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  1. Securities litigation: defense
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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York has a deep bench that handles high-stakes securities litigation for corporates and investment banks. The firm is the preferred counsel for Credit Suisse Group for high-value litigation and Richard Clary played a key role in obtaining successful outcomes in notable class actions, particularly those related to residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) transactions. With Michael Reynolds and rising star Lauren Moskowitz, he took Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company v Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage Securities Corp, et al to trial, achieving a favorable settlement before conclusion. Kevin Orsini, David Marriott and Rory Leraris is advising Mylan on a class action alleging that the company made false and misleading statements regarding, inter alia, its classification of the EpiPen treatment. ‘Terrific litigatorAntony Ryan, David Stuart and head of litigation Daniel Slifkin secured a favorable settlement for Akorn Inc in a case seeking damages for alleged misrepresentations about the company’s business, operations and internal controls. The firm’s highly recommended partners include Robert Baron, Karin DeMasi, Timothy Cameron and Evan Chesler.

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IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has ‘a fine securities litigation practice, particularly acting for banks’. Its client roster not only includes leading financial institutions such as Citigroup and JPMorgan, but also blue-chip corporates including Freeport-McMoRan and IBM. Practice head James Rouhandeh and key partner Lawrence Portnoy are the firm’s leading lights. Rouhandeh and Charles Duggan led the defense of underwriters in a consolidated class action arising from Facebook’s 2012 IPO. The court in New York granted a motion to dismiss, ruling that Section 16(b) of the Exchange Act did not apply. Rouhandeh and Menlo Park-based Neal Potischman, who regularly handles SEC enforcement matters, continue to act as outside counsel to Morgan Stanley in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) cases arising from the global financial crisis. Four complaints alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation were dismissed with prejudice by the New York Supreme Court in 2017. James Windels, who advised Brazilian utility Eletrobras in a class action, and Edmund Polubinski, who defended pharmaceuticals company Roche in a high-profile matter, are also recommended. Other than Potischman, the named attorneys are based in New York.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has ‘the necessary talent to handle any kind of case in the securities litigation field’. The national practice is chaired by ‘very adept lawyer’ Meryl Young in Orange County, Robert Serio in New York and Brian Lutz in San Francisco. Serio and fellow New York attorney Mark Kirsch won a complete victory for Lynn Tilton and Patriarch Partners in a three-week trial before the SEC, which centered on claims of violating the antifraud provisions of the 1940 Investment Advisers Act. Lutz settled a shareholder derivative suit for the special litigation committee of PG&E Corporation related to the San Bruno pipeline explosion of 2010. Young’s highlights included a 10b-5 action for Dole Food Co stemming from its going-private transaction. Investors seeking damages for an alleged artificial deflation of the stock price settled for $74m. Other recommended partners include Thad Davis in San Francisco, New York-based Adam Offenhartz, who regularly handles activist investor litigation and shareholder plaintiff class strike suits, and securities enforcement specialist Joseph Warin in Washington DC.

A top-notch firm for high-exposure cases’, according to one client, Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable and strategic, providing practical advice and a keen understanding of the facts’. ‘Exceptionally bright and skilled securities litigatorJeff Hammel and Christopher Clark in New York, and Matthew Rawlinson in Silicon Valley, lead the practice. Hammel, Miles Ruthberg and veteran litigator James Brandt (who is ‘as smart as they come and has the requisite level of aggressiveness and experience to make the tough calls’) handled five class actions for Endo International, including a case concerning statements made about its generic pharmaceuticals business. Rawlinson is representing semiconductor company AMD in a case alleging it made false and misleading statements about demand for products, including its Llano APUs. The firm has ‘a leading auditor practice’ that acts for clients such as Deloitte and Ernst & Young, and also counts Apple and Walmart among its clients for high-stakes securities litigation. In Los Angeles, the firm hired experienced trial lawyer Thomas Nolan from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and the highly respected Joshua Hamilton from Paul Hastings LLP.

