Peter A. Wald

  • Partner
  • Epeter.wald@lw.com
  • 505 Montgomery Street
  • Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94111-6538
  • USA
  • T +1.415.395.8006
  •  
 

Profile

Peter A. Wald is a partner in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins, and a member of the Securities Litigation & Professional Liability Practice. He served as the Global Chair of Latham’s Litigation & Trial Department from 2004-2011. In 2015, he was named a Securities MVP by Law360 for leading Allergan in its successful fight to block a hostile takeover.

Mr. Wald is a nationally recognized litigator with extensive trial and appellate experience in complex commercial cases, including securities and professional liability, antitrust and unfair competition, civil RICO, fraud, patent, copyright, and trade secrets matters. Representative clients include Allergan, Alphatec, Arthur Andersen, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, K12, Navient, Oracle, Omnicom, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Sallie Mae, Southern California Edison, Ubiquiti Networks, Wal-Mart Stores, and Weatherford.

He has twice been recognized by The Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California, with the paper stating: “Wald’s client list reads like a who’s who of companies affected by the financial crises in the early and late 2000s.” Mr. Wald has also been recognized twice by Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America and one of the 100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation. Mr. Wald is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and is listed as a leading securities litigation attorney in Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers and the Legal 500 US

Mr. Wald is a member of the Board of Trustees of University High School in San Francisco, California. He is also an active supporter of the San Francisco Legal Aid Society and the Bay Area All Stars, a non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco that sponsors after-school educational and performance arts activities for underprivileged youth.

 

Experience

Mr. Wald has extensive experience representing corporations and their officers and directors, financial services, professional services, and accounting firms in financial fraud cases. Select matters include:

