Joshua Hamilton is a partner in the Los Angeles and Century City offices of Latham & Watkins. His practice focuses on complex litigation and trials, representing companies and senior executives in securities and corporate governance-related litigation and investigations, defense of class actions, and other high-stakes commercial disputes. Mr. Hamilton is a first-chair trial lawyer with jury trial, bench trial, and arbitration experience. He represents clients ranging from emerging growth stage through mature, public companies and investment firms. He is a member of the firm's Securities Litigation & Professional Liability; Complex Commercial Litigation; White Collar Defense & Investigations; and Entertainment, Sports & Media Practices. He is also a former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Mr. Hamilton is regularly recognized as a leading attorney. Among his recognitions, The Los Angeles Business Journal selected 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 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.”
In securities litigation, Mr. Hamilton has substantial experience representing investment firms, public and private companies, and officers and directors in civil proceedings involving private plaintiffs, as well as in actions and investigations initiated by government agencies. He represents clients in securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions, corporate 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 also represents clients in investigations and proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and other government agencies. Further, Mr. Hamilton counsels public and private companies and their boards on corporate governance and disclosure issues, and represents special committees of boards of directors in internal investigations.
Mr. Hamilton has deep and substantial experience representing and advising clients in the mutual fund, hedge fund, private equity, venture capital, and investment management industries in litigation, counseling, and regulatory investigations and proceedings.
Mr. Hamilton’s practice in complex litigation and trials is also vast. He has significant experience representing clients in both the trial and appellate courts in class action, commercial, and real estate-related lawsuits, including but not limited to claims alleging breach of contract, unfair business practices, trademark infringement, fraud, racketeering and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law (section 17200), and other state and federal consumer protection laws.
Chambers USA ranked Mr. Hamilton in 2016-2018 as Up and Coming in the field of Securities Litigation, where clients noted his “creativity and thoroughness, and his ability to approach a case in a unique way which gets good results.” He was also named a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 for Securities Litigation in 2018. Mr. Hamilton has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Securities Litigation every year from 2014-2019 by Southern California Super Lawyers and as a Rising Star for each of the prior eight years (2006-2013). In 2010, he was named as a Top 20 Lawyer Under 40 in California by The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.
Mr. Hamilton is very active in bar and community activities. He is 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. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Center of Law and Poverty and on the Board of Trustees of the Federal Bar Association.
Mr. Hamilton's representative experience includes:
- Securities Class Actions Relating to Initial Public Offering: Currently representing company and its officers and directors in state and federal securities class actions relating to one of the largest initial public offerings of 2017.
- Shareholder Derivative Actions Relating to Accounting Misstatements: Representing senior executives in shareholder derivative actions in multiple jurisdictions relating to alleged accounting improprieties and financial misstatements.
- Complete Dismissal in Securities Class Action for Chief Financial Officer: Obtained dismissal with prejudice on all claims, including control person claims, brought against a former Chief Financial Officer of a public semiconductor company in a securities class action brought in the Northern District of California.
- SeaWorld Entertainment Securities Class Action: As counsel for a group of investment banks that served as underwriters, obtained dismissal of all claims brought against underwriters relating to an IPO and two secondary offerings of stock of SeaWorld Entertainment.*
- RICO Class Action: Represent defendant in high-profile putative class action alleging civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and state law violations.
- SEC Investigation of Real Estate SPVs: Represented 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.*
- SEC Trade Allocation Investigation: Represented investment advisor in SEC enforcement investigation relating to trade allocations for client accounts.
