Shearman & Sterling's Litigation Group is strongly positioned to counsel and protect clients in today's challenging environment. With more than 130 attorneys in the United States, Europe and Asia, our team is ready to assist in any crisis, whether the adversary is a government regulator, a competitor, or a well-funded class action attorney.

Never before have our clients faced the array of potential controversies that they do today. Prosecutions and enforcement proceedings relating to alleged business improprieties are at an all time high. Settlements in securities and antitrust class actions regularly break previous records. What were once mundane commercial disputes have transformed into "scorched earth" battles in which adversaries root through millions of emails and electronic documents.

Such challenging times demand attorneys with the experience to counsel clients through difficult problems and the fortitude to bring a case to trial if that is the necessary course. Our lawyers have experience in a wide range of substantive areas including securities, criminal law enforcement, antitrust, commercial disputes, intellectual property and arbitration. We are trial-ready and trial-tested. Our partners include several former prosecutors who have tried dozens of jury trials in United States courts. The Shearman & Sterling Litigation Group has regularly represented parties in major trials in state and federal courts. We are equally strong in the arbitration area, handling numerous contested proceedings every year.

Global Compliance & Anticorruption (FCPA) 

Shearman & Sterling’s Global Compliance & Anticorruption practice is widely recognized as one of the most sophisticated law practices in the world, with a team led by former DOJ prosecutors and SEC enforcement attorneys with decades of experience advising clients on anticorruption compliance reviews, investigations and enforcement actions. We have been involved with many of the largest, most complex and far-reaching anticorruption cases subject to the oversight of the DOJ, SEC and international governmental authorities.

Our depth of experience enables us to provide a wide range of anticorruption services to clients internationally, including:

  • Conducting risk assessment and evaluations of existing compliance programs
  • Conducting investigations
  • Developing and implementing anticorruption compliance programs
  • Conducting training for legal, compliance, audit and business teams, as well as boards and audit committees
  • Representing corporate and individual interests in government investigations
  • Conducting transactional and third-party due diligence

The quality of our practice has been recognized by government regulators who have appointed our partners as independent monitors to conduct in-depth compliance reviews in dozens of countries, earning us a relationship of trust and credibility in the profession.

With experienced lawyers on the ground in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America, we represent multinational clients seamlessly and cost-efficiently across business lines and geographic locations. We provide local know-how and culturally sensitive advice, while always bearing in mind the need to minimize the impact on clients’ businesses and other reputational and regulatory risks.

White Collar Defense & Investigations 

With decades of experience, multi-jurisdictional capabilities and a reputation for toughness and integrity, Shearman & Sterling is strongly positioned to guide clients through today’s challenging criminal law and regulatory enforcement environment.

To address client needs in today's global regulatory and enforcement environment, Shearman & Sterling’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice draws on attorneys in a number of different practice areas around the world. Our Litigation attorneys in the United States, Europe and Asia include numerous former government prosecutors and regulators who, collectively, have tried well over 100 jury trials and represent clients before all of the major government investigating agencies. Our Antitrust attorneys represent clients before competition authorities in the United States and throughout Europe. Our Financial Institutions Advisory practice includes a focus on regulatory and compliance matters on behalf of a wide variety of financial institutions and infrastructure providers in all of the key global financial centers.

Together, these attorneys have a depth of experience that is uniquely well suited to respond promptly and effectively to criminal and enforcement proceedings around the world. Some of the types of proceedings that we regularly handle include:

Securities: Investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and SEC, as well as financial regulators in Europe and Asia. Our experience includes matters relating to insider trading, false statements, market manipulation, market abuse and accounting fraud. Our related experience in private securities class actions ensures that we can cover all aspects of a securities problem.

Corruption and Money-Laundering: We have represented parties in many of the largest investigations under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as anti-corruption laws in other countries. As governments worldwide become increasingly cooperative in adopting uniform anti-corruption laws and mutual assistance treaties, the need for attorneys experienced in multi-jurisdictional proceedings is essential.

