Molly J. Bowen, a partner in the Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice, represents public pension funds and other institutional investors in securities class actions and shareholder derivative lawsuits.
Molly is recognized in the legal industry for her clear judgment and unique blend of appellate and trial experience, making her an exceptional litigator. She has played a leading role in some of the firm’s most high-profile lawsuits, including In re Wells Fargo & Co. Securities Litigation, which resulted in a $1 billion settlement, the largest recovery ever in a securities class action not involving a restatement, an SEC, or DOJ criminal charges; FirstEnergy Shareholder Derivative Litigation, achieving the largest recovery in a shareholder derivative suit in the Sixth Circuit as well as unprecedented corporate governance reform; In re Alphabet Shareholder Derivative Litigation and In re Pinterest Derivative Litigation, both of which resulted in groundbreaking settlements to hold corporate boards of directors accountable for systemic workplace discrimination, harassment, and toxic work cultures.
Molly also maintains an active pro bono practice, including representing low-income individuals in DC family court and small claims court. She also was a key member of the Englund v. World Pawn litigation team that obtained precedent-setting rulings on the legal liability of firearms dealers involved in online straw sales. The extraordinary results achieved in this case resulted in the team’s selection as a finalist in the 2019 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Molly regularly publishes on developments in securities law and was named a winner of a Burton Award in 2019 for “INSIGHT: Holding Firearms Dealers Accountable for Online Straw Sales,” Bloomberg Law.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Molly was an associate at a prominent defense firm in Miami, Florida, and clerked for Hon. Karen Nelson Moore of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Molly graduated first in her class from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and served as the articles editor for the Washington University Law Review.
- Next Generation Leader, American Constitution Society
- Mentor, Washington Lawyers Committee
- District of Columbia
- Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2013
- Macalester College, B.A., magna cum laude, 2007
- Law Clerk, Hon. Karen Nelson Moore, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2013-14
In re Fox Corporation Derivative Litigation (Del. Ch.): Cohen Milstein is leading a shareholder derivative lawsuit representing New York City’s five pension funds and the State of Oregon, by and through the Oregon State Treasurer and the Oregon Department of Justice, on behalf of the Oregon Investment Council and the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, against various directors and officers of Fox Corporation, the corporate parent of Fox News Network, LLC. Plaintiffs allege that Fox News’ leadership breached its fiduciary duties by adopting a business model that promoted or endorsed defamation by failing to establish systems or practices to minimize defamation risk despite the known risk of liability, including broadcasting false claims about election technology companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic USA.
In re Abbott Laboratories Infant Formula Shareholder Derivative Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Cohen Milstein is Lead Counsel in this shareholder derivative lawsuit against Abbott’s board of directors for breaching their fiduciary duties related to the company’s manufacture and sale of infant formula products, prompting a major recall and nationwide infant formula shortage and allegedly causing billions of dollars of damage to Abbott. Plaintiffs also allege claims of insider trading, corporate waste, and unjust enrichment, as well as violations of the federal securities laws.
In Re Overstock Securities Litigation (D. Utah): Cohen Milstein is sole Lead Counsel in this putative securities class action against Overstock.com Inc., its former CEO, CFO, and current Retail President for engineering a market manipulation “short squeeze” scheme, committing fraud and engaging in insider trading.
Texas and Indiana Pension Funds v. InnovAge Holding Corp. et al. (D. CO.): Cohen Milstein is Lead Counsel in this securities class action that alleges InnovAge "substantially failed" to “provide to its participants medically necessary items and services" as required by government regulation. As a result, CMS and the State of Colorado suspended enrollment at InnovAge’s Colorado facilities. InnovAge's stock price declined 78% just nine months after its IPO, giving InnovAge the distinction of being one of 2021's five worst performing stocks.
