- University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D., 1981), Valedictorian, Order of the Coif; Thurston Legal Honor Society; Articles Editor of the Hastings Law Journal
- University of Florida (B.A., Political Science, 1977)
David Siegel is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Irell & Manella LLP, where he leads our securities litigation practice. Mr. Siegel was Managing Partner of the firm for two three-year terms, the maximum tenure.
Mr. Siegel's practice is concentrated on the defense of securities class and investor claims against corporations and their directors and officers; SEC enforcement proceedings; and other complex commercial litigation matters. For more than 25 years, Mr. Siegel has acted as lead counsel in defense of numerous major stockholder class and derivative actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States, representing both public company issuers in virtually all industries, and individual officers and directors. He also has extensive experience representing public companies and individuals in SEC enforcement and other governmental investigations and proceedings, and has led numerous internal corporate investigations. Many of the matters handled by Mr. Siegel have been high profile, and frequently involve issues at the forefront of securities litigation and director/officer liability law.
Mr. Siegel was profiled in a review by California Law Business as one of the top 5 California attorneys in defending stockholder litigations, and was identified as one of the leading securities litigators and as one of the top 100 most influential lawyers in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Mr. Siegel has been recognized as a leading securities litigator by Chambers & Partners in its Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business guide and by Lawdragon in its 500 Leading Lawyers in America. He has been named one of the "Best Lawyers in Commercial Litigation" every year for the past decade and one of the "Best Lawyers in Bet-The-Company Litigation" every year since 2010 in the prestigious The Best Lawyers in America guide. In 2012, Mr. Siegel was named "Lawyer of the Year: Securities Litigation" by his local Bar Association, and has been designated by Los Angeles Magazine to the region's "Super Lawyers" list, as selected by his peers, every year that the magazine has compiled the list. He has also been named one of Southern California's best lawyers by the Los Angeles Times Magazine for his work in Commercial Litigation.
Mr. Siegel frequently counsels corporate Boards and senior management in respect of litigation and litigation avoidance, regulatory enforcement and criminal investigations, indemnification, insurance, and internal investigations. He has chaired and is a frequent speaker at various seminars concerning securities litigations, class actions, and trial techniques, including serving as chair of the "PLI Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute" for several years. He has also served on various advisory panels in the field of securities litigation, including as one of eight members of the original National Advisory Panel for D&O Litigation for National Union Insurance Co., and on the California State Senate Blue Ribbon Task Force on Shareholder Litigation. In 1981, Mr. Siegel served as an extern for the Honorable Justice Wiley Manuel of the California Supreme Court.
Recent Exemplary Representations
Mr. Siegel has been serving as lead defense counsel for Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO and Chairman of national mortgage giant Countrywide Financial, in dozens of lawsuits and government proceedings across the country, including: civil class and derivative actions and numerous individual lawsuits filed by former Countrywide investors; multiple lawsuits by institutional investors in and insurers of mortgage backed securities; a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Congressional and other government inquiries; and civil enforcement proceedings by several State Attorneys General. As Mr. Mozilo’s primary counsel, Mr. Siegel successfully settled all claims against Mr. Mozilo in the shareholder class actions without any personal contribution; obtained dismissals at the pleading stage in numerous cases, including in cases filed by State Attorneys General in Florida and Illinois, and in a series of MBS investor cases; obtained dismissals of two lawsuits by private investment funds in the Southern District of New York, one of which was unanimously affirmed by the Second Circuit (SRM Global v. Countrywide, et al.); and successfully negotiated a settlement of claims filed by the SEC on terms widely lauded by popular and financial media, including on the television news program 60 Minutes and in The Wall Street Journal, as favorable for the defense and leading to a decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to not proceed with a then on-going criminal investigation.
Obtained dismissal at the pleading stage of shareholder derivative suit against senior officers of a major hotel resort and casino company on allegations that the officers breached fiduciary duties and misrepresented company’s prospects and finances in connection with a multi-billion dollar development project.
Won a complete dismissal of a putative federal securities class action at the pleading stage for innovative automobile and technology company, Tesla Motors, and its CEO. The dismissal was affirmed unanimously by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represents the former CEO of a publicly-traded company in defense of various securities and investor lawsuits throughout the country. Resolved multiple actions successfully with no payment by the client. Currently representing the client in defending against a lawsuit filed by the SEC.
Represented a well-known television and motion picture producer in responding to a formal investigation by the SEC concerning potential insider stock trading in various public companies, resulting in a decision by the SEC to not pursue any claims.
Defended founder and former CEO of computer chip manufacturer Maxim Technologies in several federal and state court shareholder class and derivative suits, and in an SEC investigation in connection with the company’s practices for granting stock options, and related accounting and public disclosures. Mr. Siegel successfully resolved all claims through settlement, including with the SEC on non-fraud based allegations.
Represented former CEO and former CFO of a large slot machine manufacturer in an SEC investigation following restatement of the company’s financial statements, resulting in a decision by the SEC to not pursue any claims against one client and to settle with the other on non-fraud based allegations.
Separate representations of several senior corporate officers or former officers in response to shareholder derivative suits and government investigations concerning alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. All such matters to date have resulted in no charges or government enforcement actions and the civil suits were successfully resolved.
Bar & Court Admissions
- 1981, California
- U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; U.S. District Court, Central, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of California