Joshua Hamilton, a first-chair trial lawyer and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles and Century City Litigation & Trial Department, represents companies, boards of directors, and senior executives in securities and corporate governance-related litigation and investigations, defense of class actions, and other high-stakes complex commercial litigation matters. Mr. Hamilton's clients range from emerging growth-stage through Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, entertainment and media companies, investment firms, and partnerships. He is consistently recognized for successfully leading significant and complex matters in both California and other jurisdictions across the nation, and has served in leadership roles in the Los Angeles County and Federal Bar Associations.

Mr. Hamilton has established an extensive track record of delivering successful results for clients in complex litigation, trials, arbitrations, and appeals. In securities and corporate governance litigation, Mr. Hamilton has substantial experience representing public companies, private equity and venture capital firms, investment advisors, special purpose entities, investment banks, and officers and directors in securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions, corporate/derivative governance disputes, “deal cases” challenging mergers and acquisitions, and other investor-related disputes. Many of these cases involve claims arising out of public offerings, disclosure obligations, proxy contests, alleged insider trading, accounting practices, or allegations of breaches of fiduciary duties.

Mr. Hamilton also regularly represents clients in mission-critical commercial disputes that arise in the context of debt or equity raises, fiduciary duties, and contractual rights and obligations arising out of joint ventures, real estate-related matters, or media and entertainment disputes. He also has significant experience representing clients in disputes arising from founder and corporate ownership claims, competitor interference, class actions, and consumer protection. Mr. Hamilton also regularly represents clients in the entertainment and media, private capital, real estate, and financial services industries on pre-litigation strategies and diligence, resulting in many disputes that are resolved or avoided outside of litigation.  

Mr. Hamilton also represents clients in internal investigations and in investigations and proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), US Department of Justice (DOJ), and other government agencies. He regularly counsels public and private companies and their boards on corporate governance and disclosure issues.


Among his recognitions, Mr. Hamilton has been consistently ranked in Chambers USA where clients noted he “fields significant expertise in securities litigation and investigations” and that they “could not more highly recommend him.” Benchmark Litigation named him a Benchmark Litigation Star in 2020-2024, Lawdragon selected him as one of their 500 Leading Litigators in America in their respective 2023 and 2024 editions, and The Best Lawyers in America recognized him in 2023 and 2024 for his high-caliber securities litigation work. In 2024, the Los Angeles Business Journal selected Mr. Hamilton as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Los Angeles, and previously named him as one of the Top Litigators in Los Angeles in 2018, an exclusive list of attorneys who “you want in your corner.” He has also consistently been named in The Legal 500. Mr. Hamilton has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Securities Litigation by Southern California Super Lawyers every year since 2014.

Community and Professional Involvement

Mr. Hamilton is very active in bar and community activities. He is the former chair of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and served for many years on the Complex Courts Committee for LACBA and the Board of Trustees of Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He was also a longstanding member of the Board of Directors of the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs (ISA), and in 2016 received the Impact Award at the ISA's annual Gala. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Sprint Football team for Cornell University. 

Examples of Mr. Hamilton’s experience include:

Securities Litigation

  • Representing a bank in defense of claims arising out of a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by one of the bank’s former clients
  • Representing PG&E in securities litigation related to the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires 
  • Winning complete dismissal on behalf of Switch, Inc. and its officers and directors in state and federal securities class actions and related shareholder derivative dispute relating to initial public offering
  • Represented the former Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest publicly traded trucking companies in private civil stockholder litigation and criminal and SEC cases asserting charges for securities fraud and conspiracy. All criminal charges were dismissed
  • Winning complete dismissal with prejudice of both federal and state securities class actions on behalf of Yogaworks and its officers and directors in a federal securities class action alleging material misstatements and omissions in IPO offering materials
  • Winning complete dismissal with prejudice on all claims, including control person claims, on behalf of Chief Financial Officer of a public semiconductor company in a securities class action brought in the Northern District of California relating to "pull-in" allegations
  • Winning complete dismissal of all claims on behalf of a group of investment banks that served as underwriters facing a securities class action relating to an IPO and two secondary offerings of SeaWorld Entertainment stock; obtained dismissal of all claims*
  • Representing former senior officers of the then-largest lender in the country in numerous securities lawsuits and government investigations, relating to residential mortgage-backed securities, spanning a period of approximately eight years*
  • Representing a public gaming company and its senior management in a securities class action and derivative case relating to alleged accounting misstatements; cases resulted in settlements approved by the courts*
  • Winning dismissal with prejudice on behalf of closed-end mutual funds in a matter of first impression relating to charter amendments eliminating appraisal rights under Maryland law*
  • Winning at trial on behalf of Intrawest in defense of claims alleging violations of Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, a statute modeled after federal securities laws; judgment affirmed in full on appeal*
  • Representing former executives of Countrywide Financial Corporation in numerous matters relating to allegations of state and federal securities and banking law violations in connection with mortgage-backed securities; in one of the early cases, obtained dismissal with prejudice of claims against former Chief Financial Officer in a matter of first impression relating to officers’ liability for shelf-offerings and statutes of limitations*

Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance & Ownership Disputes

  • Winning dismissal with prejudice of purported stockholder class action on behalf of former board members of data storage company Switch, Inc. relating to Switch's US$11 billion going private transaction
  • Representing Match Group, Inc., and current and former members of its management and board of directors arising from US$30 billion spin-off from IAC
  • Representing senior executives in shareholder derivative actions in multiple jurisdictions relating to alleged accounting improprieties and financial misstatements; case resulted in court-approved settlement
  • Representing special review committee of independent directors in connection with a shareholder derivative demand investigation and subsequent shareholder derivative lawsuit; case resulted in settlement approved by court*
  • Representing a hedge fund in dispute with purported investors over royalty payments for slate of studio motion pictures*

Complex Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

  • Representing a global leader in data center design, development, and operations in a dispute relating to the enforcement of a restricted land covenant in northern Nevada
  • Representing nation’s largest beer distributer in federal and state court in dispute brought by beer supplier alleging unfair competition and violation of antitrust laws. After winning complete dismissal of all claims on demurrer in state court action, the federal claims were dismissed following confidential settlement 
  • Representing international testing company against competitor in lawsuit asserting claims for copyright infringement, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and breach of contract
  • Representing a high net-worth individual in state-court litigation alleging breach of settlement agreement
  • Leading team to arbitration victory on behalf of a majority partner in various real estate partnerships in dispute with its minority partner and manager relating to control of hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate assets
  • Winning motions to dismiss in favor of member of Board of Directors of entertainment company in high-profile putative class action alleging civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and state law violations
  • Leading team to arbitration victory on behalf of joint venture in claims alleging breach of environmental indemnity agreement; the case related to the development of one of the largest multi-use developments in downtown Los Angeles; obtained a multi-million dollar arbitration award and defeated all cross-claims, in addition to the client receiving a multi-million dollar award of fees as prevailing party*
  • Leading joint effort between litigation and legislative affairs group resulting in Congress unanimously enacting the Credit and Debit Card Clarification Act of 2007; the statute retroactively amended the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), resulting in elimination of damages for hundreds of companies across the country*
  • Winning at both the district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in obtaining dismissal on behalf of Kroger Co. and its subsidiaries and employees in defense of claims brought under RICO*

Government and Internal Investigations

  • Representing an investment bank in insider trading investigation
  • Representing an entertainment company in internal investigation regarding corporate culture
  • Representing a former Chief Financial Officer in an investigation into the company’s revenue recognition practices by SEC
  • Representing a client in an investigation by United States Attorney’s Office in Central District of California relating to alleged corruption in city government
  • Representing a manager of multiple real estate special purpose vehicles in a formal SEC investigation relating to profit allocations and custody issues; SEC concluded the investigation with a recommendation of no charges*
  • Representing an investment advisor in a SEC enforcement investigation relating to trade allocations for client accounts
  • Representing former executives of a lending institution in a DOJ investigation under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989; after a two-year investigation, the DOJ closed its investigations with no charges being filed*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Recent Thought Leadership and Speaking Engagements

  • 53rd and 54th Annual Los Angeles County Bar Associate Securities Regulation Seminar – Panelist (October 2021 and October 2022)
  • “US Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (June 2020)
  • “Supreme Court Ruling Extends Reach of Primary Liability for Securities Fraud,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (April 2019)
  • “Supreme Court: SLUSA Does Not Prohibit State Court Jurisdiction Over Securities Act Class Actions,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (March 2018)
  • “Speaking on Spokeo: Ninth Circuit Dismisses FACTA Lawsuit,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (March 2018)
  • “Navigating the Media in High-Profile Cases,” Daily Journal (February 2018)
  • “Supreme Court Questions ‘Obtuse ’ Statute Addressing Jurisdiction Over Securities Act Claims,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (December 2017)
  • “Divided Second Circuit Broadens Personal Benefit Test for Insider Trading Liability,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (September 2017)
  • “Tolling Securities Claims: ‘In No Event’ Means ... What It Says,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (July 2017)
  • “US Supreme Court: Disgorgement Is a Penalty, Limiting SEC’s Reach,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (June 2017)
  • “Minimizing Potential Litigation & Regulatory Risks for Crowdfunding Platforms,” Crowdfund Insider (June 2017)
  • “Ninth Circuit Applies Omnicare to Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 Claims,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (May 2017)
  • ICO Summit 2.0 – Panelist, ICO Litigation and Enforcement Issues (April 2018)
  • 50th Annual Los Angeles County Bar Associate Securities Regulation Seminar – Panelist, The SEC Whistleblower Program (October 2017)
  • 51st Annual Los Angeles County Bar Associate Securities Regulation Seminar – Moderator, The SEC Whistleblower Program (October 2018)
  • 52nd Annual Los Angeles County Bar Associate Securities Regulation Seminar – Panelist, Ethics: Considerations for all lawyers in Transactions and Investigations (October 2019)

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1998
    Comments Editor, Santa Clara Law Review
  • BA in Economics, Cornell University, 1995