Manny Abascal is a partner in the Litigation and Trial Practice of Latham & Watkins and is based in Los Angeles. Mr. Abascal has deep experience handling the most challenging and complex litigation and government investigations matters for clients in several industries.
Mr. Abascal handles the most difficult issues facing clients, such as high profile government and internal investigations, civil and criminal trials, corporate control disputes, and complex commercial litigation. He has handled multiple criminal and civil jury trials; SEC proceedings; criminal, civil, administrative, and internal investigations; and testimony before Congress and state legislative bodies. He has represented major clients in healthcare, pharma, financial institutions, financial services, energy, entertainment, accounting, food and agriculture, e-commerce, and technology.
Mr. Abascal is experienced in handling complex matters that involve more than a simple legal dispute, and instead affect the client’s business strategy, governance, control, potential transactions, or media profile. Mr. Abascal has deep experience partnering with his corporate, finance, and tax partners at Latham & Watkins to develop and implement comprehensive legal strategies that look beyond the litigation dispute to address and ultimately to achieve the client’s business objectives.
Prior to joining Latham in 2000, Mr. Abascal was an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles, where he prosecuted and tried numerous and diverse business and financial fraud cases.
Mr. Abascal's representative trial engagements include:
- Hired three weeks before trial to act as lead counsel against several nationally prominent law firms in a dispute over control and ownership of a large, privately held financial services company. He obtained a favorable settlement preserving control and leading to a nine figure payment for his client.
- Lead counsel for the plaintiff in an arbitration involving a breach of contract that resulted in an mid-eight figure award for his client.
- Lead plaintiff's counsel on behalf of a publicly traded nutrition company in a complex jury trial involving adulterated products. He was engaged two days before trial and obtained a favorable jury verdict.
- Co-lead counsel in the successful defense of a Tenet Healthcare subsidiary in two federal criminal trials, one lasting seven months and the other 11 months. Both cases ended in hung juries and the government ultimately dismissed the criminal case.
In addition to his trial practice, Mr. Abascal has successfully represented clients in matters that did not result in a trial, understanding that for many clients a litigation and trial is not a desired outcome. He works hard to understand and achieve his clients' goals and objectives within and outside of the context of the specific dispute or investigation. These engagements include representing:
- Numerous clients in internal investigations that were successfully resolved without adverse impact on the client’s business or potential strategic transactions.
- Numerous privately held companies in corporate control disputes among shareholders. He has consistently achieved successful results that met his clients’ business objectives, often without the need for a litigation.
- A large utility in criminal charges relating to a significant release that received national attention. He secured and defended a settlement against several challenges.
- A publicly traded energy company in one of the largest FCPA investigation in DOJ history. Secured most favorable settlement among parties involved.
- A publicly traded medical device manufacturer in an investigation relating to foreign corruption. No charges filed.
- The Chairman and CEO of a large, nationwide, and publicly traded financial institution specializing in originating subprime loans in an SEC and DOJ investigation relating to accounting and disclosure fraud. No charges filed.
- A publicly traded energy and technology company in state, federal, and legislative investigations involving alleged market manipulation. No charges filed.
Mr. Abascal has an active pro bono practice through which, among other things, he has represented countless victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. He has served on the boards of several not for profit corporations, including ones involved in foster care, education, and low-income housing. He has been recognized by several professional and bar organizations for his extensive history of pro bono and community service, including receiving awards from the Mexican American Bar Foundation and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Mr. Abascal continues to serve as Founding Chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, a safety net not for profit hospital serving South Los Angeles. Through Mr. Abascal’s leadership, this safety net hospital opened in 2015 and continues to provide high-quality healthcare to tens of thousands of patients in a deeply underserved community.