David Siegel leads Irell & Manella LLP’s Securities Litigation practice and previously served as the firm’s managing partner for two three-year terms, the maximum tenure.
David’s practice concentrates 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, he 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 as well as 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 David have been high-profile and often involve issues at the forefront of securities litigation and director/officer liability law.
David frequently counsels corporate boards and senior management with respect to 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 and Enforcement Institute for several years. David 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, David served as an extern for the Hon. Wiley Manuel of the California Supreme Court.
- 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, David 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 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, one of which was unanimously affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for 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-ongoing 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 multibillion-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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Representing 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 film 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, as well as in an SEC investigation in connection with the company’s practices for granting stock options and related accounting and public disclosures. David 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 the 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.
Honors & Awards
- One of the top five California lawyers in defending stockholder litigations according to a California Law Business review
- One of the leading securities litigators and one of the top 100 most influential lawyers in California according to the Daily Journal
- Recognized as a leading securities litigator in Chambers USA as well as by Lawdragon in its "500 Leading Lawyers in America"
- 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 by Best Lawyers in America
- Named "Lawyer of the Year: Securities Litigation" by his local bar association (2012)
- Named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list
- Named one of Southern California's Best Lawyers by the Los Angeles Times Magazine in the area of commercial litigation
- "Regulatory and Securities Litigation Trends," Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s 2013 D&O Symposium (February 6, 2013)
University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D., 1981); Valedictorian; Order of the Coif; Thurston Legal Honor Society; Articles editor, Hastings Law Journal
University of Florida (B.A., Political Science, 1977)
- California, 1981
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fifth and Ninth Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the Central, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of California