In re Wells Fargo & Company Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel, represented Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi and the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island in this securities class action, which alleged that Wells Fargo and certain former executives misrepresented its compliance with a series of 2018 consent orders with the CFPB, OCC, and the Federal Reserve arising from the Bank's widespread consumer fraud banking scandal. On September 8, 2023, the Court granted final approval of a historic $1 billion settlement, which is the No. 1 largest securities class action settlement in 2023, the sixth largest in the last decade, the ninth largest ever in the Second Circuit, and the 17th largest ever. It is also the largest settlement ever without a restatement or related actions by the Securities Exchange Commission or U.S. Department of Justice.
City of Birmingham Firemen’s and Policemen’s Supplemental Pension System v. Credit Suisse Group AG, et al.
City of Birmingham Firemen’s and Policemen’s Supplemental Pension System v. Credit Suisse Group AG, et al. (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel, represented plaintiffs in this class action against Credit Suisse Group AG, regarding its misrepresentations of its trading limits and risk controls and resulting in accumulation of billions of dollars in extremely risky, highly illiquid investments, including the surreptitious accumulation of nearly $3 billion in distressed debt and U.S. collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”). On December 16, 2020, the court granted final approval of a $15.5 million settlement.
Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel, represented Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against Alphabet, Inc.'s Board of Directors. Shareholders alleged that the Board allowed powerful executives to sexually harass and discriminate against women without consequence. In November 2020, the Court granted final approval of a historic settlement, including a $310 million commitment to fund diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and robust reforms including limiting non-disclosure agreements and ending mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation-related disputes.
FirstEnergy Shareholder Derivative Litigation (S.D. Ohio; N.D. Ohio): Cohen Milstein represented the Massachusetts Laborers Pension Fund in two shareholder derivative actions against certain officers and directors and nominal defendant FirstEnergy related to the Company’s involvement in Ohio’s largest public bribery schemes. On August 23, 2022, the Court granted final approval of a $180 million global settlement. Law360 ranked this case as one of the top 10 securities litigation settlements in 2022.
In re Pinterest Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein represented the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island and other Pinterest shareholders in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against certain Board members and executives. Shareholders alleged that Defendants personally engaged in and facilitated a systematic practice of illegal discrimination of employees on the basis of race and sex. On June 9, 2022, the Court granted final approval of a settlement including a $50 million funding commitment and holistic workplace and Board-level reforms.
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (2023)
- Law360 Rising Star (2022)
- The National Law Journal, Rising Star of the Plaintiffs Bar (2021)
February 15, 2024
Largest Securities-Related Class Action Settlements of 2023
2023 delivered a banner year for investor recoveries, as the $7.9 billion in settlement funds across the globe was the highest total in the last five years. The $5.8 billion specifically secured in securities-related class actions in the U.S. was also up 18% from 2022. In this ISS Insights post, ISS Securities Class Action Services, […]
In the News | ISS Securities Class Action Services
January 24, 2024
Molly Bowen to Speak on Effectively Representing Securities Lead Plaintiffs in 30(b)(6) Depositions
Molly Bowen, a partner in our Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice, represents public pension funds and other institutional investors in securities class actions and shareholder derivative lawsuits. In association with the Federal Bar Association, she will present a live video-broadcast, scheduled for: January 31, 2024 at 3 – 4:00 PM EST This CLE will […]
Events | Federal Bar Association
October 20, 2023
Shareholder Suit Filed Against Abbott Laboratories Over Nationwide Baby Formula Shortage