Outstanding firmPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York is ‘without peer on all criteria’, according to one client. ‘Fabulous lawyer’ and firm chair Brad Karpmay be the best lawyer in the US’, says another. ‘We trust his judgment implicitly’ say clients of Daniel Kramer, who has ‘great practical business sense, unparalleled legal experience, a prodigious work ethic and a longstanding reputation for both ethical and intellectual integrity’. ‘Truly exceptional lawyerAndrew Ehrlich is ‘particularly impressive’ and co-chairs the securities litigation group with Susanna Buergel and Audra Soloway. Karp and Buergel scored an appellate victory for Citigroup in an $800m investor claim that alleged fraudulent misrepresentation of its exposure to subprime mortgage assets. Leading light Richard Rosen and Washington DC-based rising star Jane O’Brien succeeded in having the majority of claims against Alere Inc dismissed in cases alleging that the company improperly recognized revenue for subsidiaries in Africa and China, and failed to disclose the need to recall diagnostic products. Geoff Chepiga and Washington DC-based Charles Davidow are also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLPprovides excellent advice and is always thoughtful and commercial in its approach to problems’. Clients describe it as ‘a leading firm for IPO cases and for representing underwriters’. New York-based head of litigation Adam Hakki is ‘superb, extremely responsive and benefits from superlative judgment’. Alongside rising star Daniel Lewis, he represented Countrywide in dozens of high-profile cases relating to RMBS transactions. Joseph Frank and up-and-coming partner Agnès Dunogué recently secured victories in RMBS cases for Nomura when the New York Court of Appeals barred claims for damages, and for Barclays when an appellate decision extinguished more than $422m in securities claims brought by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. Hakki and San Francisco-based Patrick Robbins also represented underwriters of the Alibaba IPO in securities litigation alleging that offering documents were misleading. Jaculin Aaron regularly acts for underwriters and her highlights included Ho v Duoyuan Global Water, Inc. Stuart Baskin and Brian Polovoy, who advised Ruby Tuesday in a class action in Tennessee, are also highly rated.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is ‘at the top of the list - its lawyers are hard-nosed, smart, efficient and highly professional’. Jonathan Youngwood in New York leads the practice and is ‘a star - hardworking, no-nonsense and extraordinarily knowledgeable’. With Palo Alto-based Jonathan Kreissman he defended Alibaba in cases arising from a fall in its share price three months after its $25bn IPO. The cases allege that the company failed to disclose material information about its interactions with the Chinese regulator SAIC. Clients praise the firm’s ‘good associate bench and excellent understanding of the current state of securities class action litigation’. ‘Tenacious litigator’ and New York-based co-head of the firm’s global litigation practice Paul Curnin represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a securities class action alleging fraudulent misstatement or concealment of material information following a dramatic fall in its share price. Among the firm’s other leading lights are Peter Kazanoff, Lynn Neuner, Thomas Rice, Joseph McLaughlin and George Wang in New York, and Chet Kronenberg in Los Angeles. Newly promoted Stephen Blake in Palo Alto is a rising star.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has ‘a fine practice with blue-chip corporate clients’. National securities litigation practice head Jay Kasner in New York is a leading light in the market. Its track record includes some of the largest securities class actions of recent years, many of which involved novel arguments and matters of first impression. Kasner and the highly regarded Scott Musoff acted for financial institutions including Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase as underwriters of a $2bn global note offering by Petrobras, which is accused of securities violations arising from highly publicized allegations of bribery and corruption. Last year, the Second Circuit vacated an order certifying a class of investors in an interlocutory appeal. The same team represented Vivint Solar and the Blackstone Group in a class action arising from Vivint’s IPO, in which plaintiffs argue that the company was required to disclose omitted financial information from its third quarter, which ended the day before the IPO. The team’s other skilled partners include Susan Saltzstein and Boston-based James Carroll.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has ‘a uniformly excellent and tough team’ and great strength in depth. The New York office is home to leading light Robert Giuffra, who alongside rising star Matthew Schwartz secured, on behalf of UBS, a unanimous reversal of a decision to deny a motion to dismiss an investor’s complaint, in a case arising from collateral debt obligation (CDO) and RMBS transactions. Schwartz and key partner David Braff secured the dismissal of claims against Goldman Sachs in cases related to the issuance of auction rate securities. Giuffra and Richard Klapper also advised Goldman Sachs on a high-profile case at the Second Circuit. Sharon Nelles is a highly esteemed securities litigator and she defended Volkswagen in several cases arising from the diesel emissions scandal. Richard Pepperman, Jeffrey Scott, Washington DC-based Daryl Libow and Robert Sacks in Los Angeles are also recommended. Clients also remark that ‘world-class counselorWilliam Monahan in New York is ‘highly knowledgeable and has excellent strategic sense’.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York is ‘responsive, business-oriented and highly knowledgeable’ and its ‘handling of complex litigation is superb’. John Neuwirth (who is ‘a tireless advocate who achieves results that speak for themselves’) and Joseph Allerhand (who is ‘a fantastic lawyer with the ability to distil complex details’) lead the practice. Neuwirth and Joshua Amsel won decisive victories for Sanofi in federal class and individual securities actions brought by CVR holders arising from the company’s statements about results of clinical trials for a multiple sclerosis drug and its prospects for FDA approval. Litigation co-chair, former federal prosecutor and ‘extraordinary trial lawyerJonathan Polkeshas an amazing track record and is easy to work with, fun and smart’. With rising star Caroline Zalka, he won a complete victory for Archstone in securities litigation valued at $4bn arising from one of the largest REIT deals in history, the $22bn acquisition of Archstone-Smith Trust by affiliates of Lehman Brothers and Tishman Speyer. Stephen Radin and Stacy Nettleton are also recommended.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP regularly advises investment banks, asset managers and hedge funds on cases arising from complex financial products, and acts for large corporates and their boards in high-stakes matters. New York-based litigation chair Herbert Washer recently advised Credit Suisse on high-profile matters arising from allegations that it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). For the same client, he obtained the dismissal of all claims brought by Japanese bank Aozora arising from its investments in the Jupiter V CDO. Charles Gilman has a track record of success spanning seven years and his recent highlights include acting for S&P Global in actions brought by US states and private individuals regarding its credit ratings for MBS. David Januszewski is ‘a "go-to" litigator’ and with Washington DC-based regulatory enforcement specialist Bradley Bondi he acted for Global Power Equipment Group in a class action arising from the restatement of financial results. David Wishengrad is also recommended.

The team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘many years of experience and the scope and scale of a prominent practice that is particularly sensitive to the needs of non-US issuers’. The firm’s ‘really smart and persuasive lawyers’ include Meredith Kotler and Roger Cooper in New York, who are the most prominent partners among more than 20 who handle securities litigation. Cooper, Lewis Liman and rising star Jared Gerber are currently advising Petrobras on securities fraud litigation arising from allegations of bribery and corruption by former employees. Having settled several opt-out cases, the team succeeded in obtaining a Second Circuit ruling that decertified the classes on predominance grounds. Cooper and Gerber also played key roles in representing banks, including Citigroup, as underwriters of securities issued by Lehman Brothers. With one class action settled favorably and many individual actions dismissed, only one case remains pending. Kotler’s highlights included obtaining the dismissal of all class actions against banks including Goldman Sachs as underwriters of securities issued by Bankrate Inc.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York has a leaner litigation team than some of its competitors but it ‘punches above its weight’. Mary Beth Hogan and former SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney chair the practice, in which Maeve O’Connor is also a key partner. The firm has ‘an unparalleled regulatory enforcement practice’, which includes former SEC chair Mary Jo White. The team’s work at the cutting edge of the discipline includes its representation of insurer MetLife in shareholder class actions pending in federal and state courts in New York and Alabama challenging practices related to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits. Plaintiffs allege that MetLife underestimated its reserves relating to $9.97bn in public stock offerings by failing to search the Death Master File to identify deceased policyholders. O’Connor led that matter and also defended HRG Group and FG Life against claims of engineering fraudulent reinsurance transactions to misrepresent FG Life’s financial condition. Shannon Rose Selden, who advised private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a shareholder derivative suit, is also recommended.

