Rob Stern is a partner in Weil’s Securities Litigation practice, a first-chair trial lawyer, and nationally recognized as a top-ranked securities and enforcement lawyer, including a Band 1 ranking in Chambers USA and a “Leading Lawyer” designation in Legal 500.
For more than two decades, Rob has played lead roles in resolving some of the most consequential, high-profile civil securities litigation and criminal and civil government enforcement probes to target the business community. He has developed an extensive track record on behalf of financial services institutions, public companies, accounting firms, and their officers and directors, in complex matters involving everything from recent notable de-SPAC transactions and the Puerto Rico debt crisis to subprime mortgages and the Enron bankruptcy. Broadly, Rob has litigated dozens of securities, commodities, and M&A class actions, in addition to SEC, CFTC, PCAOB, and criminal enforcement matters that can accompany them.
Rob is well regarded by clients for his ability to develop and deploy creative litigation strategies and business solutions tailor-made for a broad range of first-of-kind and other novel or crisis situations. Most recently, clients lauded his outstanding work in Chambers USA 2022, noting that he is a “very forceful advocate on his client's behalf” and “is extremely strategic and thinks very hard about how to get a result for his client.” Clients in previous editions noted that he “has my interests at the forefront, he’s a great advocate who gives strategic, candid advice and direction,” and “I find him great to deal with, he’s a godsend.” Commentary in Legal 500 2021 similarly notes, “Rob is an excellent attorney and strategist as well as a superb client attorney. He is a guy you want in your corner.”
Rob is also a recognized thought leader, and lectures and publishes widely. He is a faculty member of Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Litigation program and Chairs PLI’s annual program, “Storming the Gatekeepers: When Compliance Officers and In-House Lawyers Are at Risk.” Rob has also spoken at ACI conferences, Bond Buyer webinars, NERA’s Securities and Finance Seminar, and at the Advanced Litigation Strategy Summit.
Rob also is extremely involved in the community. He currently is a member of the Next Generation Board of Directors, as well as the Lawyers’ Committee, of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Rob also serves on the Alumni Steering Committee of the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance.
Prior to joining Weil, Rob was a partner at another global law firm, where he served as Chair of its nationwide White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance Practice Group.
Rob received his J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Rutgers University School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Rutgers Law Review. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University.
Representative Civil Securities and Financial Services Litigation Experience*
- Represented defendants in Hall v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., a securities class action arising out of allegations of trace amounts of asbestos in cosmetic talc products.
- Representing Royal Bank of Canada in an adversary proceeding brought by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in connection with the bank’s underwriting of Puerto Rico’s general obligation debt.
- Obtained partial dismissal and ultimate de-certification of a putative class in Krukever v. TD Ameritrade, an action alleging losses suffered by traders in futures options caused by extreme market volatility.
- Obtained a dismissal on behalf of the issuer and officers in Caramahai v. Helius Medical Technologies, Inc., a securities class action arising out of denial of FDA approval for a new medical device.
- Obtained a dismissal of a securities class action and companion shareholder derivative action on behalf of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., a medical device company that was alleged to have violated the False Claim Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.
- Represented defendants in Homeward Residential Inc. v. Sand Canyon Corporation, a commercial dispute arising out of alleged misrepresentations made in connection with the origination and securitization of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, obtaining partial dismissal of the case on motion to dismiss.
- Achieved an extremely favorable resolution for the client in In re: Fannie Mae Securities and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Litigation (2008), actions alleging failure to adequately disclose subprime and Alt-A mortgage exposure.
- Represented Fannie Mae in In re: Fannie Mae Securities, ERISA and Derivative Litigation, class actions and a shareholder derivative action alleging accounting fraud in connection with the company's $9 billion restatement of earnings. Defendants prevailed, in part, at class certification reducing the exposure by billions
- Represented Bank of America in a securities class action, shareholder derivative suits, and FINRA arbitrations arising out of illiquidity in the auction-rate securities markets. Obtained a complete dismissal of the class action and numerous successful arbitration results.
- Represented Robertson Stephens in In re Initial Public Offering Securities and Antitrust class action litigation.
- Secured a complete dismissal of a class action challenging a $4 billion cash tender offer in connection with the sale of a worldwide provider of Web-based software solutions and services to the automotive industry.
- Represented a former Audit Committee Chairman in a shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s payments to the AUC and criminal plea. Obtained a dismissal without individual liability.
- Represented the former CFO of major automotive parts supplier in securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation based on allegations of accounting fraud. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability.
