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Hakki, Adam S.

Adam S. Hakki


Adam Hakki is Global Head of Shearman & Sterling’s Litigation Group. Adam focuses his practice on both complex litigation and government investigations, with particular focus on class actions, shareholder derivative suits and civil and criminal investigations relating to securities, antitrust, derivatives, commodities and corporative governance issues in trial and appellate courts throughout the US and before the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, FINRA and State AGs. Adam has acted as lead counsel to major financial institutions and asset management firms for the most significant litigations and investigations affecting those industries in recent years. Adam is recognized in Chambers USA nationally and in New York (Band 1), Legal 500 (Leading Lawyer) and Benchmark Litigation for securities litigation, was named the “2016 Securities Lawyer of the Year” for the entire United States by Benchmark Litigation, and leads the group recently named the “Securities: Shareholder Litigation” team of the year by The Legal 500.

Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation have also described Adam as “the complete package,” “among the most polished and professional litigators in America,” “a force to be reckoned with,” “amazingly bright, with excellent strategic judgment,” having “the rare balance of being incredibly smart and effectively confident,” “a great lawyer with a practical bent that is somewhat rare,” “on top of all of the cutting edge issues,” “incredibly responsive,” “an extremely smart lawyer who is very well versed in the financial industry,” “very strong with senior management,” “quick, well prepared and responsive,” a “superb writer,” “always the most calm and composed person in the room,” “great at making oral presentations,” able to “persuade on his feet,” “having a vast and loyal cadre of investment banks, hedge funds and mutual funds” as clients, “an absolute pleasure to work with,” and a litigator to whom “big banks turn frequently for important matters.”

Selected Experience

  • Lead counsel to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in antitrust class actions relating to FX trading.
  • Lead counsel to Countrywide Financial in numerous RMBS and CDO securities actions nationwide.
  • Lead counsel to a major financial institution in all securities litigation relating to high-frequency trading and dark pools.
  • Lead counsel to BNP Paribas in connection with antitrust class actions relating to U.S. treasuries.

Pro Bono

Throughout his career, Adam has been actively involved in pro bono work.  He was one of the leaders of a team that obtained the reversal of a death sentence on behalf of a defendant with mental retardation in Florida after a two-day trial.  He has also recently acted as lead pro bono counsel on matters for the Legal Aid Society of New York and the Humane Society of the United States. Adam is a past recipient of the Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publica award.

Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements

Adam authored the chapter on damages in Litigating Securities Class Actions (Eisenberg, J., editor, LEXIS/NEXIS publisher), a comprehensive treatise on defending securities class actions whose contributing authors are recognized leaders in the field of securities litigation.  Adam has also co-authored numerous publications on securities regulation, enforcement and litigation, including the lead chapter on handling parallel regulatory investigations and securities litigations for the Practising Law Institute’s book “Handling a Securities Case:  From Investigation to Trial and Everything in Between.”  Adam is also a frequent lecturer and panel participant on insider trading, SEC and government investigations, litigation and compliance matters, including for SIFMA, PLI, ALI and other leading groups.



  • St. John’s University, School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
    • Executive Articles Editor, St. John's Law Review
  • Muhlenberg College, B.A.


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