Dechert LLPprovides excellent levels of service from experts in the law and dogged fighters for their clients’ interests’. The firm has ‘star power among its senior talent’, which includes firm chairman Andrew Levander, who last year argued an appeal for Rockstar Games. David Kistenbroker, who practices in both New York and Chicago, is global head of the securities litigation practice. With Joni Jacobsen in Chicago, he represented Asanko Gold in a 10b-5 class action in which plaintiffs alleged the company made false or misleading statements about mineral resource estimates. The same team secured the dismissal of a 10b-5 case for Anavex Life Sciences and former executives that centered on claims that they misled investors about the efficacy of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug to artificially inflate the price of its stock. Global litigation head Matthew Larrabee in New York and key partner Michael Kichline in Philadelphia are also recommended.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP scores ‘A-plus on all fronts’, according to one client. Global litigation chair James Wareham in Washington DC leads on securities matters. His highlights from 2017 included advising pharmaceuticals company Perrigo in a class action - Roofers’ Pension Fund v Joseph Papa, et al - which alleged that the company inflated its share price by, among other things, failing to disclose integration problems following the acquisition of Omega Pharma, by overstating organic growth and via anti-competitive pricing in its generics division. The firm has a strong practice in New York, where William McGuinness and the ‘responsive and extremely knowledgeableStephen Juris (who is ‘adept in his development of strategies and is realistic about possible outcomes’) scored a victory for underwriters of MaxPoint Interactive’s 2015 IPO, when all claims were dismissed. Israel David, ‘superstarScott Luftglass, ‘thoughtful and creative’ and newly made-up partner Samuel Groner and DC-based James Anklam are recommended. In May 2018, Michael Keats joined from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is ‘a firm that is not afraid to try cases’. Its broad and deep practice has specialist securities litigation expertise focused on key client groups. Bradford Kaufman in West Palm Beach is global chair of the securities litigation practice, while New York-based William Briendel jointly leads the broker-dealer securities litigation group with Kaufman and West Palm Beach-based Tracy Gerber, and Robert Horowitz in New York jointly leads the D&O securities litigation team (which includes securities class actions) with Los Angeles’ Daniel Tyukody. Kaufman and Joseph Coates represented Roger Jenkins, former Barclays chairman of investment banking in the Middle East, in a securities fraud investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. Tyukody acted for Bridgepoint Education in a class action and two state court derivative actions alleging that the company intentionally manipulated its accounting in violation of generally accepted accounting principles. Washington DC-based Elaine Greenberg, whose clients include large investment banks, and Miami-based Hilarie Bass and David Coulson are also recommended.

The team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable, has great judgment and is a pleasure to work with’. The firm has recognized strengths in investigation and enforcement actions, accountant liability matters and securities class actions. Mark Filip, who works from Chicago and Washington DC, leads the government enforcement and defense practice. He recently advised Rio Tinto on a securities fraud case arising from a fall in its stock price following the disclosure of a corruption investigation involving its operations in the Simandou iron mine. Matthew Solum represented private equity firm Advent International in a class action arising from Party City Holdco Inc’s IPO, in which plaintiffs alleged the company failed to disclose the impact of a decline in Frozen merchandise sales. Chicago-based Joshua Rabinovitz and John Hartmann acted for FTD Companies in multiple class actions regarding accusations of making false and misleading statements in connection with an acquisition. DC-based litigator Neil Eggleston, who was White House Counsel to President Obama until 2017, is recommended. In April 2018, top-flight litigator Sandra Goldstein joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is ‘a "go-to" firm with a very strong team’. The practice acts for corporate issuers, auditors and large financial institutions. A key player in MBS litigation, the firm provides a ‘high-quality service and expertise in the trustee and securitization industry’. Jordan Hershman and Jason Frank in Boston, who successfully represented Freddie Mac in numerous matters relating to the subprime mortgage crisis, helped bring about the dismissal of a securities fraud class action and all derivative action litigation. Michael Blanchard (also Boston) and Philadelphia-based Marc Sonnenfeld persuaded plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss a class action against Abeona Therapeutics. In New York, Kenneth Schacter - who advised Bank of America on In re TelexFree Securities Litigation - and Michael Kraut are recommended. In San Francisco, Charlene Shimada achieved favorable results for underwriting syndicates in cases such as ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc Securities Litigation. Susan Resley, deputy leader of the securities litigation and enforcement team, ‘has credibility with regulators, outstanding skills and a terrific demeanor’.

The team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPmakes good judgments about legal strategy and includes seasoned lawyers alongside strong mid-career junior partners and associates with experience in regulatory investigations and litigation’. Practice head James Kramer and star senior associate Alex Talarides in San Francisco achieved a victory for PayPal Holdings in a class action initiated after the Federal Trade Commission announced an investigation into whether the company, through its Venmo service, was engaged in deceptive or unfair practices. The case was voluntarily dismissed. Experienced trial lawyer Robert Varian led the defense of natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy in a class action arising from a debt exchange offer. The case was dismissed with prejudice in early 2017. Los Angeles-based Michael Tu handled high-profile cases for former Viacom executive Sumner Redstone. He obtained the dismissal of a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Clients describe Paul Rugani in Seattle as ‘one of the brightest lawyers’. The firm hired the entire 15-lawyer team of Morvillo LLP, all of whom specialize in securities litigation and white-collar matters.

