Shawn Cobb is a member of the Environment, Land & Resources Department and the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice. Mr. Cobb’s practice primarily focuses on complex environmental and land use litigation, in both the civil and criminal context, on behalf of clients in the clean energy, aerospace and defense, chemical manufacturing, real property management and development, and financial services industries.
Mr. Cobb has successfully represented large international companies, small businesses, and public entities in high profile environmental enforcement actions, clean water matters, product liability cases, asbestos matters, government contractor disputes, and CERCLA actions, among others. For example, Mr. Cobb recently convinced California authorities to decline to prosecute a large real estate management company for alleged criminal violations of environmental regulations relating to sensitive fish species and habitats.
Mr. Cobb has also successfully resolved a significant number of disputes through alternative dispute resolution, helping clients avoid the cost, risk, and potential public relations consequences of jury trials. For example, Mr. Cobb recently convinced state prosecutors to settle certain alleged regulatory violations with civil penalties in the nine-figure range for less than half the cost of defense, no admission of wrongdoing, and no permanent injunction.
Mr. Cobb is a member of the Board of Governors of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a Barrister of the Welsh Inn of Court, and a member of the Federal Bar Association and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Cobb is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California, and all California state courts.
Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Cobb spent five years providing risk analysis and mitigation services to the US defense and intelligence communities. Mr. Cobb also previously served as the Battalion Intelligence Officer for the 11th Psychological Operations Battalion, 2nd PSYOP Group, United States Special Operations Command.
Mr. Cobb's experience includes:
- Obtained complete defense verdicts against 14 of 17 plaintiffs following 4½-month financial fraud jury trial on behalf of the country’s largest title and escrow provider
- Successfully resolved multi-decade land use dispute on behalf of municipality at no cost to client following nine-figure adverse jury verdict
- Persuaded California environmental authorities to decline to prosecute alleged criminal violations of environmental regulations relating to sensitive fish species and habitats on behalf of a major, publicly-listed REIT
- Negotiating settlement of the largest GOCO CERCLA action in history on behalf of major aerospace and defense contractor in connection with the development and production of naval aircraft during World War II
- Successfully resolved partnership dispute with allegations of criminal misconduct—and parallel insurance dispute—on behalf of region’s leading provider of electronic waste and recycling services, resulting in an insurance-funded cost-of-defense settlement
- Negotiating settlement of alleged Clean Air Act violations with asserted civil penalties that are the largest of their type in history on behalf of major, publicly-listed REIT
- Secured settlement of threatened nine-figure, state-wide regulatory enforcement action by coalition of California District Attorneys against Fortune 50 company for significantly less than the cost of defense, and without any injunction or admission of wrongdoing
- Representing successors-in-interest to former chemical manufacturer in connection with efforts across multiple states to recover for alleged environmental damage under various state law tort claims
- Negotiating settlement of multi-party CERCLA action on behalf of successor-in-interest to certain paper manufacturing facilities in context of predecessor bankruptcy
- Secured pre-litigation settlement of enterprise-threatening partnership dispute on behalf of independent wind power generator
- Obtained complete relief, including title to real property, on behalf of client in dispute involving allegations of financial elder abuse
- Representing major aerospace and defense contractor in CERCLA mediation against the United States concerning legacy environmental costs associated with the development and production of advanced stealth aircraft
- Successfully represented local company in investigation and criminal referral in connection with multi-year insider financial fraud
- Successfully resolved claims asserted by one of the world’s largest agricultural biotechnology companies relating to the rapid evaluation and selection of desirable genetic traits
- Successfully resolved claims on behalf of the inventor and manufacturer of diagnostic instrumentation that screens the nation’s blood supply for communicable diseases in a multi-year action against one of the world’s largest medical device conglomerates
- Secured close-out of ongoing “claims made” civil settlement in wage and hour action on behalf of major shipbuilder
- Secured no-cost settlement of alleged fiduciary and professional responsibility claims on behalf of prominent law firm
- “Victory Through Production: Are Legacy Costs of War Scuttling the ‘GOCO Model’?” 64 Public Contract Law Journal 259 (2017)