Fenwick & West LLP
Susan defends shareholder class actions and derivative suits, handles SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings, and regularly advises boards and management on disclosure and accounting issues, cybersecurity, the FCPA and other high-profile governance matters. She has conducted internal investigations into alleged bribery and corruption, accounting fraud, privacy and cybersecurity, and insider trading for multinational corporations and boards, and she has represented companies, directors and officers in a wide variety of SEC, DOJ and whistleblower investigations.
Among the dozens of shareholder actions Susan has defended, she recently won dismissals of Uber’s board of directors in Delaware Chancery Court; GoPro and its officers in a federal class action in California; Nimble Storage and its officers in federal class actions in California—a result that was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit; and biotech firm Immersion in a class action arising out of an internal investigation and multi-year restatement—a result that was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. She also won the dismissal of General Electric-InVision in securities litigation arising out of the settlement of FCPA investigations by the DOJ and SEC (also affirmed by the Ninth Circuit). Additionally, she defended and settled Diamond Foods’ governmental investigations and reached an innovative settlement in its shareholder litigation.
A dedicated member of the legal community, Susan is a founding member of Women in Securities (WISe), a network for women securities litigators; an active member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA); and is a frequently requested faculty member of Stanford Directors’ College.
Susan received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.A., with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Susan is admitted to practice in California.
- Chambers USA 2020, Securities Litigation-California (Band 1): Susan is "incredibly smart, professional, well-spoken, client-oriented and motivated to get the best results possible."
- Law360 2019, Securities MVP: Susan was named Securities MVP (one of just six attorneys named) recognizing attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation
- Chambers USA 2019, Securities Litigation-California: Susan is “a wonderful, creative lawyer…an excellent attorney and has great relationships with regulatory bodies”
- Best Lawyers 2019, The Best Lawyers in America: recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" in San Francisco for excellence in securities litigation
- Best Lawyers 2019, The Best Lawyers in America: recognized for excellence in commercial litigation
- Chambers USA 2018, Securities Litigation-California: Susan “embraces difficult situations and possesses great analytical skills that provide value to her clients”
- The Legal 500 2018, Susan “has gravitas and experience that are practically unmatched”; named to list of top securities litigation lawyers in the U.S.
- Chambers USA 2017, Securities Litigation-USA: Susan was lauded by clients as a “fierce litigator,” who combines her "very deep technical knowledge" with "tremendous attention to client service"
Regulatory and Internal Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings
- Defense of publicly disclosed accounting, FCPA or insider trading investigations for General Electric-InVision (non-prosecution agreement), Intuit (no enforcement action), RAE Systems (no enforcement action), Connetics (no enforcement action), Sunrise Telecom (no enforcement action), Immersion (no enforcement action) and Diamond Foods (settlement)
- Investigated publicly disclosed compensation-based allegations against Equinix, Extreme Networks, MIPS, Sunrise Telecom, Zoran and many other public companies, concluding all regulatory inquiries with no enforcement action
- Successfully defended Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in trial against the SEC challenging the scope of supervisory requirements and procedures
- Currently defending shareholder actions against Box, Diadexus, Fitbit, GoPro, Sunrun and Zuora
- Defended General Electric-InVision in securities class actions arising from FCPA investigations by the DOJ and SEC; dismissal affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
- Defended Barclays, Castlight Health, Diamond Foods, Electronic Arts, Equinix, Intuit, the board of Las Vegas Sands, LendingClub, Model N, ShoreTel and Vocera in shareholder class or derivative litigation alleging accounting or disclosure violations
- Defended life sciences companies Connetics, Immersion and Sunrise Medical in securities litigation arising out of multi-year restatements and alleged improper revenue recognition
- Defended Affymetrix, Equinix, Extreme Networks, F5, MIPS and Zoran in shareholder litigation arising out of alleged stock option backdating
- Represents multiple special committees investigating or defending shareholder derivative demands, including for the boards of Sempra Energy, Microsoft, Charles Schwab and California Micro Devices
- Developed FCPA, UK Bribery Act and general ethics and compliance programs for dozens of public and private companies
- Lectured and written extensively on governance, crisis-management, shareholder litigation and compliance, including for the Association of Corporate Counsel, Compliance Week, Law360, Northwestern University and Stanford University