Sharon Nelles, a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Group and member of the Firm’s Managing Partners Committee, represents financial institutions and global companies in the kinds of high-profile, critical company matters that implicate not only civil litigation but also related regulatory, congressional and criminal investigations and enforcement actions. She is currently active in many matters arising from the subprime mortgage crisis.
Ms. Nelles has represented such clients as Moody’s, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered Bank, Microsoft and Diageo in class action and other complex litigation, including the Microsoft indirect purchaser cases, the JPMorgan Chase/Bank One merger litigations and the Goldman Sachs mutual funds fee disputes. She has tried cases in the state and federal courts on behalf of such clients as Microsoft, Eastman Kodak Company and General Bank, and has represented prominent firms and individuals in proceedings before the Department of Justice, the United States Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several state attorneys general.
Ms. Nelles frequently conducts investigations for corporate clients, special committees and boards of directors.
Selected Civil Cases
- Lead counsel to Moody’s Corporation and its officers and directors in consolidated shareholder class action litigation concerning the Company’s rating of mortgage-backed securities. Successfully defeated class certification in trial court and U.S. Court of Appeals. Successfully achieved non-monetary settlement of related derivative litigation. (Southern District of New York/2d Circuit)
- Lead counsel to Standard Chartered Bank in coordinated multidistrict litigation arising out of the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, including two putative class actions. Successfully sent one class action to arbitration and obtained dismissal of the other. (Southern District of New York)
- Lead counsel to The St. Joe Company in putative class action and derivative litigation brought in the wake of a highly critical presentation by short-seller David Einhorn. Successfully defended dismissal of the case, on three separate grounds, in the U.S. Court of Appeals. (Northern District of Florida/11th Circuit)
- Coordinating counsel, lead counsel and/or settlement counsel to JPMorgan Chase in its defense of dozens of litigations brought by, among others, direct investors in and monoline insurer of residential mortgage backed securities. (Federal and state courts throughout the United States)
- Lead counsel to JPMorgan Chase, JP Morgan Securities and current and former members of JPMorgan Chase’s board of directors in multidistrict class action litigation related to the company’s 2004 merger with Bank One. Obtained dismissal of all state-court actions. Negotiated and obtained final approval of global non-monetary settlement of federal securities class cases. (Delaware/Northern District of Illinois)
- Lead counsel to Standard Chartered bank in an aiding and abetting mass action brought by Brazilian investors against Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of America arising out of those banks’ correspondent relationships with Bank of Europe. Obtained dismissal of all claims on summary judgment. (Southern District of New York)
- Counsel, coordinating counsel and/or settlement counsel to Microsoft in its defense of hundreds of consumer class actions brought around the country by end-users of Microsoft software and direct purchasers of Microsoft software following the Department of Justice’s antitrust case United States v. Microsoft. (Multidistrict Litigation coordinated in the District of Maryland; state cases throughout the United States)
- Trial counsel for Microsoft in its defense of more than a dozen consumer class actions alleging anti-trust damages and business fraud claims, including a seven week jury trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a sixteen week jury trial in Des Moines, Iowa. Both cases settled on terms favorable to Microsoft. (Federal and state courts throughout the United States)
- Trial counsel for Microsoft in Novell v. Microsoft, an eight week jury trial in Salt Lake City. Successfully defended against any award in favor of hometown plaintiff Novell. (District of Utah)
Selected White-Collar and Regulatory Matters
- Current counsel to U.S. and non-U.S. companies in significant non-public investigations by the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several state attorneys general concerning the subprime mortgage crisis, alleged accounting frauds, RICO, money-laundering, market-timing and market manipulation.
- Counsel to Moody’s Investors Service in an industry-wide investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office into practices for rating subprime instruments.
- Counsel to Microsoft Corporation in SEC investigation of its accounting for revenue, assets and liabilities.
- Counsel to Diageo in an industry-wide investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office into spirits and wine distribution practices.
Selected Professional Activities and Community Involvement
- Member, Resource Board, National Association of Women Judges
- Co-President, Board of Directors, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA)
Selected Rankings and Recognitions
- The Legal 500, United States, Volume 3: Litigation – Recommended Lawyer for Securities: Shareholder Litigation (2010, 2011)
- The Legal 500, United States, Volume 3: Litigation – Recommended Lawyer for White Collar Criminal Defense (2011)
- The Legal 500, United States, Volume 3: Litigation – Recommended Lawyer for Antitrust Litigation (2007-2009)
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – recognized as a leading litigator in Antitrust (2007-2010)
- Lawdragon 500 – selected as one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” (2009-2010, 2011, 2012)
- The American Lawyer – selected as one of “The Young Litigators Fab 50” – 50 litigators under 45 who are expected to be “leading the field for years to come” (January 1, 2007)
- Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – cited as a leading practitioner in Litigation (2009-2013)
- New York Super Lawyers (Metro Edition) – recognized as a leading lawyer in Securities, Antitrust and Criminal Defense: White Collar Litigation (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
The Honorable Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr.,
United States District Court D., NH,
1993 - 1995