Paul Hastings LLP has a deep bench on the East and West coasts, as well as in Chicago and Houston, and acts for large corporates as well as financial services institutions, including Samsung, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Douglas Flaum in New York and Peter Stone in Palo Alto lead the securities litigation practice. Flaum’s highlights from 2017 included obtaining the dismissal of all claims against the underwriters of ReWalk Robotics Ltd’s IPO in a series of cases brought in California. He is currently representing ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation in a $500m fraud and misrepresentation action pending in Los Angeles state court. Vastly experienced litigator William Sullivan in Los Angeles is acting for former Las Vegas Sands executive William Weidner in a $2bn class action that alleges he made false and misleading statements relating to the company’s construction costs and financing prospects. New York-based global chair of litigation Barry Sher succeeded in having a class action against FIM Advisors dismissed. The case was brought by investors in feeder funds to Bernard L Madoff Investment Services, who alleged losses of nearly $1bn from the Ponzi scheme.

Litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC ‘has an excellent SEC enforcement and white-collar practice’, as well as notable strength in securities litigation. Robert Van Kirk and Steven Farina lead the group. Van Kirk and Hackney Wiegmann handled a six-month trial in the Royal Court of Guernsey that led to The Carlyle Group being fully exonerated in a $2bn action arising from the collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation. Another highlight for Van Kirk was a class action in Texas, In re: Tenet Healthcare Corporation Securities Litigation. Farina’s caseload included West Virginia Pipe Trades Health & Welfare Fund v Medtronic, Inc, a class action relating to Medtronic’s Infuse device for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Plaintiffs allege that they suffered substantial damages when the stock price declined after third parties published statements that were critical of the device. Kannon Shanmugam continued to advise Nasdaq on In re Facebook IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation. Veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan is also recommended.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP provides ‘pragmatic advice and a stellar level of service, always delivering value for money’. Chair of the litigation group Tariq Mundiya in New York focuses on internal investigations as well as securities and corporate litigation. He acted for Clovis Oncology in a $1bn class action arising from an announcement of adverse developments in clinical trials for a new drug. In New York, accounting expert and securities litigation group chair Michael Young and vice-chairs Todd Cosenza and Antonio Yanez are ‘top-notch litigators’. Cosenza is representing Lehman Brothers Holding in ongoing claims related to its sponsorship of 405 RMBS trusts, which are the subject of repurchase claims in excess of $37bn. Young and Yanez defended longstanding client KPMG in the appeal of a verdict in the New York Supreme Court that cleared it of charges of fraud and aiding and abetting. Senior counsel Richard Bernstein in Washington DC is also recommended.

WilmerHale is ‘outstanding at all levels - response times are excellent, as are business acumen and industry knowledge’. Clients appreciate ‘the mix of trial capability and its track record of early dismissals’ and remark that the ‘bright, intuitive and hardworking’ team ‘consistently exceeds expectations’. Chair of the securities practice William McLucas in Washington DC and the ‘exceptionally responsive and client-focused’ Andrea Robinson in Boston are ‘highly experienced and skilled, quick studies and excellent advocates who produce outstanding work product’. Robinson, Christopher Davies in DC and New York-based Fraser Hunter are practice vice chairs. In New York, ‘skilled advocate’ Michael Bongiorno ‘has deep expertise in life sciences and technology cases and is very impressive’, and ‘responsive and insightful’ enforcement specialist Lori Martin is ‘an experienced40 Act litigator’. The firm scored a major victory for former executives of Thornburg Mortgage who were accused of obscuring the company’s financial condition in the lead-up to the global financial crisis.

Arnold & Porter has a nationwide team that handles high-stakes federal and state class action securities and derivative actions, as well as SEC, CFTC, FINRA and DOJ matters. Veronica Callahan in New York and Michael Trager in Washington DC lead the securities enforcement and litigation practice, which represents public companies and their subsidiaries, national and international accounting firms, broker-dealers, investment banks, commercial banks and other financial institutions. New York-based Vincent Sama is a leading light of the practice and with Catherine Schumacher and Daphne Morduchowitz he acted for former AIG CFO Howard Smith in a case that alleges the company profited from sham transactions that were designed to conceal losses. Another highlight for Sama was his representation of officers of JPMorgan and Standard & Poor’s in government investigations and class actions relating to structured financial products. Gilbert Serota in San Francisco and DC-based Scott Schreiber are also recommended.

Cohen & Gresser LLP in New York is ‘one of the top small firms in this area’ and ‘has a very strong practice that grasps both the financial details and the complex legal issues, and has the ability to explain complex structures in plain English’. The ‘extremely smartMark Cohen has ‘excellent judgment’ and leads the practice. Stephen Sinaiko, who is ‘excellent in every respect, very responsive and attentive’, Lawrence Gresser and Daniel Tabak are highly recommended by clients. Also noteworthy are Nathaniel Read, who focuses on matters involving structured finance and other complex financial products; C. Evan Stewart, who has expertise in the financial services industry; and Gale Dick, who with Cohen and Gresser advised a former analyst for Och-Ziff Capital Management on an SEC civil suit. Gresser and Sinaiko represented Airplanes Limited and Airplanes US Trust in matters arising from aircraft securitization deals.

John Clarke in New York and James Mathias in Baltimore are chairs of DLA Piper LLP (US)’s corporate and securities litigation practice, which continued to expand its roster of talent in 2017. Recent hires include Jessica Masella in New York, who was a member of the securities and commodities fraud task force in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and experienced trial lawyer Amy Rudd in Austin, who joined from Dechert LLP. They complement the firm’s already strong bench, which includes San Diego-based Shirli Weiss, who won a motion to dismiss for Super Micro Computer in a class action regarding errors in reported revenues, and Robert Brownlie; and Andrew Escobar in Seattle, who with Clarke defended Morgan Stanley against allegations of misstatements and omissions in registration statements for IPOs of SandRidge Mississippian Trusts. Ryan O’Quinn in Miami has in-house experience at the SEC and advises clients in the financial services, healthcare and transportation sectors.