Competition: Criminal investigations and enforcement proceedings against alleged cartels and other anti-competitive activity have increased in the United States, Europe and Asia, with record fines being imposed in recent years. We regularly represent parties in such cases before the U.S. Department of Justice, the European Union and other authorities. Our related experience in private antitrust litigation ensures that we can handle all aspects of an antitrust problem.

Financial Institutions: Financial institutions face an extensive array of regulations concerning the confidentiality of information, regulatory audits, trading procedures and other aspects of their business. We represent a wide variety of businesses in the finance sector—including banks; broker-dealers; commodities, futures and derivatives participants; asset management funds, managers and administrators; exchanges and other infrastructure providers; and insurance/reinsurance companies—faced with criminal and enforcement proceedings for purported violations of such regulations in numerous jurisdictions.

Representation of Individual Executives: The representation of individual executives who become the targets of government enforcement proceedings requires special skill and experience. We are committed in such cases to guiding our clients through every facet of a case with constant attention to making certain that the client understands all procedural issues and achieving the best possible result.

Securities Litigation & Enforcement 

The Sarbanes Oxley Act, aggressive regulators, and well-funded class action attorneys have ushered in a new era of high-stakes securities litigation. We handle all such matters, including shareholder class actions, SEC proceedings, corporate governance issues, contested takeovers, and shareholder disputes. Our securities practice draws not only on our litigation attorneys with experience in that area but also on our top-tier corporate transactional practice, which has been involved in cutting edge securities issues for many years.

Antitrust Litigation 

We work in coordination with our Antitrust Group on private and regulatory competition matters, including Sherman Act Section 1 price-fixing claims, Sherman Act Section 2 monopolization claims, and claims arising under state antitrust and unfair competition laws. Our antitrust attorneys are located in the United States and throughout Europe, and can represent parties in multiple jurisdictions, and in both private and regulatory proceedings.

Complex Commercial Litigation 

We have represented corporations, partnerships, joint ventures and other entities in a variety of business-related disputes relating to breach of contract, fraud, professional malpractice, business torts, and insurance and reinsurance matters.

Intellectual Property Litigation 

Shearman & Sterling’s intellectual property litigation team is focused on meeting our clients’ goals, whether that means winning a case at trial, minimizing litigation costs, negotiating a business resolution or charting a course to avoid litigation entirely. Our approach at the beginning of every matter is to understand our clients’ business needs and direct all of our efforts toward achieving them. Because of this, our long-term clients bring us in for a conversation long before any complaint is filed.

Our intellectual property litigation practice offers a full range of legal services relating to the defense, enforcement and commercial exploitation of patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as the defense of products and services facing a threat from others’ intellectual property assets. Fully integrated into our 100-plus lawyer litigation and global arbitration practices, our services include:

  • litigation and dispute resolution in district courts, at the International Trade Commission and before arbitral panels;
  • inter partes and ex parte post-grant validity proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office;
  • patent opinions and analyses;
  • IP licensing; and
  • strategic counseling regarding litigation and portfolio management.

Through our extensive international footprint, we serve as global coordinating counsel in multi-jurisdictional cases and have extensive experience working with the most qualified firms in local jurisdictions.

M&A Litigation 

Clients rely on Shearman & Sterling to provide a one-stop solution for the most complex M&A transactions, the associated due diligence, as well as any litigation that may ultimately arise. Our litigators work closely with our transactional M&A attorneys and are often involved at the earliest stages of the transaction to provide advice and guidance throughout the process. This seamless cross-practice approach allows us to focus on our clients’ overarching business needs and to tailor both the transactional and potential litigation strategy accordingly.

Our M&A litigators represent corporations, investment banks, boards of directors, special committees and other major players involved in high-stakes transactional litigation. Our lawyers have extensive experience litigating transactional claims arising from a variety of areas, including:

  • Acquisitions
  • Contested mergers
  • Hostile takeovers
  • De-mergers and spin-offs
  • Proxy contests
  • Joint venture disputes
  • Emergency injunctive actions
  • Shareholder class actions
  • Appraisals
  • Post-closing and material adverse event (MAE) disputes
  • Derivative actions
  • Breach of contract
  • Regulatory matters
  • Anticorruption due diligence