Shearman & Sterling’s Litigation team has been recognized in American Lawyer Litigation Daily’s “Litigators of the Week” publication for their win this week for Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) in a closely-watched securities class action litigation arising from the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.
The team was led by Adam Hakki (New York-Litigation), the Firm’s Global Managing Partner and Global Head of Disputes and Litigation Practice Group Leader, and partners Lyle Roberts (Washington DC-Litigation) and Agnès Dunogué (New York-Litigation).
ViacomCBS was one of the companies whose share prices were allegedly swept up in the March 2021 liquidation of Archegos, a family office run by billionaire investor Bill Hwang. The litigation alleged that the offering documents for the March 2021 securities offerings by ViacomCBS should have disclosed that Archegos had obtained concentrated and leveraged synthetic positions in ViacomCBS stock via total return swaps entered into with investment banks and that those swaps needed to be liquidated due to Archegos’ financial distress. The complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court, asserted claims for alleged violations of the Securities Act of 1933.
On February 7, 2023, after a lengthy hearing argued by Adam Hakki before Justice Borrok, the Court concluded that ViacomCBS had no such disclosure duty or liability, dismissing all claims against the company and its officers with prejudice.