Laura H. Posner is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Investor Protection and Ethics & Fiduciary Counseling practice groups.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Posner was appointed by the New Jersey Attorney General to serve as the Bureau Chief for the New Jersey Bureau of Securities – the top Securities Regulator in New Jersey. In that capacity, Ms. Posner was responsible for administrating and enforcing the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law and regulations thereunder, as well as managing and overseeing the employees who staff the Bureau of Securities. Cases prosecuted under Ms. Posner’s direction as Bureau Chief resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for New Jersey residents, as well as more than 20 criminal convictions.
Ms. Posner is currently involved in the following notable matters:
- IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund v. Deloitte (D.S.C.): Cohen Milstein is sole Lead Counsel in this putative securities class action against Deloitte entities for allegedly breaching its external auditor duties related to as SCANA’s multi-billion-dollar nuclear energy expansion project in South Carolina.
- Chahal v. Credit Suisse Grp. AG, et al. (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein is Co-Lead Counsel in this putative securities class action alleging fraud and market manipulation of XIV Exchange Traded Note market.
- In re Wells Fargo & Company Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein is Co-Lead Counsel in this putative securities class action, alleging that Wells Fargo and certain executives misrepresented that the bank had improved its governance and oversight structures following a widespread consumer fraud banking scandal in direct violation of its 2018 consent orders with the CFPB, OCC, and the Federal Reserve.
- 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 in the company’s common stock and insider trading.
Ms. Posner’s recent high-profile successes include:
- Miller Energy/KPMG (E.D. Tenn.): Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel in this certified securities class action, represented plaintiffs who alleged that KPMG failed to meet its obligation as the independent auditor of Miller Energy Resources, Inc., perpetrating a massive fraud by Miller Energy, including overstating the value of largely worthless oil reserves to more than $480 million, among other claims. In July 2022, the Court granted final approval of a $35 million settlement.
- In re Pinterest Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein, as Interim Lead Counsel, represented the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island and other Pinterest shareholders in a consolidated shareholder derivative complaint against certain current officers and directors of Pinterest, including its Board Chairman and CEO, for breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act, relating to their alleged personal engagement in and facilitation of a systematic practice of illegal discrimination of employees on the basis of race and sex. As a result of this illegal misconduct, the company’s financial position, goodwill, and reputation among users had been harmed. In June 2022, the Court granted final approval of a $50 million settlement.
- L Brands, Inc. Derivative Litigation: Cohen Milstein, in partnership with the State of Oregon, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, and other shareholders, helped resolve allegations that officers and directors of L Brands, Inc., previous owners of Victoria’s Secret, breached their fiduciary duties by maintaining ties with alleged sex offender and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and fostering a culture of discrimination and misogyny at the company. Following a Delaware General Corporate Law Section 220 books and records demand and an extensive, proprietary investigation, L Brands and the now-standalone company, Victoria’s Secret, agreed to stop enforcing non-disclosure agreements that prohibit the discussion of a sexual harassment claim’s underlying facts; stop using forced arbitration agreements; implement sweeping reforms to their codes of conduct, policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct and retaliation; and to invest $45 million each, for a total of $90 million, in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and DEI Advisory Councils.
- Wynn Resorts, Ltd. Derivative Litigation (Eighth Jud. Dist. Crt., Clark Cnty., Nev.): Cohen Milstein represented New York State Common Retirement Fund and the New York City Pension Funds as Lead Counsel in a derivative shareholder lawsuit against certain officers and directors of Wynn Resorts, Ltd., arising out of their failure to hold Mr. Wynn, the former CEO and Chairman of the Board, accountable for his longstanding pattern of sexual abuse and harassment of company employees. In March 2020, the Court granted final approval of a $90 million settlement in the form of cash payments and landmark corporate governance reforms, placing it among the largest, most comprehensive derivative settlements in history.
- Tradex Global Master Fund SPC Ltd. et al. v. Lancelot Investment Management, LLC, et al. (Crc. Crt., Cook Cnty., Ill.): In August 2018, the Court granted final approval of a $27.5 million settlement, concluding a nearly decade-old putative investor class action against McGladrey & Pullen LLP, an accounting firm, for its alleged fraud and negligence arising out of the Tom Petters’ Ponzi scheme, one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. This case significant for not only the dollar value of the final settlement, but the rarity of such a case in which the auditor was allegedly complicit in its client’s fraud, as well as the number of legal hurdles cleared.
Ms. Posner has recovered billions on behalf of defrauded investors. Her notable successes include 5 of the top 100 securities fraud class action settlements of all time, including:
- In re Schering-Plough Corp./ENHANCE Securities Litigation (D.N.J.) and In re Merck & Co., Inc. Vytorin/Zetia Securities Litigation (D.N.J.): Obtained $688 million for investors on the eve of trial, the third largest recovery ever achieved in the Third Circuit and District of New Jersey, the second largest securities fraud settlement ever against a pharmaceutical company and among the top 25 securities fraud settlements of all time.
- In re The Mills Corporation Securities Litigation (E.D. Va.): Obtained $202.75 million for investors, the largest recovery ever achieved in a securities class action in Virginia, and the second largest recovery ever in the Fourth Circuit.
- In re WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Securities Litigation (M.D. Fla.): Obtained $200 million for investors, the largest recovery ever achieved in a securities class action in Florida, and the second largest recovery in the Eleventh Circuit.
Ms. Posner has also been involved in several landmark derivative cases, including the In re Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation, which redefined the fiduciary duties of corporate directors and officers. She has authored several successful amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court, most recently on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association in support of the SEC in Liu v. SEC and Lorenzo v. SEC and in support of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
Ms. Posner is currently the Chair of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s (NYC Bar) Securities Litigation Committee, and previously served as a member of the NYC Bar’s Securities Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committees. Ms. Posner is also currently a Vice President of the Institute for Law and Economic Policy, a public policy research and educational foundation seeking to preserve, study and enhance investor and consumer access to the civil justice system. Ms. Posner is the former Chairwoman of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Enforcement Committee, and previously served on NASAA’s Multi-Jurisdictional Action Committee, Technology Committee and State Legislation Committee.
For her work, Ms. Posner has received numerous peer and industry recognitions, including The National Law Journal’s 2021 Elite Trial Lawyers “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar Award” and Crain’s New York Business 2020 “Notable Woman in Law.” Annually, she is honored as a New York Super Lawyer, as a member of Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” and as one of Lawdragon’s Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers. In 2017, Ms. Posner received NASAA’s 2017 “Outstanding Service Award.”
Ms. Posner graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. She received her law degree at Harvard Law School in 2004, where she served on the Executive Editorial Committee for the Harvard Women's Law Journal.
- Chairwoman, Securities Litigation Committee, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Vice President, Institute for Law and Economic Policy
Former Chairwoman, Enforcement Committee, North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
- Former Member, Multi-Jurisdictional Action Committee, Technology Committee and State Legislation Committee, NASAA
- Former Member, Securities Regulation and Consumer Affairs Committees, Association of the Bar of the City of New York