Colleen Smith, a nationally recognized trial lawyer, serves as Global Vice Chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Professional Liability Practice as well as Global Vice Chair of the Public Company & Board Representation Practice.

Ms. Smith helps public companies successfully prevent or navigate litigation related to:

  • Securities class actions
  • M&A, activism, and Delaware corporate governance
  • SEC enforcement matters 
  • Other shareholder disputes

Ms. Smith brings a well-honed strategic view to her representations, leading teams that have saved clients billions of dollars at all stages of litigation, set precedent, and protected brand-name companies from enterprise-threatening liability. She has secured award-winning defense verdicts at trial for clients across a range of industries, including technology, and healthcare and life sciences. 

Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Smith served as a US Naval Surface Warfare Officer on the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), and was one of the first women to serve in a combatant role. 

After law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge David R. Thompson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge James H. Michael of the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia. 

Ms. Smith has represented clients in a variety of major litigation matters, including:

Securities Litigation & Trials

  • Excel Trust – Won summary judgment and dismissal of fiduciary duty claims arising from Excel Trust’s US$2 billion acquisition by Blackstone (Md. Cir. Ct. 2015)
  • General Electric – Won motion to dismiss federal securities action on behalf of General Electric related to financial disclosures. (S.D.N.Y. 2023)
  • Morgan Stanley – Won motion seeking enforcement of federal forum selection bylaw for underwriter consortium led by Morgan Stanley. (San Diego Super. 2023)
  • Lensar – Defeated preliminary injunction seeking disclosures and damages under Section 14(a). (D. Del. 2023)
  • GoodRx – Won dismissal in securities class actions challenging IPO disclosures and subsequent statements following entry into the prescription-drug pricing market by a major competitor (C.D. Cal. 2022)
  • The Trade Desk – Won dismissal on behalf of The Trade Desk and its directors and officers against claims of breach of fiduciary duty in Delaware Chancery Court (Del. Ch. 2022)
  • Alteryx – Successfully represented Alteryx, Inc. in a securities class action related to modifications of the company’s revenue forecasts (C.D.Cal. 2021)
  • Enphase Energy – Won dismissal of securities class action following short-seller report alleging inflated financials due to deferred revenue accounting and tariffs on solar products manufactured overseas (N.D. Cal. 2021)
  • Oncternal Therapeutics – Won dismissal of securities fraud class action in connection with reverse merger with GTx (S.D.N.Y. 2020)
  • Steve Wynn – Won dismissal of securities class action against Wynn Resorts founder following Wall Street Journal report and Wynn’s resignation as CEO (D. Nev. 2020)
  • Piper Sandler – Secured dismissal on behalf of underwriters in securities litigation challenging IPO of Ra Medical Systems (S.D. Cal. 2020)
  • Obalon Therapeutics – Won dismissal of Section 11 claims on behalf of medical device company in class action challenging IPO disclosures related to its chief product and related accounting (S.D. Cal. 2019)
  • Lyft and certain of its current and former executives and directors in securities class actions filed in California federal and state court involving alleged misrepresentations and omissions in registration statements filed in connection with Lyft’s high-profile IPO
  • Puma Biotechnology – At trial, defeated more than 95% of plaintiffs’ claimed damages in rare Section 10(b) securities class action to go to jury verdict, named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Verdicts of 2019 (C.D. Cal. 2019) 
  • Obalon – Obtained dismissal of nearly all claims and damages on behalf of medical device company Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. in a securities class action involving disclosures related to its medical device and related accounting (S.D. Cal. 2019)
  • Thoratec – Successfully represented Abbott subsidiary medical device company Thoratec, Inc. in connection with securities class action claims involving its HeartWare heart pumps (N.D. Cal. 2018)
  • Walmart – Successfully represented Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and was part of the team that secured dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Walmex (W.D. Ark. 2018) & (S.D.N.Y. 2018)
  • Weatherford International – Successfully represented Weatherford International in securities fraud class actions related to the Company’s restatement of certain financial statements due to tax accounting errors (S.D.N.Y. 2014); (S.D.N.Y. 2015)
  • Alphatec Spine – Won dismissal of securities fraud class action against medical device company and senior executives regarding related-party acquisition, named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Verdicts of 2013 (S.D. Cal. 2013, aff’d 9th Cir. 2015)
  • Ligand Pharmaceuticals – Won motion to dismiss securities and breach of fiduciary duty claims against Ligand Pharmaceuticals in litigation involving its acquisition of a commercial development license (E.D. Pa. 2013, aff’d 3d Cir. 2015)
  • K12 – Won dismissal of securities fraud claims against online education provider K12 in multiple securities class actions involving alleged misstatements regarding academic performance and recruiting practices (E.D. Va. 2013) & (E.D. Va. 2014)
  • STEC – Obtained unanimous defense verdict following jury trial on behalf of CEO of enterprise-class technology company in US$800 million SEC enforcement action alleging insider trading, in one of the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2014; represented the company and its founders in securities fraud class actions and derivative cases alleging disclosure violations and insider trading (C.D. Cal. 2013)
  • BioMed Realty – Secured dismissal of a “say-on-pay” derivative lawsuit against BioMed Realty’s officers and directors, commended by The Financial Times as a “notable victory” (D. Md. 2012)
  • Beckman Coulter and its officers and directors in securities fraud class action and derivative cases following reduction in guidance (C.D. Cal. 2010)
  • City of San Diego – Won a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of the City of San Diego in mass action involving estimated damages of US$200 million

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 2003
    Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review, Order of the Coif
  • BSFS, Georgetown University, 1996
March 1, 2024 Recognition

Securities Group of the Year: Latham

For the fourth time in five years, Latham has been named as a Law360 Securities Group of the Year in recognition of the firm’s tremendous success on high-profile matters that set federal and state precedent and showcase our innovative litigation strategies.