Webcast: Potential Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Securities and Derivative Litigation

May 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded rapidly, causing unprecedented changes in daily life, disruption to businesses and the economy, as well as dramatic market volatility. Even as companies adjust to the new business environment, they also must remain vigilant to avoid potential exposure to securities class action and derivative action liability. In this webinar, Gibson Dunn and Cornerstone Research will discuss the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for securities and derivative litigation, including the following topics:

  • The economic and other similarities and differences between this “black swan” event and other events that caused substantial market volatility, such as the 2008 financial crisis
  • Issues for companies to consider in preparing risk disclosures and discussing forward looking projections
  • Best practices for Board of Directors oversight
  • Financial reporting considerations
  • Economic analyses that are particularly relevant for COVID-19 related securities actions

View Slides (PDF)


Lori Benson is a Senior Vice President and heads Cornerstone Research’s New York office. Over the course of her more than twenty years with the firm, she has prepared strategy and expert testimony in all aspects of complex commercial litigation, including trials, arbitrations, settlements, and regulatory inquiries. Ms. Benson has consulted on a wide range of cases including securities class actions, market manipulation, valuation, asset management and fixed income securities disputes.

Yan Cao is a Vice President at Cornerstone Research’s New York office. Dr. Cao specializes in issues related to financial economics and financial reporting across a range of complex litigation and regulatory proceedings. Her experience covers securities, market manipulation, M&A, risk management, and bankruptcy matters. Dr. Cao has fifteen years of experience consulting on securities class actions that cover a wide variety of industries, with a focus on financial institutions. She has also worked on regulatory investigation and enforcement matters led by the SEC, the CFTC, the DOJ, the NY Fed, and state AGs. Dr. Cao is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountant.

Jennifer L. Conn is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Litigation, Securities Litigation, Securities Enforcement, Appellate, and Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Practice Groups. Ms. Conn has extensive experience in a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters, including those involving securities, financial services, accounting, business restructuring and reorganization, antitrust, contracts, and information technology. In addition, Ms. Conn is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, lecturing on securities litigation.

Elaine Harwood is a Vice President at Cornerstone Research’s Los Angeles office and heads the firm’s accounting practice. She consults to clients and works with experts on securities litigation, complex enforcement matters brought by the SEC and PCAOB, and corporate investigations. She is an expert on financial accounting, financial reporting, and auditing. Dr. Harwood has served for more than twenty years as a consultant and expert on a wide range of liability and damages issues. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the AICPA. Who’s Who Legal recognizes Dr. Harwood as a leading forensic accountant in the legal investigations space.

Avi Weitzman is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations, Crisis Management, Securities Enforcement and Litigation, and Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Groups. Mr. Weitzman is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney, with experience handling complex commercial disputes in diverse areas of law, white-collar and regulatory enforcement defense, internal investigations, and securities litigations. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Weitzman served for seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, primarily in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and Organized Crime Unit.


This program has been approved for credit in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 1.0 credit hour, of which 1.0 credit hour may be applied toward the areas of professional practice requirement.  This course is approved for transitional/non-transitional credit.

Attorneys seeking New York credit must obtain an Affirmation Form prior to watching the archived version of this webcast. Please contact Victoria Chan (Attorney Training Manager) at [email protected] to request the MCLE form.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.0 hour.

California attorneys may claim “self-study” credit for viewing the archived version of this webcast.  No certificate of attendance is required for California “self-study” credit.