Steven M. Schatz is a senior litigator, specializing in shareholder disputes and financial fraud matters. He is often called on to provide counseling to boards of directors and senior management on sensitive confidential issues. As civil litigator and a former federal prosecutor, he has tried numerous cases, including as lead trial counsel in the litigation over the merger between Hewlett-Packard and Compaq in the Delaware Chancery Court.
Steve represented Hewlett-Packard, who prevailed in the trial. Since that time, he has continued to represent Hewlett-Packard in many of its most significant litigations. He also has argued more than 25 times in various federal Courts of Appeals, as well as before the Supreme Courts of California and Delaware.
From 1975 to 1979, Steve was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. His successful jury trials included the prosecution of Allen Klein, former manager of the Beatles. Previously, Steve served as a law clerk to Judge Walter Mansfield of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Since joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a partner in 1984, Steve has served in nearly every leadership position at the firm, including chair of the litigation practice, chair of the Compensation Committee, and member of the Executive Committee. He currently serves as a member of the firm’s Policy Committee.
Steve’s current practice has three main components. First is his defense of companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions and derivative suits. He has been lead counsel in approximately 100 such cases over the last 20 years in courts around the country.
The second part of his practice consists of internal investigations and representations before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, primarily in connection with allegations of financial fraud and complex disclosure issues. An important component of this practice is to provide advice and guidance on corporate governance issues and on dealing with regulators based on his extensive experience.
Steve has experience in a wide variety of accounting issues, whistleblower claims, and has handled numerous insider-trading matters and alleged violations of Regulation FD. For example, Steve was counsel to Siebel Systems in the first successful challenge to Reg FD, which resulted in a dismissal of the complaint in the in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The third leg of his practice consists of complex civil litigation. Steve has been lead counsel in numerous merger and acquisition litigations, including for Freescale Semiconductor, Tibco, and Infogroup, as well as major matters for such companies as Advent Software, Strayer Education, and H&R Block; for financial institutions such as PRTM, Lazard Freres, Silver Lake, and Credit Suisse; and for a number of venture capital firms.
Recognized for his expertise, Steve has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on securities reform and is a frequent speaker at litigation- and securities-related programs. He served as president of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California). Steve currently serves on the Dean’s Council of Columbia Law School and has served on the Agenda for Excellence Council for the University of Pennsylvania.
- J.D., Columbia University Law School, 1972
Notes and Comments Editor, Columbia Law Review; Recipient of Class of 1912 Prize
- B.A., Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1969
ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:
- Steering Committee Member, Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School
- Member, Dean’s Council, Columbia Law School
- Bar of the District of Columbia
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of New York
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