Trials
  • Secured a defense verdict for Ernst & Young following a three-week federal court jury trial in a securities fraud class action involving Clarent Corporation. The Daily Journal selected this matter as their 2005 Defense Verdict of the Year. (N.D. Cal.) (2005)
  • Secured a US$18.5 million federal court jury verdict (including US$9 million in punitive damages) plus US$6 million in attorneys’ fees on behalf of Tyco Electronics against a former electronics distributor for theft of trade secrets and interference with contract, and successfully defended the distributor’s US$1 billion monopolization claim. Secured affirmance by the 9th Circuit. (C.D. Cal.) (2003)
  • Successfully defended Price Waterhouse against professional malpractice and breach of contract claims brought by its audit client, the City of San Jose. Following a seven-month federal court trial during which the plaintiff sought US$54 million in damages, the jury returned a verdict against Price Waterhouse for US$517,000. On appeal to the 9th Circuit, the award was reduced to US$72,000 (N.D. Cal.) (1993)
  • Secured a defense verdict on all claims for Sperry Corporation following a six-week federal court jury trial related to breach of contract and theft of trade secrets claims. (N.D. Cal.) (1985)
Arbitrations
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of professional malpractice and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty in a US$1.6 billion lawsuit. Following a two-week arbitration but before any award was rendered, claimant settled the case for a nominal payment. (2011)
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of professional malpractice, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation in a US$300 million lawsuit. Following a three-week hearing the panel rendered a defense award. (2010)
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of professional malpractice and breach of contract in a US$500 million lawsuit. Following an eight-day hearing the panel rendered a defense award. (2008)
  • Successfully represented a multinational corporation in a complex arbitration with its joint venture partner concerning the funding and future of the venture. (2008)
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of malpractice and breach of contract in a US$300 million lawsuit. Following a two-week hearing the panel rendered a defense award. (2007)
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of malpractice and breach of contract in a US$75 million lawsuit. Following a three-week arbitration, the three-arbitrator panel rendered a defense award. (2006)
  • Successfully defended a national professional services firm against claims of malpractice and breach of contract in a US$30 million lawsuit. Following a three-week arbitration, the three-arbitrator panel rendered a defense award. (2006)
  • Successfully represented a national grocery chain in a five-week arbitration with a warehouse logistics operator over claims to reimbursement for certain costs. (2002)
  • Successfully defended a professional services firm against claims of malpractice and breach of contract in a US$300 million lawsuit arising from the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software platform. Following a three-week hearing the panel rendered a defense award. (2001)
  • Successfully defended a national accounting firm against claims of fraud, malpractice and breach of contract in a US$200 million lawsuit. Following a two-week arbitration, the three-arbitrator panel rendered a defense award. (2001) 
Motions for Summary Judgment
  • Secured summary judgment for Quality Systems in a several hundred million dollar fraud case brought by a former director and major shareholder. (Orange County Superior Court) (2015)
  • Secured summary judgment for Larry Ellison and Oracle in a US$3 billion securities fraud class action and secured affirmance by the 9th Circuit. (2010)
  • Secured summary judgment for John Wren and Omnicom in a US$3 billion securities fraud class action and secured affirmance by the 2nd Circuit. (2010)
  • Secured summary judgment for Ernst & Young in a US$2 billion securities fraud class action relating to Williams Communications. (2007) 
Motion Practice and Settlements
  • Successfully represented Allergan in litigation arising from the US$53 billion hostile takeover attempt by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Pershing Square.  The transaction was named The American Lawyer’s 2015 Global M&A Deal of the Year: U.S. (2015)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Alphatec and secured affirmance by the 9th Circuit. The Daily Journal named this a Top Defense Verdict of 2013. (2015)
  • Successfully represented OSI Systems and certain of its officers and directors in a securities fraud class action and related derivative lawsuits. (2015)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Gold Resource and secured affirmance by the 10th Circuit. (2015)
  • Successfully represented Impax Laboratories and certain of its officers and directors in securities fraud class actions and related derivative lawsuits. (2015)
  • Successfully represented the officers and directors of Questcor in a securities fraud class action. (2015)
  • Successfully represented Bernard Duroc-Danner and Weatherford International in securities fraud class actions related to the Company’s restatement of certain financial statements due to tax accounting errors. (2015)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Stereotaxis. (2014)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against United Western Bancorp and secured affirmance by the 10th Circuit. (2014)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Ubiquiti Networks. (2014)
  • Successfully represented Medicis Pharmaceutical and its board of directors in litigation seeking to enjoin a US$2.6 billion merger. (2014)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Ernst & Young stemming from the collapse of IndyMac Bank. (2014)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against JP Morgan Securities, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Securities and RBC Capital Markets Corporation relating to Motricity. (2013)
  • Successfully represented Quest Software and its board of directors in litigation seeking to enjoin a US$2.4 billion “go-private” transaction. (2013)
  • Secured dismissal of a "say-on-pay" derivative lawsuit against BioMed Realty's officers and directors. The Financial Times “commended” this “notable victory.” (2012)
  • Successfully represented SLM, the world’s largest student lending company, in a securities fraud class action. (2012) 
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Deloitte & Touche arising from the failure of First Regional Bank. (2012)
  • Secured dismissal of all Section 11 and most Section 10(b) claims against Ernst & Young arising from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. (2011)
  • Successfully defended a securities fraud class action against Deloitte & Touche stemming from the failure of Washington Mutual, Inc., the largest bank failure in United States history. (2011)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Deloitte & Touche arising from the failure of Franklin Bank. (2011)
  • Secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against The9 (Chinese licensor of multiplayer online video game Worlds of Warcraft). (2011)
  • Successfully defended Arthur Andersen in various civil and regulatory proceedings arising out of Enron Corporation’s collapse. (2010)
  • Secured dismissal of an aiding and abetting fraud claim against Ernst & Young stemming from the Refco fraud. (2009)
  • Successfully represented the officers and directors of Power Integrations in stock options backdating litigation. (2008)
  • Successfully defended The London Pacific Group in litigation arising from its management of a high-yield investment portfolio, securing dismissal of plaintiff’s federal and state court complaints (including civil RICO claims) and recovering attorneys’ fees in both proceedings. (1998)
Current Engagements
  • Currently representing Southern California Edison as Claimant in a US$6 billion ICC arbitration against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries relating to the manufacture of defective nuclear steam generators. (ICC International Court of Arbitration)
  • Currently representing Deloitte & Touche in a US$2 billion professional negligence claim brought by Freddie Mac arising from the failure of mortgage originator Taylor, Bean and Whitaker. (S.D. Fla.)
  • Currently representing ABN Amro in litigation brought by Irving Picard, Trustee, relating to the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Currently representing certain officers and directors of the former Frontier Financial Corporation and its banking subsidiary, Frontier Bank, in a breach of fiduciary duty case brought by the FDIC following the bank’s failure. (W.D. Wash.) 
  • Currently representing Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico, in two high-profile and closely watched securities class actions pending in the US District Courts for the Western District of Arkansas and the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. Plaintiffs claim that Wal-Mart and its subsidiary improperly failed to disclose a past investigation into alleged bribery activities in Mexico, which was the focus of several front page articles in The New York Times. (W.D.Ark.) (S.D.N.Y.)

Thought Leadership

  • 9th Circuit Puts to Rest Decade-Old Northstar Litigation -  November 06, 2018
  • Video Series: Germany‚Äôs Declaratory Model Action (DMA) -  October 29, 2018
  • International Arbitration: Resolving a World of Disputes -  January 25, 2016
  • Taking a Second Look at the Corporate Benefit Doctrine -  January 08, 2014
  • Guest Column: The Second Circuit Opines on Loss Causation in Omnicom -  March 30, 2010
  • The Second Circuit Issues Latest Opinion On Loss Causation In Omnicom -  March 29, 2010
  • Securities Litigation and Professional Liability Practice, Issue 14 -  2006 In Review
Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers has referred to Mr. Wald as “a fantastic litigator, one of the best in the country,” “brilliant,” “a formidable adversary,” “an outstandingly strategic and creative attorney,” and “a leading light in the [national] securities litigation bar.” Clients appreciate that “he is an extremely tough negotiator, an excellent oral advocate and a canny strategist.”Chambers USA 2019
Bar Qualification
  • California
Education
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1977
    magna cum laude. Notes Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • AB, Brown University, 1974
    magna cum laude. Phi Beta Kappa (Junior Year)
Practices
  • International Arbitration
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Activism
  • Complex Commercial Litigation