Gavin M. Masuda

San Francisco
  • 505 Montgomery Street
  • Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94111-6538
  • USA

Gavin Masuda is a partner in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Professional Liability, White Collar Defense & Investigations, and Complex Commercial Litigation Practices.

Mr. Masuda regularly advises accounting firms, companies, and financial institutions on a range of securities litigation and complex commercial litigation matters, including:

  • Civil securities class actions arising under federal and state law
  • Actions alleging professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Shareholder derivative actions
  • Internal investigations
  • Regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings (including before the SEC and the PCAOB)
  • Implementation of regulatory guidance and auditing standards
  • Actions involving the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets

Mr. Masuda draws on extensive experience representing Big Four accounting firms and their international affiliates in connection with some of the largest corporate failures, financial frauds, and restatements of the past decade. His recent notable victories include:

  • Securing first-ever decision by state trial court enforcing a company’s federal forum selection clause to dismiss state court Section 11 lawsuit (In re Restoration Robotics Securities Litigation)
  • Convincing United States Supreme Court to grant petition for writ of certiorari to decide whether PSLRA discovery stay applies in state court (In re Pivotal Securities Litigation)
  • Securing successful resolutions on behalf of a Big Four accounting firm of actions arising from recent investment schemes resulting in SEC Receivership actions

Mr. Masuda is an advocate for diversity at Latham and in the legal profession. He is the partner in charge of recruiting for Latham’s San Francisco office, served as Global Leader of Latham’s Asian Lawyers Group, and is active with the California Minority Counsel Program. He has also served on Latham’s Ethics Committee.

Mr. Masuda’s experience includes representing:

  • Big Four accounting firm in connection with:
    • Civil litigation arising from the receivership of Direct Lending Investments
    • Numerous civil litigation and regulatory matters arising from the failure of Washington Mutual Bank, the largest bank failure in United States history
    • Numerous civil litigation matters regarding Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Company, involving claimed losses in excess of US$2 billion
    • A putative securities class action and five separate “mass actions” pending in state and federal courts, alleging that Deloitte “participated or materially aided” certain securities sales by Aequitas Capital Management, in violation of the Oregon Securities Laws
  • Morgan Stanley and fourteen other financial institutions that underwrote the initial public offering of Pivotal Software in parallel state and federal Section 11 class actions
  • Larry Ellison and Safra Catz in a shareholder derivative lawsuit pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with Oracle’s 2016 acquisition of NetSuite
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company in numerous securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions arising from North Bay fire events
  • Restoration Robotics in parallel state and federal Section 11 class actions
  • Big Four accounting firm in state court Section 11 class action arising from the merger of Rentrak with comScore
  • Ubiquiti Networks in securities fraud class action, securing dismissal of fraud claims against the company’s CEO and CFO, and affirmation by the Ninth Circuit on appeal
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company in connection with a California shareholder derivative matter arising from the 2010 explosion in San Bruno, obtaining significant recovery on behalf of PG&E, while avoiding contentious litigation during the pendency of the federal criminal indictment against the company
  • Coinbase in federal Section 11 class action related to its 2021 direct listing
  • Big Four accounting firms against investigations by various federal agencies including the Department of Justice, the SEC, and the PCAOB
  • Former directors and officers of Frontier Bank against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Big Four accounting firm in civil actions alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and other intellectual property rights
  • Western Digital against allegations of trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract

Mr. Masuda also maintains an active pro bono practice, including as co-counsel to Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in a federal action against Daly City seeking to enforce California’s “sanctuary state” laws, specifically the TRUTH and VALUES Acts.

Thought Leadership
  • “Supreme Court to Decide Whether PSLRA Discovery Stay Applies in State Court,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (July 2021), also published in The Harvard Law School Forum for Corporate Governance
  • “Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Validity of Federal Forum Selection Bylaws For Securities Act Claims,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (March 2020), also published in The Harvard Law School Forum for Corporate Governance
  • “Complex and Novel Section 11 Liability Issues of Direct Listings,” Latham & Watkins Article (December 2019) 
  • “9th Circuit Puts to Rest Decade-Old Northstar Litigation,” Latham & Watkins Article (November 2018) 
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