- Represented the former Chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case, in a securities class action, shareholder derivative, and shareholder opt-out litigation. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability.
- Represented former Enron CEO, Jeffrey Skilling, in a securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation around the country filed in the wake of the energy giant’s bankruptcy.
- Represented a former WorldCom director in securities class action and shareholder opt-out litigation around the country. Achieved a favorable resolution of all liability.
Representative SEC Enforcement Experience*
- Achieved a favorable resolution in the landmark SEC enforcement action against Momentus Space arising out of the company’s proposed de-SPAC transaction, which allowed the transaction to close and the company to go public.
- Obtained a declination for a Big Four accounting firm in connection with an SEC investigation of a China-based issuer.
- Obtained a declination for a Forbes Global 50 financial institution in action arising out of underwriting of public-private partnership bond offering.
- Achieved a favorable resolution for former KPMG national office partner, David Britt, in a high-profile criminal and civil enforcement matter, involving alleged misappropriation of confidential PCAOB information and ethics violations.
- Obtained a declination for a publicly traded, international company in a high-profile SEC investigation arising out of a front-page Wall Street Journal article.
- Obtained a DPA from the SEC for a head of mortgage trading desk in connection with an enforcement matter.
- Obtained a declination for a Forbes Global 50 financial institution in enforcement action arising out of underwriting of municipal bonds.
- Represented numerous current and former auditors in connection with SEC and PCAOB formal investigations involving alleged improper professional conduct.
- Represented Fortune 50 financial institution in an enforcement matter arising out of illiquid structured products, achieving a very favorable resolution.
- Represented a Fortune 500 mortgage servicer with a very favorable resolution.
- Represented a Fortune 50 financial institution in multiple enforcement actions with favorable resolutions achieved.
- Represented a Fortune 500 consumer services company in an enforcement action with favorable resolution.
- Represented a major subprime mortgage originator in a subprime enforcement action, achieving a very favorable resolution.
- Represented the CFO of a major automotive parts supplier in securing a favorable resolution of an enforcement action.
- Represented the former Chairman and CEO of a major Internet Media Company in enforcement proceeding with no action taken.
*includes matters handled prior to joining Weil
Firm News & Announcements, Awards and Recognition, Speaking Engagements, Latest Thinking
Firm News & Announcements
- Weil Adds SEC Enforcement and Securities Litigation Partner Robert Stern in Washington, D.C. Press Release — May 03, 2022
Awards and Recognition
- Robert Stern Named a Leading Lawyer Nationally for Securities Litigation: Defense Award Brief — Legal 500 US
- Robert Stern Named a Band 1 Leading Lawyer for Securities Litigation: Defense: Washington, D.C. Award Brief — Chambers USA
Commencement of a Civil Action: Filing the Complaint, Preparing the Motion to Dismiss, Coordinating Multiple Securities Litigation Actions
March 20, 2023 — New York, New York — Securities Litigation partner Robert Stern appeared on a panel at PLI’s “Securities Litigation 2023: From Investigation to Trial” symposium discussing recent developments in securities laws and exploring perspectives on civil securities actions.
The SEC’s Renewed Scrutiny of Earnings Management Using Data Analytics
Lyuba Goltser and
February 14, 2023 — Head of Weil’s Public Company Advisory Group Lyuba Goltser and Securities Litigation partner Robert Stern moderated a panel webinar entitled “The SEC’s Renewed Scrutiny of Earnings Management Using Data Analytics,” which featured former SEC Commissioner and current Stanford Law professor Joe Grundfest and Michigan business school professor Nadya Malenko. The group discussed the SEC’s use of analytics to identify earnings management, derived in part from the professors’ academic paper, Quadrophobia, and steps companies can take to mitigate risk of SEC enforcement investigations.
- SEC Division of Enforcement FY 2022 Results: Aggressive Approach Highlighted by Dramatic Increase in Penalties and “High Impact Cases” Alert — White Collar Defense, Regulatory and Investigations — By Robert Stern, Daniel L. Stein, Adé Heyliger, Nicole Elizabeth Prunetti and Michelle Gemmell — PDF — November 29, 2022
- Storming the Gatekeepers: When Compliance Officers and In-House Lawyers Are at Risk Publication — The National Law Journal — By Robert Stern and Sarah Coyne — PDF — November 04, 2022
- SEC Targets “Greenwashing” by Investment Funds: More Proposals on the SEC ESG Agenda Alert — Governance & Securities — By Lyuba Goltser, Adé Heyliger, Robert Stern, David E. Wohl and John H. Bradshaw — PDF — June 21, 2022