Joseph M. McLaughlin has represented clients in hundreds of class action, shareholder derivative and other aggregated proceedings in trial and appellate courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court.
He successfully represented B.A.T. Industries plc as lead counsel at the federal court jury trial of a healthcare expense reimbursement action seeking multibillion-dollar damages. Joe also successfully represented 52 limited partners of LJM2 Co-Investment L.P. as lead counsel at a trial regarding the validity of the removal of the general partner, and was lead trial counsel in proceedings for the limited partners around the country.
The American Lawyer recently featured Joe as a “reliable winner” in naming him national Litigator of the Week for his New York Court of Appeals win for Countrywide Home Loans in a closely-followed residential mortgage-backed securities case, and referred to Joe as a “class action star.”
He recently obtained a rare reversal of class certification in 10b-5 litigation for Best Buy, Inc. in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, followed by another certification denial on remand, and denial of certification for Virtus Investment Partners in federal district court, achievements that received widespread media recognition.
In 2017 he also obtained appellate reversals in the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Florida Court of Appeals resulting in the dismissal of claims against Countrywide and Stonepeak Partners LP. He has extensive experience representing clients in securities and complex commercial litigation and has represented clients in all types of government and internal investigations and related trial and appellate matters.
He represented several underwriter defendants in the largest securities litigation in history, the Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, in which he served as lead counsel for scores of defendants in obtaining an order striking the class allegations in numerous cases and subsequently negotiating a favorable settlement. He frequently advises corporate boards of directors and special committees in responding to shareholder demand letters and derivative claims.
His other recent successful engagements include:
- Representation of Lorillard, Inc. and its Board in numerous shareholder lawsuits arising from a $25 billion merger;
- Representation of Petrohawk Energy Corp. and its Board in tender offer litigation in three jurisdictions arising from a $15 billion merger, including defeating an attempt to enjoin the deal;
- Halcón Resources Corp. in obtaining dismissal in the Delaware Court of Chancery of shareholder litigation challenging corporate restructuring as a related party transaction;
- Representation of Bank of America’s Countrywide subsidiaries in residential mortgage-backed securities litigation brought by monoline insurers MBIA, FGIC and Ambac;
- Representation of J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Bear Stearns in 55 industry-wide cases alleging violations of Section 16(b) short swing profit regulations in connection with certain initial public offerings, including before the Supreme Court;
- Obtaining summary judgment for Petrohawk Energy Corp. in a seminal bondholder action and before the Delaware Supreme Court in obtaining that ruling’s affirmance;
- Representation of Smithfield Foods, Inc. and its Board in shareholder litigation arising from its acquisition by Shuanghui International, including obtaining denial of objections to settlement;
- Representation of private equity firms including Blackstone, Carlyle, Centerbridge, First Reserve, Lexington Partners, Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake in numerous contested proceedings nationwide protecting confidentiality of investment information.
He is the author of the two-volume treatise, McLaughlin on Class Actions: Law and Practice (Thomson West 15th ed. 2018), which is one of the most frequently cited treatises in class action and shareholder derivative litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts around the country, and for which he was awarded the Burton Award for Legal Achievement.
He is a frequent lecturer across the country on class action, securities and corporate governance matters, and his commentary on these issues has been widely published, including in a regular column in the New York Law Journal. Joe joined Simpson Thacher in 1990 and was elected a Partner in 1997. Prior to joining the Firm, Joe served as a law clerk to the Hon. John F. Keenan in the Southern District of New York. Joe serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Mobilization for Justice.
- Fordham University School of Law, 1988 J.D.
- Fordham Law Review, Published Member
- Fordham University, 1985 B.A.
- magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- Mobilization for Justice, Board of Directors
- The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- American Bar Association
- American Law Institute
- New York 1989
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York 1990
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York 1990
- U.S. Supreme Court 1995
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