Joshua Hamilton, a first-chair trial lawyer, represents companies, boards of directors, and senior executives in securities and corporate governance-related litigation and investigations, defense of class actions, and high-stakes complex commercial litigation matters. His clients range from emerging growth-stage through Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, 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 serves in leadership roles in the Los Angeles County and Federal Bar Associations.

In securities and corporate governance litigation, Mr. Hamilton has substantial experience representing public companies, private equity and venture capital firms, special purpose entities, investment banks, and officers and directors in securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions, corporate/derivative governance disputes, and “deal cases” challenging mergers and acquisitions. 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 has established an extensive track record of delivering successful results for clients in complex litigation, trials, and arbitrations. He has significant experience representing clients in trial and appellate courts and in arbitration relating to disputes arising from complex business transactions, founder and corporate ownership claims, real estate, competitor interference, class actions, and consumer protection.

Mr. Hamilton also represents clients in internal investigations and 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.

Accolades

Among his recognitions, Mr. Hamilton has also been ranked in The Legal 500 and Chambers USA where clients noted his “bright and detail-oriented approach to securities litigation work” and that they “could not more highly recommend him.” Benchmark Litigation also named him a Benchmark Litigation Star in 2020-2023 and The Los Angeles Business Journal selected Mr. Hamilton as one of the Top Litigators in Los Angeles in 2018, an exclusive list of attorneys who “you want in your corner.” He has been recognized for his high caliber work in securities litigation by The Best Lawyers in America, and Lawdragon selected him as one of their 500 Leading Litigators in America in their respective 2023 editions. 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 also currently serves as a member of the Complex Courts Committee for LACBA and the Board of Trustees of Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Center on Law and Poverty and was a longstanding board member of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, a non-profit organization focused on providing educational opportunities for underserved minority children, and in 2016 received the Impact Award at its annual Gala.

Mr. Hamilton’s experience includes:

Securities Litigation

  • Winning complete dismissal with prejudice of both federal and state securities class actions on behalf of a fitness company and its officers and directors in a federal securities class action alleging material misstatements and omissions in IPO offering materials     
  • Winning complete dismissal on behalf of a public data storage company and its officers and directors in state and federal securities class actions and related shareholder derivative dispute relating to one of the largest initial public offerings of 2017; after successfully obtaining a stay of the first-filed state court action, obtained a complete dismissal of the federal court action, and then successfully moved to dismiss the state court action with prejudice
  • Representing a nationwide leader operating a car sharing marketplace for ridesharing through its proprietary platform in federal securities class action in the Central District of California
  • 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 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 in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of a prominent, publicly traded internet and technology company that owns and operates the largest global portfolio of popular online dating services, and members of its management and the board of directors. The case related to the spin-off transactions from the company’s former controlling stockholder. In a detailed decision, the Court found that the plaintiffs could not pursue derivative claims and that the class actions claims failed because the transaction complied with the framework laid out in Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. and therefore was subject to the business judgment rule
  • Representing an internet marketing company and its founders in defense of claims by another individual claiming he is a founder of the company and entitled to ownership rights
  • Representing owners of renewable energy companies against claims asserting ownership by third-party
  • Representing senior executives in shareholder derivative actions in multiple jurisdictions relating to alleged accounting improprieties and financial misstatements; case resulted in court-approved settlement
  • Represented 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*
  • Represented a hedge fund in dispute with purported investors over royalty payments for slate of studio motion pictures*

Complex Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

  • Led 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
  • Won 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
  • Led 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*
  • Led 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*
  • Represented LaSalle Investment Management, a Real Estate Investment Trust, in litigation relating to US$21 million option and take-out agreements*
  • Won 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

  • Investment bank in insider trading investigation
  • Former Chief Financial Officer in an investigation into company’s revenue recognition practices by SEC
  • Investigation by United States Attorney’s Office in Central District of California relating to alleged corruption in city government
  • Entertainment company in internal investigation regarding corporate culture
  • Manager of multiple real estate special purpose vehicles in formal SEC investigation relating to profit allocations and custody issues; SEC concluded the investigation with a recommendation of no charges*
  • Investment advisor in SEC enforcement investigation relating to trade allocations for client accounts
  • Former executives of lending institution in 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

Education

  • JD, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1998
    Santa Clara Law Review, Comments Editor
  • BA in Economics, Cornell University, 1995
General Recognition Thumbnail
August 13, 2018Recognition

Top Litigators in Los Angeles: Joshua Hamilton

Joshua Hamilton honored as a Top Litigator for his prominent leadership within the legal community in the Los Angeles area as well as for his stellar client successes.