amounts of asbestos in cosmetic talc products
    • Representing Royal Bank of Canada in adversary proceeding brought by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in connection with the bank's underwriting of general obligation debt
    • Obtained partial dismissal and ultimate de-certification of a putative class In Krukever v. TD Ameritrade, an action alleging losses suffered by traders in futures options caused by extreme market volatility
    • Obtained a dismissal on behalf of the issuer and officers in Caramahai v. Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. a securities class action arising out of denial of FDA approval for a new medical device
    • Obtained a dismissal of a securities class action and shareholder derivative action on behalf of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., a medical device company that was alleged to have violated the False Claim Act and Anti-Kickback Statute violations
    • Represented defendants in Homeward Residential Inc. v. Sand Canyon Corporation a commercial dispute arising out of alleged misrepresentations made in connection with the origination and securitization of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, obtaining partial dismissal of the case on motion to dismiss
    • Achieved an extremely favorable resolution for the client in In re: Fannie Mae Securities and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Litigation (2008) actions alleging failure to adequately disclose subprime and Alt-A mortgage exposure. 
    • Represented Fannie Mae in In re: Fannie Mae Securities, ERISA and Derivative Litigation class actions and a shareholder derivative action alleging accounting fraud in connection with the company's $9 billion restatement of earnings. Defendants prevailed, in part, at class certification reducing the exposure by billions
    • Represented Bank of America in a securities class action, shareholder derivative suits, and FINRA arbitrations arising out of illiquidity in the auction-rate securities markets. Obtained a complete dismissal of the class action and numerous successful arbitration results
    • Represented Robertson Stephens in In re Initial Public Offering Securities and Antitrust class action litigation
    • Secured a complete dismissal of a class action challenging a $4 billion cash tender offer in connection with the sale of a worldwide provider of Web-based software solutions and services to the automotive industry
    • Represented a former Audit Committee Chairman in a shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s payments to the AUC and criminal plea. Obtained a dismissal without individual liability
    • Represented the former CFO of major automotive parts supplier in securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation based on allegations of accounting fraud. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability
    • Represented the former Chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case, in a securities class action, shareholder derivative, and shareholder opt-out litigation. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability
    • Represented former Enron CEO, Jeffrey Skilling, in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation around the country filed in the wake of the energy giant’s bankruptcy
    • Represented a former WorldCom director in securities class action and shareholder opt-out litigation around the country. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability

    SEC Enforcement Experience

    • Achieved a favorable resolution in the landmark SEC enforcement action against Momentus Space arising out of the company's proposed de-SPAC transaction that allowed the transaction to close and the company to go public
    • Obtained a declination for a Big Four accounting firm in connection with an SEC investigation of Chinese-based issuer 
    • Obtained a declination for a Forbes Global 50 financial institution in action arising out of underwriting of public-private partnership bond offering  
    • Achieved a favorable resolution for former KPMG national office partner, David Britt, in a high-profile criminal and civil enforcement matter, involving alleged misappropriation of confidential PCAOB information and ethics violations
    • Obtained a declination for a publicly traded, international company in a high-profile SEC investigation arising out of a front-page Wall Street Journal article
    • Obtained a DPA from the SEC for a head of mortgage trading desk in connection with an enforcement matter
    • Obtained a declination for a Forbes Global 50 financial institution in enforcement action arising out of underwriting of municipal bonds
    • Represented numerous current and former auditors in connection with SEC and PCAOB formal investigations involving alleged improper professional conduct
    • Represented Fortune 50 financial institution in an enforcement matter arising out of illiquid structured products, achieving a very favorable resolution
    • Represented a Fortune 500 mortgage servicer with a very favorable resolution
    • Represented a Fortune 50 financial institution in multiple enforcement actions with favorable resolutions achieved
    • Represented a Fortune 500 consumer services company in an enforcement action with favorable resolution
    • Represented a major subprime mortgage originator in a subprime enforcement action, achieving a very favorable resolution
    • Represented the CFO of a major automotive parts supplier in an enforcement action with favorable resolution achieved
    • Represented the former Chairman and CEO of a major Internet Media Company in enforcement proceeding with no action taken