Laura H. Posner is a partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Investor Protection and Ethics & Fiduciary Counseling practices.
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.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Posner has recovered billions on behalf of defrauded investors. Her notable successes include 6 of the top 100 securities fraud class action settlements of all time, including:
- In re Wells Fargo & Company Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel, represented the 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 the Bank's 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 17th largest securities class action settlement ever, the sixth largest in the last decade, the ninth largest ever in the Second Circuit, and the largest ever without a restatement or related actions by the Securities Exchange Commission or U.S. Department of Justice.
- 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’s other recent high-profile successes include:
- Miller Energy/KPMG (E.D. Tenn.): Cohen Milstein, as Co-Lead Counsel for the Class alleged that KPMG failed to meet its obligations as the independent auditor of Miller Energy Resources, Inc., which perpetrated a massive fraud, including overstating the value of largely worthless oil reserves to more than $480 million. 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 and substantial diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and other governance changes.
- L Brands, Inc. Derivative Litigation: Cohen Milstein represented the State of Oregon and the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund regarding allegations that the 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 the 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. Wynn is the only derivative case in the country involving sexual misconduct allegations to survive demand futility.
- 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.
Ms. Posner is currently involved in the following 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 for allegedly breaching its auditor duties related to 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 that Credit Suisse and its former CEO and CFO committed fraud and manipulated the market for XIV Exchange Traded Notes.
- 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.
- Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. v. Canaccord Genuity LLC, et al. (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein is leading this securities litigation against Canaccord Genuity LLC, Citadel Securities LLC, G1 Execution Services LLC, GTS Securities LLC, Instinet LLC, Lime Trading Corp., Susquehanna International Group LLP, and Virtu Americas LLC for repeated market manipulation tactics involving the spoofing of Northwest Bio's stock.
- Phunware, Inc. v. UBS Securities (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein is leading this securities litigation against UBS Securities for Its repeated market manipulation tactics involving the spoofing of Phunware's stock.
- In re Bristol-Myers Squibb Company CVR Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein Is sole Lead Counsel In this securities class action alleging that Bristol Myers Bristol Myers subverted the FDA approval process for Liso-cel, a blockbuster cancer therapy, for the purpose of avoiding a $6.4 billion milestone payment to holders of contingent value rights (CVRs).
Ms. Posner currently serves as the incoming 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. She is also a member of the Public Policy Council of the CFP Board. She is the immediate past-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 also 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.
Ms. Posner 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, in support of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and in support of the plaintiff on behalf of a group of prominent scholars in Slack Technologies v. Pirani.
For her work, Ms. Posner has received numerous peer and industry recognitions, including The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar Award”, Crain’s New York Business “Notable Woman in Law”, the American Lawyer's Litigator of the Week and Law360's Legal Lions of the Week. Annually, she is honored as a New York Super Lawyer, as a member of Benchmark Litigation’s "Future Stars List," Super Lawyers' Rising Stars and New York Metro Super Lawyers lists and as one of Lawdragon’s Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers. She was recently profiled in Lawdragon, in a piece entitled "Laura Posner is Leading the Way in Investor Protection." Ms. Posner also received NASAA’s “Outstanding Service Award.”
- Incoming President, Institute for Law and Economic Policy
- Member, Public Policy Council, CFP Board
- Former Chairwoman, Securities Litigation Committee, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
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