John Durrant litigates securities and complex commercial matters. He has defended lawsuits involving alleged securities fraud and misstatements in the offering of securities, arising under federal securities laws, blue sky laws, and common law. He has represented clients in regulatory inquiries related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also has litigated commercial cases involving unfair competition, business torts, insurance, complex contractual arrangements, and partnership disputes, including cases related to the operation of investment management companies and hedge funds.
Mr. Durrant has tried jury trials through verdict. For instance, he successfully second-chaired a jury trial in which potential damages exceeded $600 million and the officers and board members of the company faced individual liability. He also has helped clients avoid litigation by finding business solutions to disputes and by negotiating with adverse parties.
Mr. Durrant has drafted and successfully argued dozens of motions at all stages of the litigation process and on appeal. For instance, he drafted post-trial briefs that resulted in the reduction of a $41.7 million verdict to $4 million.
- UBS Auction Rate Securities Litigation. Defense of multiple class action and individual lawsuits brought against UBS, arising out of the dislocation of the auction rate securities market. The cases involved claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, the Investment Advisers Act, New York’s Martin Act, and other claims. Allegations originally involved tens of billions of dollars. The court dismissed all class action claims, a victory the American Lawyer called a “big win” and the Financial Times ranked among the year’s top 10 U.S. litigation matters in its 2011 “Innovative Lawyers” report.
- In re New Century Securities Litigation. Defense of J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters, and the members of underwriting syndicates (Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, JMP Securities, Piper Jaffray, Roth Capital Partners, and Stifel Nicolaus) in the In re New Century securities class action. Clients faced claims under Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act regarding alleged misstatements in offerings of New Century’s stock.
- Merger Litigation. Representation of multiple publicly traded companies facing class action and derivative claims in connection with proposed mergers.
- Accelrys International Arbitration. Representation of affiliates of IT services company in major commercial dispute.
- Los Angeles County Jails Litigation. With the ACLU, representation of class of inmates alleging abuse at the hands of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies.
Accolades and Recognitions
- California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY), 2013
- Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Rated A/V® (Preeminent)
- Southern California Super Lawyer (2014)
- UBS auction rate securities victory was “Highly Commended” and ranked in the Top 10 U.S. litigation matters in Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers 2011” report.
- Received Prisoner Rights Advocacy Award from the ACLU of Southern California (2012)
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- "Federal case over an honest opinion?", Los Angeles Daily Journal (2014)
- "A Global Concern: The Rise of International Securities Litigation", Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report (2013)
- "Fund Boards in the Cross Hairs - Increased Litigation and Enforcement Activity Relating to Advisory Fees", Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report (2013)
- The "Fraud-on-the-Market" Presumption of Reliance Revisited: Supreme Court Declines to Require Proof of Materiality at Class Certification Stage (2013)
- Ninth Circuit Strengthens Pleading Standard in Section 11 Claims: In re Century Aluminum Co. Securities Litigation (2013)
- The “Fraud-on-the-Market” Presumption of Reliance Revisited: Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (2012)
- North American South Asian Bar Association – speaker at national convention (2011)
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2001
- University of California at Berkeley, B.A., 1996