Christopher "Topher" Turner is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm's Securities Litigation & Professional Liability Practice. He has broad experience in complex commercial litigation, with a concentration on corporate governance litigation and defense of accounting and auditing firms in securities class actions. Mr. Turner has obtained dismissals of securities class actions in myriad federal courts, and otherwise secured favorable nonpublic resolutions, for many of the world’s leading companies. He has conducted internal investigations and defended companies and individuals in securities fraud investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has represented Big Four auditors in investigations by the SEC and defended auditors against the SEC Division of Enforcement in administrative hearings.
Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Turner served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas W. Thrash of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He has served for six years on the Board of Directors of Miriam’s Kitchen, a social services organization committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Turner's representative experience includes:
- Defending a financial services company against securities class actions in US District Courts for the Districts of Delaware and New Jersey.
- Defending Japanese automobile manufacturer and executives in securities class action arising out of compensation disclosures.
- Defending a Big Four accounting firm in a federal action arising out of audits of a government-sponsored entity.
- Defending German automobile manufacturer and executives in securities class action arising out of statements about diesel emissions.
- Defended a Big Four accounting firm in a federal action arising out of the bankruptcy of a Florida-based mortgage originator.
- Defended a Big Four accounting firm in a multidistrict litigation in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by shareholders and noteholders of a major financial services firm.
- Favorably resolved a securities class action and opt-out actions against the nation’s leading financial services company specializing in education.
- Successfully defended the former CFO of a medical transcription company against charges of securities fraud brought in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey by the SEC Division of Enforcement.
- Achieved the rare dismissal of all charges brought by the SEC Division of Enforcement in a Rule 102(e) proceeding against an audit partner of a Big Four accounting firm. Following a two-week hearing in 2007, the administrative law judge cleared the accountant of all charges. The Division of Enforcement appealed, and the full Commission upheld the administrative ruling and dismissed the case.
- Obtained dismissal of a securities class action in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the CEO and CFO of a wireless communications company for failure to plead scienter.
- Won dismissal, as lead counsel, of a defamation and tortious interference action in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of a Virginia-based government contractor.
- Resolved ERISA “stock-drop” actions stemming from alleged breach of fiduciary duties at major mortgage lender and healthcare provider, respectively.