Sean M. Handler

Partner

EDUCATION
  • Colby College
    B.A. with distinction
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law
    J.D. cum laude
ADMISSIONS
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • USDC, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • USDC, Eastern District of Michigan
  • USDC, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • USDC, Western District of Arkansas
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Sean Handler helps clients recover assets and damages in litigation worldwide. He handles a wide variety of cases, including securities fraud (both shareholder class actions and direct—or opt-out—actions), breach of fiduciary duty, product liability, consumer fraud, whistleblower, antitrust, and oil and gas litigation. 

Sean jointly oversees the lead plaintiff appointment process for institutional clients with his partner, Naumon Amjed. He has obtained numerous noteworthy appointments for clients in reported decisions and has argued before federal courts throughout the country, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Experience
Representative Outcomes
  • Obtained a $2.4 billion settlement in litigation against Bank of America (BoA) relating to its merger with Merrill Lynch & Co. (Merrill). Our clients, Dutch National pension fund PGGM and Swedish National pension fund AP4, alleged that BoA gave shareholders false and misleading information about Merrill’s financial condition and obligations prior to a key vote on the merger. 

    The settlement, which included an undertaking to improve corporate governance policies, was the 6th-largest ever in a securities class action and the largest so far to come out of the subprime meltdown and credit crisis.

  • Represented the Miami Beach Employees’ Retirement Plan, the City of Tallahassee Pension Plan, the Philadelphia Public Employees Retirement System and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Pension Fund in pursuing claims against Citigroup for concealing its exposure to subprime mortgage debt—exposure that, once revealed, led to massive investment losses during the 2008 financial crisis. 

    Investors’ claims resulted in a historic settlement of $730 million, the second largest recovery ever under Section 11 of the Securities Act.   

  • We served as sole lead counsel on behalf of Dutch National Pension fund PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V. and a putative class of Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) investors, in an action against HP alleging that HP and its officers and directors made false and misleading statements relating to the $11 billion acquisition and value of Autonomy Corporation plc. PGGM alleged, on behalf of the putative class, that the defendants knew or should have known that Autonomy was worth considerably less than the purchase price, and that HP shareholders were harmed by the fraud.  After several years of hard-fought litigation and settlement negotiations, HP agreed to settle the matter for $100 million in cash. The settlement was approved by the Court on November 13, 2015. In approving the settlement, the Court complimented the terms of the settlement and PGGM's and KTMC's efforts, stating that KTMC “did a great job” and calling the settlement "an excellent resolution of this case" and "a very good result for their class."

  • Represented the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association, former shareholders of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., (Lehman) in a case alleging that Lehman made false and misleading statements prior to its unprecedented bankruptcy filing in 2008. 

    The statements, which concerned Lehman’s net leverage, risk management and concentration of risks, were made ’in registration statements and prospectuses used to market numerous offerings leading up to the bankruptcy filing. Despite Lehman’s bankruptcy, we were able to negotiate a $616 million settlement funded by Lehman’s underwriters, auditor and officers and directors. 

  • In one of the most significant cases arising out of the financial crisis, we recovered $627 million for purchasers of certain Wachovia Corporation (Wachovia) preferred securities.

    Our client, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Pension Fund, alleged that registration statements, prospectuses and prospectus supplements used to market 30 separate offerings had contained materially false and misleading statements and omissions regarding Wachovia’s liquidity and portfolio value. The settlement included a $37 million recovery from the company’s outside auditor. 

Speaking Engagements

Sean also lectures and serves on discussion panels concerning securities litigation matters, most recently appearing at American Conference Institute's National Summit on the Future of Fiduciary Responsibility and Institutional Investor’s The Rights & Responsibilities of Institutional Investors.

Awards/Ranking

Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, 2019

Membership

American Bar Association

Community Involvement

Board Member—Seasit (Cancer Recovery Through Recreation)

Baseball Committee Member—Huntingdon Valley Athletics Association

Participant and Fundraiser —American Cancer Society’s Bike-A-Thon