Dentons has ‘a track record of extraordinary successes for its clients’ and climbs the ranking. The firm has carved out a niche representing financial services and insurance companies in securities litigation. Sandra Hauser in New York had a stellar 2017, which included winning the dismissal of a five class actions for Metropolitan Life Insurance, which plaintiffs alleged has misrepresented its financial status and strength through the use of captive reinsurance transactions. Hauser and Reid Ashinoff acted for Genworth Financial in a stockdrop class action that alleged it made materially false statements about the planned partial IPO of its Australian mortgage insurance subsidiary and that it concealed allegedly negative financial and adverse claims developments from investors. In Chicago, Stephen Senderowitz leads on regulatory enforcement matters and with Hauser is now defending Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in a high-profile class action filed in New York, Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado et al v Bank of Montreal et al, which alleges manipulation of the Canadian Dealer Offered Rate.

Litigation powerhouse Jones Day is ‘incredibly responsive, skilled and creative’ and has more than 100 lawyers focused on securities litigation. The firm climbs the ranking and one client describes it as ‘very cost effective; it provides unsurpassed service and quality’. Scott Fletcher in Houston and Henry Klehm in New York lead the securities litigation and SEC enforcement practice, which has experienced lawyers in offices across the US. Fletcher advised Amedisys Inc on a securities fraud class action alleging that the company took advantage of the Medicare reimbursement system. In New York, Robert Micheletto and co-leader of the financial institutions litigation and regulation practice Jay Tambe are key partners. Charles Carberry and DC-based Peter Romatowski are former chiefs of the securities fraud unit in the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York. Joan McKown in DC is a former chief counsel for the SEC’s enforcement division. Boston-based Traci Lovitt and the ‘pragmatic and creative’ Geoffrey Ritts in Cleveland are also recommended.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is ‘highly responsive, sharp and savvy, delving deep and fast into detailed niches to provide great advice and value for money’. Practice head Bruce Vanyo, who is based in both Los Angeles and New York, has more than 40 years’ experience and clients remark that he ‘knows the ropes, has a deep understanding of the law and knows how best to apply the facts’. He secured the dismissal of a 10b-5 claim against Amarin Corporation relating to the FDA’s need for further testing of lipid-lowering drug Vascepa before clearing it for wider use. Vanyo leads the team with experienced trial lawyer Eric Kuwana in Washington DC, who is defending Opus Bank in a class action alleging it made false or misleading statements. Christian Kemnitz in Chicago is ‘beyond a rising star, he really does a lot of the heavy lifting’.

Mayer Brown’s New York securities litigation team is ‘highly responsive, very detail oriented and provides high-value advice from subject matter experts’. Joseph De Simone, Richard Spehr and Steven Wolowitz (who is a ‘thought leader and an expert in his field’) are the key partners in the practice. The firm, which was heavily involved in securities litigation arising from the global financial crisis, is noted for the close integration of its litigation, investigation and enforcement capabilities. Its highlights included the work of Christopher Houpt, Michael Martinez and Matthew Ingber for Bank of New York Mellon in cases related to its role as trustee of RMBS transactions. In re The Bank of New York Mellon saw the bank settle claims for $8.5bn, the largest private settlement in history, but litigation continues in regard to how the settlement is distributed. In another key case, Wolowitz advised Société Générale on class actions alleging manipulation of reference rates including Libor. Michele Odorizzi in Chicago is also recommended.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in New York is ‘the leading firm for ’40 Act matters’ and Sean Murphy regularly acts in matters regarding excessive asset management fees. With Robert Hora and James Cavoli, he won a major trial victory for AXA, defeating a $550m damages claim. David Gelfand advised Rabobank on numerous matters in 2017, including the dismissal of several claims in multi-district litigation regarding the manipulation of Libor. Global head of litigation and arbitration George Canellos is ‘a leader in the field of SEC enforcement cases’. Daniel Perry and firm chair Scott Edelman, who together secured a motion to dismiss for Citibank in a $73m forex option case, are recommended. Former assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Katherine Goldstein joined in 2017, adding regulatory enforcement expertise.

Outstanding firmMorrison & Foerster LLP provides ‘an extremely high level of service, responsiveness and strategic advice’. Joel Haims in New York is ‘brilliant - he gets right to the heart of the issues and always proposes a good course of action’. He chairs the securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense group with Jordan Eth in San Francisco. Eth and fellow West Coast partners Judson Lobdell and Craig Martin ‘have the ability to read a situation and derive the best possible solution’. The ‘engaged and thoughtful’ Philip Besirof, Anna Erickson White and Palo Alto-based Erik Olson are also recommended. Eth, Daniel Marmalefsky in Los Angeles and James Beha in New York represented Blackberry in a securities fraud case concerning statements the company made about the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has a talented bench of lawyers and is a go-to firm for underwriting syndicates defending securities class actions across the US. It also has an impressive roster of blue-chip corporate clients, particularly in the technology sector. Los Angeles-based head of securities litigation Jonathan Rosenberg is an experienced trial lawyer and he advised mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corporation on cases arising from incentive payments under the Home Affordable Modification Program. Other recommended lawyers on the West Coast include Seth Aronson, who secured the dismissal of a class action for former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, and Matthew Close, who acted for Sempra Energy in a class action arising from a gas leak in Aliso Canyon. In New York, Allen Burton, whose clients include Fifth Street Finance Corporation, and Pamela Miller are recommended. Jeffrey Kilduff retired from the firm.

Proskauer Rose LLP is noted for its ‘highly professional and very diligent service’. ‘The true cream of the crop’, says one client, who notes that ‘the team commands tremendous respect and cuts through the nonsense’. Ralph Ferrara in Washington DC and New York-based practice heads Jonathan Richman and Gregg Mashberg are ‘very knowledgeable and well respected, and they work well together’. Ferrara and Ann Ashton in DC, who delivers ‘trust and credibility along with litigation and trial skills and the ability to negotiate creatively’, were part of a large team that advised the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico on securities litigation relating to management of its $74bn of bond debt and $50bn of underfunded pension liabilities. With Richman, they also acted for Fifth Street Asset Management in class actions and derivative cases alleging that it overvalued investments to improve its financial position prior to its IPO. Joshua Newville is another key partner.

