Daniel S. Sommers is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, the immediate past Co-Chair of the firm's Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice, and a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee, on which he served for twelve years from 2007 through 2019.
Mr. Sommers is a highly-regarded securities litigator and thought leader in the areas of securities and class action litigation as well as investor rights. During his over three-decade career at Cohen Milstein, Mr. Sommers has taken leadership roles in litigating large, complex and significant securities cases. He has provided litigation counsel to institutional investors, including state-wide public pension funds; public safety pension funds and Taft-Hartley pension funds. Many of his cases have resulted in important rulings and legal precedents, as well as in significant recoveries for investors totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Some of his notable matters include:
- Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass Through Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Co-lead counsel representing the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund in a $505 million landmark settlement (including a $5 million expense fund) of a securities class action suit alleging that Bear Stearns violated securities laws in the sale of mortgage backed securities to investors. This is the largest recovery ever obtained in a securities class action on behalf of investors in mortgage-backed securities.
- Converium/SCOR Securities Litigation (Netherlands): Co-lead counsel in a groundbreaking $58.4 million securities class action recovery, in which the Amsterdam Court of Appeal declared binding a world-wide class action settlement of claims of non-U.S. investors who purchased Converium shares outside of the United States. The ruling was a major victory for worldwide investors because it successfully implemented the Dutch Collective Settlement Statute even though the underlying transactions had limited contact with the Netherlands.
- Fannie Mae Securities Litigation (D.D.C.): Played a significant role in a high-profile securities class action representing the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio against Fannie Mae, several of its former executives and KPMG involving allegations of falsified financial statements. The $153 million settlement amount represents the largest recovery in a securities fraud class action ever obtained in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
- CP Ships Ltd. Securities Litigation (M.D. Fla.): Co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that CP Ships, a Canadian company headquartered in England but with substantial operations in Tampa, Florida, issued false financial statements. Mr. Sommers argued an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, successfully opposing objections to a settlement that provided non-U.S. investors with the protections of the federal securities laws.
Mr. Sommers has obtained significant recoveries for investors in numerous other securities class action cases in federal courts throughout the United States including: Steiner v. Southmark Corporation (N.D. Tex.) (over $70 million recovery); In re PictureTel Inc. Securities Litigation (D. Mass.) ($12 million recovery); In re Opus Bank Securities Litigation (C.D. Cal.) (representing the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and obtaining a $17 million recovery); In re Physician Corporation of America Securities Litigation (S.D. Fla.) ($10.2 million recovery); In re Gilat Satellite Securities Litigation (E.D.N.Y.) ($20 million recovery); In re Pozen Inc. Securities Litigation (M.D.N.C.) ($11.2 million recovery); In re Nextel Communications Securities Litigation (D.N.J.) (up to $27 million recovery); In re PSINet Inc. Securities Litigation (E.D. Va.) ($17.8 million recovery); In re Cascade International Inc. Securities Litigation (S.D. Fla.) (global recovery of approximately $10 million); In re GT Solar Securities Litigation (D.N.H.) (representing the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and obtaining a recovery of $10.5 million); Mulligan v. Impax Laboratories, Inc. (N.D. Cal.) (representing the Boilermakers Blacksmith National Pension Trust and obtaining a recovery of $8 million); Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund v. Orthofix, N.V. (S.D.N.Y.) (representing the Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund and obtaining a recovery of $11 million) and In re ECI Telecom Securities Ltd. Litigation (E.D. Va.) ($21.75 million recovery). He has also handled significant appellate matters including arguing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Hemmer Group v. Southwest Water Company, where he obtained a reversal of the district court’s order dismissing investors’ claims under the Securities Act of 1933. In addition, he was co-lead counsel for investors before the Supreme Court of the United States in Broudo v. Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 544 U.S. 336 (2005) (addressing the standards for pleading loss causation).
Mr. Sommers is also experienced in non-class action litigation. He represented TBG Inc., a multi-billion dollar privately-held overseas corporation, in a multi-party, complex action alleging fraud in a corporate acquisition and represented individuals in connection with investigations brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. He also has represented publicly traded corporations in the prosecution and defense of claims.
Mr. Sommers has litigated cases covering a wide-range of industries including the financial services, computer software, pharmaceutical, healthcare, insurance, real estate and telecommunications industries among others. In addition, he has substantial experience in cases presenting complex accounting and auditing issues.
A thought leader in the area of securities and class action litigation, as well as investor rights, Mr. Sommers is frequently called on to speak both to other lawyers and institutional investors. He has been quoted on these topics in a variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg BNA, Pension and Investments, and Law360.
Mr. Sommers is the immediate past Chair of the Markets Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors, having served for two consecutive terms (2018 – 2019). He is currently a member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. He served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Investor Rights Committee of the Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section, District of Columbia Bar, and through the years has been a guest lecturer at Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; Georgetown Law Center; and George Washington University Law School. He has also served as a member of the editorial advisory boards of Bloomberg BNA Securities Litigation & Law Report and Law360 Securities.
Named a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer every year since 2011, Mr. Sommers has also been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of AV Preeminent®, and Benchmark Plaintiff has recognized him as a litigation star in multiple years.
Mr. Sommers attended Union College, where he earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science, and graduated from George Washington University Law School.
- Member, Securities Litigation Committee, National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
- Past Chairman, Markets Advisory Council, Council of Institutional Investors
- Past Chairman, Investor Rights Committee of the Corporation, Finance & Securities Law Section, District of Columbia Bar
- Guest Lecturer, Georgetown Law Center
- Guest Lecturer, George Washington University Law School
- Guest Lecturer, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America