The suit named Abbott as well as the company’s CEO Robert B. Ford, members of its board of directors, and executive level leaders of the company. A 181-page amended shareholder derivative lawsuit has been filed in federal court against Abbott Laboratories by court-appointed lead plaintiffs after the company closed a Michigan infant formula manufacturing facility […]
In the News | ALM/Law.com
October 17, 2023
Cohen Milstein Files Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit Against Abbott Laboratories’ Board of Directors
Litigation related to Abbott’s manufacture, sale, and recall of contaminated infant formula, leading to nationwide infant formula shortage. Chicago, IL – Court-appointed Lead Counsel Cohen Milstein and Scott & Scott filed a consolidated complaint in In re Abbott Laboratories Infant Formula Shareholder Derivative Litigation, a massive shareholder derivative lawsuit brought against Abbott Laboratories’ Board of Directors […]
September 13, 2023
NYC Pensions Say Fox ‘Chose To Invite’ Defamation Suits
New York City’s pension funds and Oregon’s state retirement fund sued Fox Corp. and its board of directors on Tuesday, alleging they ignored the risk of Fox News’ persistent false reporting and “chose to invite robust defamation claims” at the expense of the company’s shareholders. Unlike other media companies that try to minimize their exposure […]
In the News | Law360
May 19, 2023
Bayer Investors Land Class Cert. Over Roundup Litigation
A California federal judge on Friday granted class certification to a group of Bayer AG investors who launched a suit against the company accusing of it downplaying litigation risks related to the weedkiller Roundup after acquiring Monsanto, finding that the suit isn’t trumped by extraterritoriality concerns as claimed by the German multinational. U.S. District Judge […]
In the News | Law360
May 16, 2023
Wells Fargo to Pay $1 Billion to Settle Lawsuit by Shareholders
A group of shareholders had claimed that the bank misled investors about its progress in cleaning up after a sham accounts scandal a decade ago. Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the bank of overstating how much progress it had made in fixing the unlawful practices that […]
In the News | The New York Times
May 16, 2023
Wells Fargo Agrees to $1 Billion Shareholder Settlement
Several pension funds had accused the bank of misleading investors about the extent of its reform efforts after the 2016 fake-accounts scandal Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit brought on by shareholders who had accused the lender of overstating the progress of reforms initiated after the 2016 fake-accounts […]
In the News | The Washington Post
May 15, 2023
Cohen Milstein Secures a Historic $1 Billion Settlement for Shareholders in Wells Fargo Securities Class Action
For Immediate Release Press Contact: Tess Roy firstname.lastname@example.org Investors Successfully Negotiate Settlement in Case Against Wells Fargo Alleging the Bank Misled Investors About Its Compliance with Federal Consent Orders and Likelihood Its Asset Cap Would be Lifted and Look Forward to the Court’s Consideration of the Settlement NEW YORK, NY – Today, Co-Lead Plaintiffs and […]
May 15, 2023
Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay Shareholders $1 Billion to Settle Class-Action Suit
Shareholders claimed the bank and its past leadership were moving slower to address regulatory issues than they acknowledged publicly Wells Fargo agreed to pay shareholders $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the bank of overstating its progress in cleaning up after its 2016 fake-accounts scandal. The bank’s shareholders alleged Wells Fargo and […]
In the News | The Wall Street Journal
February 9, 2023
10th Circ. Seeks Clarity On Overstock.com Crypto Offering
The Tenth Circuit on Thursday questioned attorneys for Overstock.com Inc. and its former executives over why the company pulled the plug on a plan to pay shareholders using cryptocurrency as the appellate court tries to decide whether to revive a lawsuit claiming the “ruse” was intended to squeeze short sellers. The federal appeals court heard […]
In the News | Law360
January 10, 2023
Cohen Milstein Announces New Partners: Christopher J. Bateman, Molly J. Bowen, Brian Corman, Alison Deich, and Eric A. Kafka
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: email@example.com WASHINGTON, DC – Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, one of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ law firms, has named Christopher J. Bateman, Molly J. Bowen, Brian Corman, Alison Deich, and Eric A. Kafka as the firm’s newest partners, effective January 1, 2023. Christopher J. Bateman, a member of the […]
Press Releases | Cohen Milstein
June 2, 2022
“Rising Star: Cohen Milstein’s Molly J. Bowen”
