Gregory L. Watts is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he focuses on securities and complex commercial litigation. For over twenty years, Greg has specialized in counseling and defending companies and their directors and officers in securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions, contested mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings, and internal investigations.
Greg co-authored Director and Officer Liability, 3rd Ed. (with Barry Kaplan), published by the Practising Law Institute (PLI). Greg has represented clients in over 100 securities, shareholder, and corporate governance matters.
He has had exceptional success in winning securities class action and shareholder derivative lawsuits filed against publicly-traded companies. In just the past five years, Greg has won cases for Blucora, Globus Medical, Isoray, Mentor Graphics, Novan, PowerSecure International, Seattle Genetics, Starbucks (twice), and Sterling Financial.
Due to his expertise, Greg has represented clients around the country in federal and state court, including in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Greg has extensive experience defending companies and individuals in connection with SEC investigations, including those involving financial reporting and accounting fraud allegations, disclosure issues, and potential insider trading violations. In SEC matters, he has represented clients at every stage—from the inception of an SEC inquiry through the Wells Notice (the point at which the SEC enforcement staff recommends the initiation of a lawsuit) to bench and jury trials. On many occasions, an enforcement action ultimately was not filed.
Greg frequently conducts board, audit committee, and special committee internal investigations. These investigations often are time sensitive, complex, and/or involve highly confidential corporate information, and Greg prides himself on working with board members and outside auditors to develop cost-effective investigation procedures.
- J.D., Duke University School of Law
- B.A., English Literature and Philosophy, Utah State University
ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:
- Co-chair, Northwest Securities Institute, 2013-2016
- Advisory Board Member, National Association of Corporate Directors, Northwest Chapter
- Member, Securities Committee, Washington State Bar Association
- Bar of the District of Columbia
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of Washington
- Supreme Court of California
- All federal courts in California
- All federal courts in Washington
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
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