Ropes & Gray LLPhas great experience in 10b-5 cases, especially in the life sciences sector’ and ‘a prominent practice in 36b cases for mutual funds’. The firm has a deep bench of trial lawyers, including many former federal prosecutors and attorneys with in-house experience in the enforcement divisions of the SEC and DOJ. In Boston, Randall Bodner is ‘a dean of the Bar’, according to one client. John Donovan, who is handling several Section 36(b) excessive fees cases, and Christopher Green are recommended. Bodner and Anne Johnson Palmer in San Francisco are defending Keurig Green Mountain in a stockdrop case in which the Second Circuit reversed a dismissal of all claims and a motion for summary judgment has now been filed. Peter Welsh, who is handling a 10b-5 case for LPL Financial Holdings, and New York-based David Hennes are chairs of the corporate and shareholder litigation practice.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York has a team of highly experienced securities litigators led by William Savitt and Jonathan Moses. A highlight for Moses and Elaine Golin was their work for mortgage originator PNC Financial Services Group in ongoing litigation with former mortgage securitizer Residential Funding Company, LLC. The case alleges that PNC and others breached their representations and warranties on loans sold to RFC, which is seeking to recover losses incurred in its bankruptcy. A motion to dismiss was partially granted. Savitt and Ryan McLeod continued to act for outside directors and the board of Facebook in connection with a putative class action challenging the proposed reclassification of common stock. John Saverese, who represented JPMorgan in Madoff-related litigation, Carrie Reilly and Bradley Wilson are also recommended.

Winston & Strawn LLP is ‘involved at the cutting edge of securities litigation’. The firm has built a strong reputation in parallel civil proceedings pursuant to governmental investigations, qui tam lawsuits and high-profile cases in heavily-regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services. In Omnicare, Inc v Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, for example, John Schreiber in Los Angeles and Richard Reinthaler and practice chair James Smith in New York argued the groundbreaking issue of how to establish when a statement of opinion is an untrue statement of material fact. Robert Sperling was part of a team that successfully defended JPMorgan in a class action alleging that it incentivized financial advisers to recommend proprietary funds. Casey Berger in Houston, Matthew DiRisio in New York and Chicago-based Caryn Jacobs are among the other key partners.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is ‘a leading firm in the Texas market and is also breaking into New York’. Seth Taube in New York leads the firm-wide securities and shareholder litigation practice, for which energy and technology are key industry sectors. David Sterling in Houston acted for Halliburton in a closely watched class action alleging that the company made misrepresentations about its liability for asbestos claims, the benefits of a merger with Dresser Industries and its accounting for fixed-price construction contracts. The court denied class certification in five of the six corrective disclosures. Danny David and new hire Rebeca Huddle, formerly a justice on the Texas Court of Appeals for the First District, are recommended along with Jessica Pulliam in Dallas.

Jason Halper is co-chair of the global litigation group at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York and he oversees the securities litigation practice. A key highlight from 2017 saw Jonathan Hoff advise Salix Pharmaceuticals, now a division of Valeant, on a class action in which plaintiffs allege the company engaged in a channel stuffing scheme and made false and misleading statements about wholesaler inventory levels which, when corrected, led to a huge fall in its stock price. Special counsel Nathan Bull is a key player in the practice. Former Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York Joseph Facciponti joined from the global internal investigations group at HSBC.

At Clifford Chance in New York, the ‘smart, talented and effective’ Robert Houck frequently advises global financial institutions, companies and individuals on cross-border investigations and matters brought by the CFTC, SEC and DOJ. For Bank of Montreal he defended multi-district litigation comprising more than 40 class actions alleging collusion to manipulate the US Treasury debt securities market. The ‘super-smart and enormously well-regarded’ Celeste Koeleveld joined from the New York State Department of Financial Services and has more than 25 years’ experience in government enforcement matters. Christopher Morvillo is ‘very effective and a pleasure to work with’.

Technology-focused firm Fenwick & West LLP is ‘top notch in all areas, an outstanding firm with outstanding people’, according to one client. ‘The team is quick to respond, has great business acumen and provides sophisticated and reasonable advice’. In San Francisco, Kevin Muck is ‘an outstanding litigator who can handle any matter and is terrific in court’, and Susan Muck has ‘gravitas and experience that are practically unmatched’. Jennifer Bretan and ‘excellent strategist and communicator’ Catherine Kevane provide ‘expert and reasoned advice’. Jay Pomerantz, who splits his time between Mountain View and New York, is ‘a terrific and thorough litigator’. Muck and Kevane defended GoPro in a 1933 Act class action relating to its 2014 IPO.

Goodwin has a strong bench of securities litigators across the US. New York-based Brian Pastuszenski (who is ‘one of the more knowledgeable litigators in the market - very up-to-speed’) and Anthony Fiotto in Boston lead the practice. Marshall Fishman, who leads the New York commercial and financial litigation group, achieved victory for Citibank in a case alleging fraud and negligence in foreign exchange trades. Other notable partners include Mark Holland in New York and Washington DC-based Michael Isenman, who together defended JPMorgan Investment Management in ’40 Act matters; Lloyd Winawer in Silicon Valley, who is ‘fabulous to deal with, extraordinarily patient and capable of providing succinct advice’; and Deborah Birnbach in Boston.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLPfocuses on pragmatic, commercial solutions and on ending litigation rather than prolonging it’. New York-based William Maguire and Edward Little and Washington DC-based Kevin Abikoff lead the practice. In New York, Christopher Kiplok continued to advise the trustee in the SIPA liquidation of Lehman Brothers. Sarah Cave handled a securities fraud class action for the former CFO of Global Power Equipment Group. Clients also recommend ‘responsive lateral thinkerChristopher Paparella and ‘pragmatic litigatorMarc Weinstein. Little and Weinstein represented an officer of JPMorgan Chase in matters arising from the $6bn London Whale scandal.

