S&C Obtains Dismissal of Securities Litigation Against Syneos

September 9, 2021

Syneos Health Inc. has secured the dismissal of a securities class action arising from public disclosures made about its 2017 merger with inVentiv Health. In an August 30 ruling, U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan of the Eastern District of North Carolina held that plaintiffs failed to plead a strong inference of scienter and dismissed all of plaintiffs' claims on this ground.

The plaintiffs alleged that Syneos and certain current and former members of its board and senior management knew from Syneos' merger due diligence that inVentiv's commercial segment was heavily dependent on obtaining certain client engagements that it failed to procure. The court held that defendants' alleged prior access to unspecified due diligence information was insufficient to plead scienter as a matter of Fourth Circuit law. Addressing disclosures in proxy statements, the court found that when considering the total mix of information available to a reasonable investor, including extensive and specific cautionary language, the alleged misrepresentations and omissions concerned projections and opinions on growth and were not materially misleading. 

The S&C team representing Syneos and current and former members of the board and senior management includes Brian Frawley, Thomas White, Y. Carson Zhou and Krystal Valentin.