Bingham

Bingham

Accountant Defense

We are accountants’ lawyers. Bingham’s Accountant Defense Practice Group represents the largest national accounting firms and their personnel in matters touching upon virtually every aspect of the accounting industry, and we have done so for decades.

In an environment of heightened scrutiny of corporate financial reporting, our lawyers have the experience to defend accounting firms zealously in the litigation or regulatory proceedings that often follow the disclosure of corporate malfeasance, undetected during the review or audit process. We are proficient in federal and state securities and other laws applicable to such litigation or proceedings, and we have a thorough comprehension of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).

Experience

Litigation and Arbitration

  • Obtained defense verdict for Arthur Andersen after jury trial of securities class action by former shareholders of UDC Homes seeking $150 million in compensatory damages plus additional punitive damages. In re UDC Homes Securities Litigation (Ariz. Super.)
  • Represented Arthur Andersen in several state and federal court class, derivative and individual actions relating to restatement of HBOC’s earnings, all successfully settled or dismissed. In re McKesson HBOC, Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.)
  • Representing Deloitte & Touche in action by Levi Strauss regarding performance of Enterprise Resource Planning software and consulting services. Levi Strauss v. Deloitte Consulting LLP (Cal. Super.)
  • Representing Deloitte & Touche in federal securities class action and federal and state derivative actions relating to restatement of Diamond Foods’ financial statements. Obtained dismissal of all federal securities and derivative claims and stay of state derivative claims. In re Diamond Foods, Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.)
  • Represented Ernst & Young in a class action brought by purchasers of ZZZZ Best common stock; obtained favorable “claims-made” settlement. In re ZZZZ Best Securities Litigation (C.D. Cal.)
  • Obtained dismissal, affirmed on appeal, for Ernst & Young on claims for fraud; California Supreme Court declined to extend “fraud on the market” doctrine to claims for common law fraud. Mirkin v. Wasserman (Cal. Super.)
  • Represented KPMG in a class action under the federal securities laws brought by investors in securities of Countrywide Financial Corporation; obtained favorable settlement of class action by investors and favorable settlement or dismissal of all opt-out actions. In re Countrywide Securities Class Action (C.D. Cal.)
  • Obtained dismissal of all claims against KPMG Singapore in securities class action. In re Lernout & Hauspie Securities Litigation (D. Mass.)

Regulatory Investigations and Enforcement

  • Represented Ernst & Young audit manager in SEC administrative trial and appeal regarding improper professional conduct allegations under 17 CFR 201.2(e); obtained dismissal of all claims by the Commission
  • Representing national accounting firm with respect to investigations initiated by the PCAOB, SEC, DOJ, FDIC and SIGTARP relating to bank seized by the FDIC
  • Representing national accounting firm in investigation by the FDIC of a large failed mortgage lender
  • Represented a national accounting firm in an investigation by the Office of Thrift Supervision relating to the accounting firm’s audit of a bank; no action taken against client

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