Michael Charlson > Vinson & Elkins LLP > San Francisco, United States > Lawyer Profile

Vinson & Elkins LLP
SUITE 2000
United States
Michael Charlson photo

Work Department

Shareholder Litigation & Enforcement




Michael Charlson handles complex litigation matters across a range of substantive areas, although he focuses his practice on securities class action, corporate governance and shareholder derivative litigation and related counseling. For more than 30 years, Michael has represented corporations, officers, directors and other constituencies, usually in lawsuits and investigations related to allegations that they have issued false and misleading statements or mismanaged the company. His clients span industries, from the most cutting-edge biotech innovators to gravel pit operators, and everything in between. And they are often facing billions of dollars of damages and serious threats to the enterprise’s continued existence. Michael also co-led the team that secured a jury verdict for defendants (including his client, the former CEO) in In re JDS Uniphase Securities Litigation, one of only a handful of securities class actions that have gone to trial.

Michael has also represented companies and individuals on a range of matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, including SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings involving allegations of insider trading (including tipper and tippee allegations), improper accounting, inadequate disclosure, improper supervision and books-and-records violations. In SEC matters, Michael has prepared Wells or pre-Wells submissions on behalf of some 20 clients; none has been charged.

Michael serves as Co-Chair of V&E’s Securities Litigation practice as well as Talent and Diversity Lead and Hiring Partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: defense

Vinson & Elkins LLP has offices in New York, Texas and California, enabling it to easily handle M&A litigation in state and federal courts across the US. The firm’s fiduciary duty practice deals with pre- and post-closing challenges to mergers and acquisitions, master limited partnership litigation, derivative lawsuits, and other claims made against corporate officers and directors under Delaware law. Over the last ten years, the firm has had 35 lead appearance in Delaware state court. The team is praised as ‘extremely intelligent, gifted writers and excellent communicators who provide creative solutions to litigation matters‘. Michael Holmes in Dallas, who represented Regency Energy in a challenge to its $28bn merger with Energy Transfer Partners, and Michael Charlson in San Francisco lead the practice. Dallas-based John Wander and Clifford Thau in New York are also among the standout practitioners in deal-related matters.

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense

Vinson & Elkins LLP represents issuers, underwriters, accounting firms, financial institutions, and directors and officers in securities fraud class actions and other claims associated with stock-price declines, financial restatements, whistle-blower complaints, short-swing and insider trading allegations. It also has a strong track record in SEC, FINRA and DOJ investigations and enforcement actions. Michael Holmes in Dallas and Michael Charlson in San Francisco lead the practice. Holmes and fellow Dallas-based partner Craig Zieminski recently advised Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. on securities and derivative litigation arising from a highly publicized pipeline leak near Refugio State Beach, along the California coast. John Wander in Dallas and Clifford Thau in New York have general commercial litigation practices with a strong focus on securities litigation and regulatory and internal investigations.