Joel Haims is a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense Group and previously served as co-chair of the Group. His practice focuses on securities litigation, including class actions, shareholder derivative cases and corporate control litigation, and SEC enforcement proceedings and corporate internal investigations. He also has substantial experience litigating complex commercial cases, including real estate disputes and contested bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr. Haims represents public companies, their officers, directors and board committees in cases before trial and appellate courts throughout the country, and in mediation to facilitate settlement. He has represented financial institutions and their executives in litigation and other regulatory matters arising from the recent financial crisis, including in matters related to residential mortgage-backed securities. He regularly defends clients from a diverse range of industries, including financial services, real estate, life sciences, technology and consumer products, and has extensive experience advising foreign-based companies, particularly in China, Japan, Israel, and Bermuda, in connection with securities and compliance issues related to their cross-border and U.S. operations.
Mr. Haims also works closely with the firm’s Business & Finance Department lawyers on a variety of corporate and securities transactions. For example, he has worked closely with the firm’s real estate group advising banks and commercial real estate developers on the securities law aspects of real estate financing transactions involving the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program.
Mr. Haims has extensive experience litigating religious rights cases, particularly under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). He served as lead trial counsel for the Westchester Day School in its landmark litigation against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals under RLUIPA, and he successfully defended the USTA in a religious discrimination lawsuit.
Mr. Haims is a frequent author and lecturer on topics involving securities litigation, and arbitration/mediation. He is recognized by Legal 500 for his work in Securities: Shareholder Litigation, and is considered a “Future Star” in New York by Benchmark Litigation.
Securities Class Actions/Individual Cases
- Co-led the defense on behalf of 300 issuers and over 1,000 individual defendants in the “IPO Allocation” securities class actions – perhaps the largest collection of securities class actions ever brought.
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Cirrus Logic, Blackberry, Etsy, Nortel, Argus Group, ATC Healthcare, Pharmos Corp., Qiao Xing, and LJ International.
- Represented ResCap LLC in connection with the successful settlement of billions of dollars of residential mortgage backed securities claims (and more than two dozen securities cases) as part of ResCap’s bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented Hong Kong affiliate of a Big Four auditor in defense of claims arising out of a bond offering by a Canadian public company.
- Won dismissal of all claims against an investment firm and its two principals in securities litigation arising from a complex $50 million PIPE transaction involving equity and interest rate swaps.
- Represented Chinese individuals in insider trading case brought by the SEC alleging trading in the securities of Nexen Inc. while in possession of nonpublic information about an impending announcement of Nexen’s acquisition by China-based CNOOC Ltd.
Shareholder Derivative Litigation
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder derivative cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Yahoo!, Capital One, Cirrus Logic, Vringo, Eclispys, and LJ International.
- Represented Astellas Pharma in connection with its $4 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Represented Yahoo! Inc. in connection with its $270 million acquisition of Interclick, Inc.
- Represented NTT DATA CORP in connection with its $200 million acquisition of Intelligroup, Inc.
- Represented SBI Holdings in litigation in state court in Washington to compel Acucela, Inc. to hold a special shareholders meeting to vote to remove four members of the board of directors and to vote on four director nominees proposed by SBI to fill the vacancies.
RLUIPA/Religious Rights Cases
- Served as lead trial counsel and secured a landmark victory in the S.D.N.Y. on behalf of pro bono client Westchester Day School against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals for violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in its denial of the school’s special permit to expand its facilities. Also successfully argued the appeal in the Second Circuit.
- Filed amicus brief in Supreme Court of the United States in Holt v. Hobbs, et al. in support of an Arkansas inmate who was denied the ability to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his Muslim faith.
- Filed amicus brief in United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Rich v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections, et al. in support of successful kosher diet litigation against the Florida prison system.
- Successfully defended the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in SDNY litigation relating to the 2014 Eastern Sectional Championships.
- Represented Bermuda insurance company Argus Group Holdings in litigation with deferred variable annuity policyholder relating to premium account investment loses.
- Represented Israeli pharmaceutical company in dispute with U.S.-based joint venture partner.
- Represented Australian sunless tanning company in litigation with U.S. competitor.
- Represented investment bank in dispute over fees for M&A services.
- Represented real estate brokerage firm in litigation alleging that it convinced a client to lease more space than it needed for a new N.Y. office based on assurances that it would find subtenants for the excess space and the firm failed to deliver on those assurances.
- Represented broker dealer in disputes with competitors over poaching allegations.
- Representing Inko’s Tea in consumer class action alleging deceptive sales practices for marketing Inko’s White Tea products as “100% Natural” and “100% All-Natural”.