King & Spalding LLP has ‘a strong brand and a strong reputation, as well as experienced trial lawyers’. Paul Bessette, who works mainly from the Austin office, and Israel Dahan in New York are currently representing FXCM Inc in a class action brought by shareholders who suffered losses after the Swiss National Bank allowed the Swiss franc to trade freely against the euro. They allege the forex trader misled the market about potential risks. In Atlanta, Michael Smith and Warren Pope are acting for Equifax in lawsuits arising from a cybersecurity breach in which plaintiffs allege the company misled the market about its ability to protect against such breaches. Austin-based Michael Biles and Dixie Johnson in Washington DC are among the other notable partners.

At Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York, Gary Naftalis (who acted for a special committee of the board of directors of a major European financial institution in an SEC investigation) and Barry Berke lead the practice. John Coffey acted as co-counsel to Pershing Square Capital Management in the defense of a large securities class action relating to allegations of insider trading in its bid for Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Experienced trial and appellate lawyer Michael Dell represented Royal Bank of Canada in a case alleging that the bank fraudulently sold CDOs by misrepresenting the credit quality of underlying securities. Jonathan Wagner, Alan Friedman and Arthur Aufses are also recommended.

New York-based litigation boutique Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C.has a very strong securities litigation defense team and is at the top of the list of boutique firms’. The firm’s main focus is on enforcement matters, for which practice head and ‘absolute starElkan Abramowitz and Lawrence Iason are recommended. Edward Spiro is representing the former CEO of Petrobras in a class action arising from an alleged bribery scheme. Spiro and Lawrence Bader, who ‘has encyclopedic knowledge of SEC enforcement issues and a keen strategic sense’, acted for officers of pharmaceuticals company Merck in derivative litigation alleging that it delayed disclosing disappointing results of a clinical drug trial. Robert Anello is also recommended.

At Norton Rose Fulbright US LLPthe level of service is excellent’. The firm has ‘a real in-depth understanding of the pharmaceutical market and the oil and gas industry’, though it also represents clients in sectors such as financial services. Houston-based practice head Gerard Pecht represented oilfield technology company Flotek in a class action and SEC investigation in which plaintiffs alleged that its core software FracMax did not work as advertised. The litigation is on appeal after a motion to dismiss was granted in the Southern District of Texas. Pecht, Austin-based Mark Oakes and Washington DC-based head of SEC enforcement Kevin Harnisch are ‘excellent attorneys who provide sound legal advice in a timely manner’. Rodney Acker in Dallas and Peter Stokes in Austin are also recommended.

Specialist litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has ‘the smartest and most competent group of young lawyers I have ever come across’, according to one client. ‘They have a deep understanding of complex trading and are merciless fighters for their clients’ cause’, says another. Harry Olivar in Los Angeles led the defense of Marvell Technology Group in numerous matters, including a 10b-5 case alleging that it made false and misleading statements in press releases and public filings. In New York, chair of the national banking and financial institutions practice Peter Calamari and ‘superbly talented trial lawyer’ Andrew Rossman are recommended.

The team at Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP in New York is ‘fantastic - extremely client-oriented, extraordinarily smart and hardworking, and both strategic and tactical in providing thoughtful advice’. ‘Stellar attorney’ Shari Brandt, Matthew Riccardi and co-head of the litigation practice Rowan Gaither acted for inter-dealer broker ICAP Capital Markets in a federal securities class action alleging conspiracy to manipulate financial benchmark ISDAfix. Another highlight saw Daniel Zinman act for the special litigation committee of NYSE-listed financial institution Flagstar Bancorp in shareholder litigation in which the plaintiffs allege breaches of fiduciary duty in the underwriting of mortgages. Steven Paradise is also recommended.

Martin Perschetz in New York and Howard Schiffman in Washington DC are the key partners at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. They represented the former chief scientist of Merck & Co in a class action arising from the withdrawal of its arthritis drug Vioxx. The firm’s client list encompasses Fortune 500 corporations, underwriters, broker-dealers, prime and clearing brokers, private investment funds, accounting firms and individual defendants. In New York, Charles Clark secured the dismissal of a class action for the former CEO of Hanger Inc, which centered on claims of accounting errors in financial statements over a five-year period. Head of the shareholder activism litigation practice Michael Swartz and regulatory specialist Gary Stein are among the other notable partners.

The securities litigation group at Vinson & Elkins LLP, which is led by John Wander and Michael Holmes in Dallas, has several noteworthy partners, including Clifford Thau in New York and Austin-based Jennifer Poppe. The firm represents issuers, underwriters, accounting firms, financial institutions, and directors and officers in securities matters. Thau, Holmes and Poppe acted for EZCorp in a 10b-5 case alleging it made false and misleading statements regarding, inter alia, the regulatory compliance of UK entity Cash Genie and the nature of its consulting relationship with Madison Park LLC. In In re Plains All American Pipeline LP Securities Litigation, Holmes is defending a $1.5bn claim arising from the rupture of a pipeline in Santa Barbara County.

White & Case LLP’s head of commercial litigation Glenn Kurtz in New York oversees a practice that built on its track record of success in 2017. Douglas Baumstein and Kim Haviv obtained the dismissal of all claims against German technology company Aixtron in a class action that alleged misrepresentations and material omissions in press releases and SEC filings. Owen Pell, Bryan Merryman in Los Angeles and Washington DC-based Christopher Curran acted for Toshiba Corporation in a case regarding American depository receipts in which plaintiffs asserted that a foreign issuer is subject to the US Exchange Act even if it has not sponsored an ADR program in the US.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP joins the ranking following a string of successes in 2017. These include victories for former AIG CEO Martin Sullivan in a series of government investigations, stockdrop class actions and opt-out cases in which plaintiffs alleged that AIG and its executives made materially misleading statements about exposures to the RMBS market and about liquidity levels leading up to the global financial crisis. Steven Ross in Washington DC and Robert Pees in New York led the case.

Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘a consolidated global offering and a one-stop shop for regulatory investigations and litigation’. The firm’s 12 litigation partners in New York are ‘very high quality and very talented’. Key partner Pamela Chepiga secured a settlement for the former chief medical officer of Pfizer in a securities class action that alleged the company and its executives misrepresented safety risks associated with arthritis medications. Chepiga and Andrew Rhys Davies represented former Goldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre in the defense of SEC charges and civil litigation alleging fraud in the marketing of the Abacus CDO.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s securities litigation and regulatory enforcement practice consists of more than 40 attorneys with experience in litigation and SEC, CFTC and FINRA investigations. Marc Powers in New York leads the practice and he advised Canadian national Joseph Cheung on an SEC investigation regarding ‘pump and dump’ schemes relating to reverse merger transactions. Securities defense lawyer Geoffrey Coll succeeded in having independent trustees of Virtus dismissed from class actions alleging misrepresentation of the performance of an investment strategy utilized by F-Squared Investments, Inc.

Stephen Benesh at Bracewell LLP in Austin has ‘exceptional foresight, a focus on the details and a strong strategic view’. He represented Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company and Sandridge Mississippian Trusts in a securities class action alleging misrepresentation of the productive capacity of oil and gas fields. Stephen Crain and Bradley Benoit in Houston acted for Pier 1 Imports in a securities fraud class action filed in Texas and saw all claims dismissed.

Cooley LLP is an outstanding firm for litigation involving companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. During the last five years, it has defended more life sciences companies in shareholder litigation than any other firm. Koji Fukumura in San Diego is chair of the securities litigation practice and he secured victory for Celladon in a class action alleging that it misled investors about clinical trials for its leading drug candidate Mydicar. Lyle Roberts in Washington DC, John Dwyer in Palo Alto and Stephen Neal in San Francisco are also recommended.

The team at newly ranked Foley & Lardner LLP provides ‘excellent service, response times and industry knowledge, as well as strategic and business-focused advice’. The firm is best known for representing auditors in fraud investigations. Practice chair Beth Boland defended JPMorgan Chase in class action claims that alleged aiding and abetting in a $200m securities fraud Ponzi scheme; the case, Faughn v JPMorgan Chase, was dismissed. In Hollis v JPMorgan Chase, Boland defeated an attempt to add a charge of corporate conspiracy.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has 15 litigation partners in New York and Washington DC, among whom New York-based Tim Harkness and Linda Martin are the most prominent for securities matters. Harkness represented Kingate Trust Defendants and Tensyr in actions brought by a Madoff bankruptcy trustee in which the novel use of the extraterritoriality defense changed the course of the litigation. Martin’s highlights included securing a motion to dismiss for aerospace and energy services company KLX Inc in a federal securities fraud class action.

Bradley Foster in the Dallas office of the newly merged Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP regularly handles securities class actions and SEC and FINRA enforcement proceedings. He advised insurer Bowen, Miclette & Britt in a $7bn securities class action. New York-based Mark Mandel is a former chief of the SEC’s New York broker-dealer enforcement division and he acted for a major US bank on a FINRA investigation concerning volatility fund investments. J. Wiley George in Houston is also recommended.

Jenner & Block LLP represents public and private companies as well as officers and directors in class actions and derivative shareholder litigation. Among its clients are many institutional investors, including hedge funds and overseas banks, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Stephen Ascher in New York, Thomas Newkirk in Washington DC and Howard Suskin in Chicago chair the practice. Ascher secured the dismissal of a securities fraud action against American Express following the non-renewal of a co-brand agreement with Costco.

At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, San Francisco-based Sarah Good and Bruce Ericson lead the securities litigation and enforcement practice. In In re InvenSense, Inc Securities Litigation, Ericson and David Furbush in Silicon Valley defended InvenSense against allegations that it made materially false and misleading statements about its financial performance. The case and all related derivative actions were dismissed. Ericson is also defending a challenge to the settlement against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker arising from the company’s acquisition of Autonomy.

At Seward & Kissel LLP in New York, ‘the team is knowledgeable and obtains a sound understanding of clients’ business in order to effectively defend a case’. Bruce Paulsen and Jack Yoskowitz are ‘particularly impressive for their strong analysis and strategy’. Paulsen and Mark Hyland represented DryShips in a securities class action arising from stock issuances that allegedly improperly diluted stock holdings. Michael McNamara and Michael Considine are also recommended. Yoskowitz and counsel Ross Hooper are highly regarded for regulatory enforcement matters.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP focuses on litigation involving mid-market companies with revenue of up to $1bn in sectors such as technology, biotech, hospitality and financial services. Gregory Markel in New York has a stellar reputation and ‘provides outstanding service and top-quality work; he is very responsive and listens well’. He recently represented a client in two 10b-5 cases regarding alleged misrepresentations and omissions concerning the company’s prospects. Will Prickett in Boston and Kevin Lesinski in San Francisco chair the practice.

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth in Newport Beach is ‘outstanding - a smaller firm that always provides timely, practical advice’. Litigation group chair John Cannon and Kathleen Marcus are ‘very experienced and practical in their approach’. Former federal prosecutor Jason de Bretteville ‘has exceptional business acumen and manages cases efficiently’ and he is representing Endologix in a class action alleging that it misled investors about the prospect of obtaining pre-market approval from the FDA for its Nellix medical device.

Vedder Price in Chicago regularly defends publicly traded companies, officers and directors, board committees and auditors in federal and state court securities actions. Chair of the financial services group Thomas Cimino, chair of the government enforcement practice Junaid Zubairi and securities and broker-dealer litigation practice head Randall Lending are recommended. Cimino and Zubairi represented former Akorn CFO Tim Dick in SEC investigations and a pending class action arising from the restatement of the company’s finances.

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