- DOJ FIRREA Investigation: Successfully represented former executives of lending institution in Department of Justice 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.*
- RMBS Securities Lawsuits: Successfully represented former senior officers of then the largest lender in the country in numerous securities lawsuits and government investigations spanning a period of approximately 8 years.*
- Securities Class Action for Public Gaming Company: Represented 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.*
- Derivative Litigation for Closed-End Fund: Representation of special review committee of independent directors of a closed-end mutual fund in connection with a shareholder derivative demand investigation and subsequent shareholder derivative lawsuit. Case resulted in settlement approved by court.*
- Appraisal Litigation: In matter of first impression relating to charter amendments eliminating appraisal rights under Maryland law, obtained dismissal with prejudice on behalf of closed end mutual funds in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland.*
- Commercial Arbitration Victory: Successfully represented joint venture as first-chair in commercial arbitration for 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.*
- Trial Victory for Intrawest: Successfully represented an affiliate of Intrawest as first-chair in trial in defense of claims alleging violations of Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, a statute modeled after federal securities laws. Prevailed at trial on all of Plaintiffs' claims, with Plaintiffs recovering nothing. Judgment affirmed in full on appeal.*
- Countrywide Securities Litigations: Represented 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.*
- Film Slate Royalty Dispute: Representation of hedge fund in dispute with purported investors over royalty payments for slate of studio motion pictures.*
- FACTA Legislative Reform and Class Action Defense: 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.*
- LaSalle Investment Management: Representation of Real Estate Investment Trust in litigation relating to US$21 million option and take-out agreements.*
- 9th Circuit Victory in RICO Class Action: Successful representation of Kroger Co. and it subsidiaries and employees in defense of claims brought under RICO Obtained dismissal of all claims with prejudice, which was affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit.*
*Represents experience from a previous law firm.
- “Supreme Court Ruling Extends Reach of Primary Liability for Securities Fraud” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, April 2, 2019
- Panel Moderator: “Recent Developments in Whistleblower Law,” Los Angeles County Bar Association 51st Securities Regulation Seminar, October 19, 2018
- “Supreme Court: SLUSA Does Not Prohibit State Court Jurisdiction Over Securities Act Class Actions” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, March 21, 2018
- “Speaking on Spokeo: Ninth Circuit Dismisses FACTA Lawsuit” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, March 7, 2018
- “Navigating The Media In High-Profile Cases” The Daily Journal, February 21, 2018
- “Supreme Court Questions ‘Obtuse’ Statute Addressing Jurisdiction Over Securities Act Claims” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, December 4, 2017
- Panel Speaker, "The SEC Whistleblowing Program in 2017” Los Angeles County Bar Association 50th Securities Regulation Seminar, October 20, 2017
- “Divided Second Circuit Broadens Personal Benefit Test for Insider Trading Liability” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, September 6, 2017
- “Tolling Securities Claims: ‘In No Event’ Means … What It Says” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, July 10, 2017
- “US Supreme Court: Disgorgement Is a Penalty, Limiting SEC’s Reach,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, June 8, 2017
- “Minimizing Potential Litigation & Regulatory Risks for Crowdfunding Platforms,” Crowdfund Insider, June 5, 2017
- “Ninth Circuit Applies Omnicare to Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 Claims,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, May 15, 2017
- “Supreme Court’s Determination of ‘Personal Benefit’ Test under Insider Trading Laws Raises Practical Implications for Financial Market Professionals,” Bloomberg BNA’s Securities Law Daily, September 26, 2016
- “Microcaps Under the Microscope,” Law360, January 6, 2015
- “Derivative Plaintiffs Can’t Dodge Delaware Law,” Law360, November 14, 2014
- “When the SEC Targets Private Equity: A Best Practices Approach,” Mergers and Acquisitions, July 11, 2012
- “How Hedge Fund Managers Can Use Arbitration Provisions to Prevent Investor Class Action Lawsuits,” The Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 26, June 28, 2012
- “SEC Enforcement Division Completes Most Productive Year in its History,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 19, 2011
- “The Venture Capital Representative Director, Navigating the Fiduciary Obligations,” Bloomberg Law Reports, Director and Officer Liability, October 2009
- “Pleading and Proving Loss Causation: Litigating Securities Fraud in a Post-Dura World,” Bloomberg Law Reports, Securities Law, 2010
- “Ninth Circuit Curbs the Rising Tide of Subprime Litigation,” Financial Fraud Report, Nov./Dec. 2010
- “Leaving Liability on the Shelf, A Discussion of the Time Limitations for Bringing Claims Against Officers and Director for Alleged Fraudulent Statements in Shelf Registrations,” Bloomberg Law Reports, Securities Law, 2010