Jonathan C. Dickey is a partner in the New York and Palo Alto offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and is Co-Chair of the Firm’s National Securities Litigation Practice Group. He has been engaged in civil litigation practice since 1979, specializing in securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, M&A litigation, corporate investigations, and SEC enforcement matters. Over the years, Mr. Dickey has represented many public companies, directors and officers, underwriters, financial institutions, and accounting firms in securities litigation matters. He also has acted as counsel to boards of directors and board committees on securities disclosure and compliance issues, SEC and stock exchange investigations, and corporate governance issues.
Mr. Dickey has been ranked as one of the top securities litigators in the United States by various organizations. He is the managing editor of the leading treatise on securities litigation, Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Litigation: A Practitioner’s Guide, published in 2006, and now in its fifth edition. Mr. Dickey also has served as an advisor to various industry organizations on securities class action law reform matters, and was significantly involved in passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Mr. Dickey also helped draft, and was directly involved in efforts to obtain passage of, the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998, which bars state court securities class actions involving nationally traded securities.
In 1998, Mr. Dickey was elected to serve a three-year term as a member of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Executive Committee. He also has served on various other governance committees at the Firm. Mr. Dickey is a member of the bars of California, New York, and the District of Columbia. Mr. Dickey earned his Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1979. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard in 1976.
Lecturing and Public Speaking
Mr. Dickey has been a frequent lecturer on securities-related topics, including speaking engagements with the Practising Law Institute Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute, and guest lecturing at the Haas School of Business (University of California) and the Stanford Law School Directors College. He has been quoted or featured in articles on securities topics in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The American Lawyer, Corporate Board Member Magazine, Institutional Investor Magazine, The Economist, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications. Mr. Dickey has authored numerous articles on securities and corporate governance related topics.
Representative Current Securities Cases
Mr. Dickey is defending UBS Financial Services in securities class action litigation in the Southern District of New York arising out of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The case involves hundreds of millions of dollars of publicly traded structured note products issued by Lehman, and sold to UBSFS customers. The case is currently in active discovery and is set for trial in 2013.
Mr. Dickey is defending the independent directors of JP Morgan in several shareholder derivative suits arising out of JP Morgan’s “London Whale” trading scandal, which led to a multi-billion dollar write-off by JP Morgan, and which spurred a host of civil and regulatory proceedings. The matters are at an early stage.
Mr. Dickey is representing the former directors of Wachovia in shareholder derivative litigation in the Northern District of California, in which plaintiffs are suing the Board for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of Wachovia’s mortgage lending practices, and its acquisition of Golden West. After we filed our motion to dismiss, the case settled without any payment by Gibson Dunn’s clients. Final settlement approval is expected in March 2013.
Mr. Dickey is defending a leading retailer and its directors and officers in shareholder class and derivative litigation in Delaware, Arkansas and Tennessee. The actions arise out of a New York Times article in April 2012 contending that the company was committing violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Mexico in 2005 and thereafter, and that the company has engaged in a “cover up” of those law violations. The cases are at the pleading stage.
Mr. Dickey represents the independent directors elected to HP’s board of directors in 2010 and 2011, who are defendants in shareholder derivative litigation in the Northern District of California. The action arises principally out of the firing of Mark Hurd as HP’s chief executive officer in 2010, and the hiring and firing of his successor, Leo Apotheker. The court granted our motion to dismiss with leave to amend. Our motion to dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint is pending.
Mr. Dickey is defending Intel Corporation in parallel shareholder class actions in New York, California and Canada, arising out of the initial public offering of SMART Technologies, Inc., a Canadian technology company in which Intel is a substantial minority investor. The New York case is scheduled for trial in July 2013.
Mr. Dickey is defending the senior executives of Eastman Kodak in a securities class action in the Southern District of New York, which was filed following the bankruptcy of Kodak in early 2012. The motion to dismiss the case was granted without leave to amend, after which plaintiffs petitioned the court for leave to amend, which the court granted. The motion to dismiss the amended complaint is pending.
Mr. Dickey is one of the partners defending the independent directors of Diamond Foods in shareholder derivative litigation in the state and federal courts in California and Delaware. The cases arise out of Diamond’s announcement of a major accounting restatement in 2012, and the commencement of an SEC investigation into the restatement issues. Gibson Dunn represented the audit committee in the company’s internal investigation leading to the announcement of the restatement. Defendants successfully moved to dismiss both the federal and state court derivative actions were dismissed. An appeal is pending in the federal derivative action in the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Dickey is representing Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources, Ltd. and its senior executives in shareholder class action litigation in the Southern District of New York and Ontario, Canada, arising out of Nevsun’s announcement in February 2012 of a major adjustment to its forecast for gold reserves at its mine in Eritrea, Africa. The cases are at the pleading stage.
Mr. Dickey led the defense of underwriter defendants in securities class action litigation in the District of New Mexico arising out of the bankruptcy of Thornburg Mortgage, a New Mexico-based mortgage company that originated and syndicated mortgage-backed securities, and held loans backed by asset-backed commercial paper. Gibson Dunn’s clients underwriter two major offerings of Thornburg securities in 2007, before the asset-backed commercial paper market collapsed, leading to Thornburg’s eventual bankruptcy. The underwriters’ motion to dismiss was granted in full in January 2010, and a motion for leave to amend was denied in June 2011. The matter currently is on appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Dickey is defending Merrill Lynch and RBC Securities as underwriter defendants in a Section 11 class action in the District of Maryland arising out of a 2005 secondary common stock offering of Maryland-based Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC, a financial services company that arranges debt and equity financing for the real estate and “clean energy” markets. Gibson Dunn successfully moved to dismiss all claims against our clients without leave to amend. The case is now pending in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Dickey defended the former officers and directors of Ener1, Inc., a once high-flying company in the electric car lithium battery space. Ener1 filed for bankruptcy, and shareholders have brought a class action in the Southern District of New York accusing former management of misleading the market about the health of the company’s lithium battery business. After Gibson Dunn filed our motion to dismiss the case, plaintiffs agreed to settle the case for a nominal amount. Final settlement approval is expected in May 2013.