Christopher M. Joralemon is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Mr. Joralemon is a member of Gibson Dunn's Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups. He serves as Chair of the New York Community Affairs Committee, the New York Office Pro Bono Chair, and he also is a member of Gibson Dunn's Global Pro Bono Committee.
Mr. Joralemon represents financial institutions, multinational companies and senior executives in financial and securities litigation, complex commercial disputes, internal investigations and regulatory proceedings.
He has successfully defended a wide range of clients in high-profile matters involving some of the most noteworthy financial cases of the last twenty years. For example, Mr. Joralemon represented Chevron Corporation in "the case of the century" as a key member of the Gibson Dunn trial team that successfully prosecuted a RICO action to block enforcement of a fraudulent US$9 billion judgment issued in Ecuador.
Most recently, Mr. Joralemon achieved yet another victory on behalf of Trust Company of the West ("TCW"), a leading global asset management firm, when the New York Appellate Division (First Department)—in a virtually unprecedented ruling—granted TCW summary judgment against two now-defunct Australian hedge funds based on their failure to rebut TCW's showing that the global financial crisis commencing in 2007—and not any conduct by TCW—caused plaintiffs' investment losses in the $400 million CDO at issue. In notching this latest triumph, Mr. Joralemon maintained a perfect record in defeating a series of unrelated post-financial crisis lawsuits against TCW stemming from investment losses in multi-billion-dollar structured finance transactions.
Mr. Joralemon also recently achieved a noteworthy win on behalf of leading beauty products manufacturer Coty Inc. by defeating a securities class action arising out of the company's $1 billion IPO. Despite the complaint's inclusion of seven "confidential informants" supporting an allegation that Coty had failed disclose negative material trends in its business, the court rejected the claims as a "classic example of Monday morning-quarterbacking," and granted Coty's motion to dismiss with prejudice.
Early in his career, Mr. Joralemon orchestrated an important victory on behalf of a former mutual fund executive in a closely watched "market timing" enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Following an appeal by the SEC from an order dismissing the action, an en banc panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the SEC's efforts to expand the scope of Rule 10b-5 primary liability based on an actor's "central role" in the securities markets. The decision was widely lauded by the business and financial communities.
Mr. Joralemon currently represents Vale S.A., one of the world's largest mining companies, in two different billion-dollar putative securities class actions filed in the wake of the Fundão Dam accident in Brazil. He also is defending global financial services provider Macquarie in a fraud suit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in connection with a substantial infrastructure project financing. Mr. Joralemon also is leading the representation of a prominent accounting firm in an SEC investigation concerning audits of a publicly traded international technology company.
Other Representative Matters:
- Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and BNY Mellon Capital Markets: Obtained voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a putative securities class action concerning The Bank of New York Mellon's foreign exchange practices.
- The Royal Bank of Canada: Favorably resolved highly publicized regulatory and civil proceedings arising out of structured finance investment losses realized by five Wisconsin School Districts in the wake of the global financial crisis.
- Moody's: Secured positive eve-of-trial settlements of two separate investor actions stemming from the collapse of multi-billion-dollar structured investment vehicles during the global financial crisis.
- Morgan Stanley and The Bank of New York Mellon: Negotiated advantageous settlements in $5 billion civil litigation relating to the collapse of Adelphia Communications Corporation.
- Citigroup: Won summary judgment in a $13 billion class action litigation arising out of the failure of Parmalat.
- Merrill Lynch: Successfully navigated a broad range of Enron-related hearings, investigations and proceedings.
- SMBC Capital Markets: Won dismissal of a federal False Claims Act qui tam action—affirmed in a seminal Second Circuit decision—involving the municipal bond market "yield burning" scandal.
Throughout his career, Mr. Joralemon has remained committed to pro bono and charitable activities. He currently leads a team of attorneys working to exonerate a man wrongly convicted of murder almost twenty years ago. He also has supervised young attorneys handling criminal appeals on behalf of the District Attorney's Offices for Kings and Queens Counties, has represented the Republic of Liberia in disputes involving diplomatic operations in New York, and has organized groups of lawyers to monitor polling locations in several states as part of non-partisan voter protection efforts during presidential elections. Mr. Joralemon also has coordinated fundraising efforts through law firm participation in corporate sporting events on behalf of charitable organizations dedicated to preventing domestic abuse and providing a safe haven for victims of domestic violence.
Mr. Joralemon graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law, where he served as Editor of the Boston University Law Review.