Molly J. Bowen of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC played a key role in shareholder derivative litigation against Pinterest that led to major commitments to governance reform at the social media company and convinced a Manhattan federal judge to keep investor claims alive against Wells Fargo in a suit over the company’s noncompliance with […]
In the News | Law360
March 15, 2022
Molly J. Bowen to Speak on ACS Webinar: “How to Succeed as a Summer Associate”
Molly J. Bowen will speak on the American Constitution Society’s webinar, “How to Succeed as a Summer Associate,” on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. EST. Ms. Bowen and other law firm associates and partners will discuss how law students can make the most of their summer associate experience at a large law firm and how […]
November 25, 2021
“Pinterest Settles Lawsuit Alleging Racial and Gender Discrimination. It’ll Also Spend $50 Million on Reforms Based on the Discrimination Allegations”
Pinterest has settled a lawsuit alleging discrimination against racial minorities and women in its workplace, the company confirmed to CNET via email. The image-sharing social media site also pledged to spend $50 million to promote diversity, but further financial details of the settlement weren’t revealed. Company shareholders accused the board of directors of failing to […]
In the News | CNET
November 24, 2021
RI Treasurer Magaziner, Pinterest, Inc. Shareholders Secure Major Governance Reforms Tied to Improving Workplace Culture
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pinterest agrees to holistic workplace reforms supported by a $50 million investment in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, a commitment to business goals tied to creating a more inclusive product, and a release of NDAs for former employees Settlement in response to allegations that officers and directors breached fiduciary duties by permitting executives to […]
November 2, 2021
Molly J. Bowen Invited to Speak at Cornell Law School’s OutLaw and Women’s Law Coalition and Women of Color Collective
Molly J. Bowen will speak at Cornell Law School’s OutLaw and Women’s Law Coalition and Women of Color Collective webinar on November 3, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. EST. She will speak to Cornell Law School students about her experience working as a securities litigator at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, as well as her experience […]
November 20, 2020
Julie Goldsmith Reiser and Molly Bowen Discuss the Alphabet Settlement – The Sexual Harassment Settlement That Could Change an Entire Industry
Securities litigators take center stage in the #MeToo movement. You don’t always think of securities litigators taking a key role in the fight against sexual harassment, but in the wake of #MeToo, that’s exactly what’s happened. Shareholder derivative lawsuits have sprung up as a response to revelations of sexual misconduct by executives or prominent employees […]
Multimedia | The Jabot Podcast
October 22, 2020
“Bayer Investors Get Lead Plaintiff for Suit Over Roundup Payouts,” Bloomberg Law
Two pension funds picked to lead suit, unopposed Cohen Milstein approved as lead counsel Bayer AG investors secured a lead plaintiff for their California federal court suit accusing the company of misleading them about the litigation risks stemming from its purchase of Roundup maker Monsanto Co. Two pension funds will take the lead in the […]
In the News
October 5, 2020
Paul Hodgson: Derivative vs. Class Action Lawsuits – What’s Best for Shareholders? – Responsible Investor
Shareholder derivative and class action lawsuits serve very different ends for shareholders, but which best serve their interests It’s not the biggest derivative suit ever settled, but it is the biggest related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, with its $310 million (€363 million) fund for instituting workplace equity and board oversight reforms. Yes, […]
In the News
September 25, 2020
“Google Parent Alphabet Settles Shareholder Suit Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” CNET
Alphabet will commit $310 million to corporate diversity initiatives. Google parent company Alphabet has settled a shareholder lawsuit over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations. As part of the settlement, announced Friday, Alphabet will commit $310 million to corporate diversity initiatives, as well as form an advisory board dedicated to diversity and equality issues. […]
In the News
April 27, 2020
Cohen Milstein’s Molly J. Bowen Authors Law360 Expert Analysis, “What a Changing Federal Bench Means for Securities Cases”
By Molly J. Bowen A key measure of a president’s legacy is his or her impact on the federal judiciary. President Donald Trump’s tenure has been marked by a remarkably voluminous and rapid change to the federal bench. This change is likely to accelerate in advance of the 2020 elections. On March 16, it was reported that […]