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Susan S. Muck

Co-Chair, Securities Enforcement

Partner, Securities Litigation  

San Francisco 415.875.2325

Overview

Susan Muck 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, 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 federal class actions 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 Corporation 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).

Recent accolades:


  • 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"
  • Best Lawyers 2017, The Best Lawyers in America: recognized for excellence in commercial litigation

Susan has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top litigators in California by The Best Lawyers in America, and Northern California Super Lawyers and as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” and “Top Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal. She was named a Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year,” which honors a single lawyer in a practice area in each community. She is also a Law360 Securities MVP for her work on behalf of Immersion and in connection with the defense and settlement of the Diamond Foods governmental investigations and the innovative settlement she reached in the Diamond Foods' shareholder litigation. The Diamond Foods’ resolution was cited as a key factor in Fenwick’s Securities Litigation team being named “Securities Litigation Department of the Year” by The Recorder over 20 other California firms in 2013.

A dedicated member of the legal community, Susan is a founding member of Women in Securities (WISe), a network for women securities litigators and is also an active member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA).

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

Shareholder Litigation


  • Currently defending shareholder actions against Chegg, Diadexus, Fitbit, GoPro and Sunrun
  • 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

Compliance


  • Has developed FCPA, UK Bribery Act and general ethics and compliance programs for dozens of public and private companies
  • Has 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
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