STEVEN M. SCHATZ
Mergers & Acquisitions
Internal & Government Investigations
White Collar Crime
Steven Schatz is a senior litigator, specializing in shareholder disputes and financial fraud matters. As civil litigator and a former federal prosecutor, he has tried numerous cases, including as lead trial counsel in the litigation over the merger between Hewlett-Packard and Compaq in the Delaware Chancery Court. Steve represented Hewlett-Packard, who prevailed in the trial. He also has argued more than 25 times in various federal Courts of Appeals, as well as before the Supreme Courts of California and Delaware.
From 1975 to 1979, Steve was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. His successful jury trials included the prosecution of Allen Klein, former manager of the Beatles. Previously, Steve served as a law clerk to Judge Walter Mansfield of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Since joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a partner in 1984, Steve has served in nearly every leadership position at the firm, including chair of the litigation practice, chair of the Compensation Committee, and member of the Executive Committee. He currently serves as a member of the firm's Policy Committee.
Steve's current practice has three main components. First is his defense of companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions and derivative suits. He has been lead counsel in approximately 100 such cases over the last 20 years in courts around the country.
The second part of his practice consists of internal investigations and representations before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in connection with potential financial frauds. Steve has experience in a wide variety of accounting issues and whistleblower claims. He also has handled numerous insider-trading matters and alleged violations of Regulation FD, as well as provided preventative counseling on corporate governance and disclosure matters. Steve was counsel to Siebel Systems in the first successful challenge to Reg FD, which resulted in a dismissal of the complaint in the in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The third leg of his practice consists of complex civil litigation. Steve has been lead counsel in numerous merger and acquisition litigations, as well as major matters, including for such companies as Freescale Semiconductor, Advent Software, Strayer Education, H&R Block, and Infogroup; for financial institutions like PRTM, Lazard Freres, Silver Lake, and Credit Suisse; and for a number of venture capital firms.
Recognized for his expertise, Steve has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on securities reform and is a frequent speaker at litigation- and securities-related programs. He served as president of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California). Steve currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and has served on the Agenda for Excellence Council for the University of Pennsylvania.SELECT CLIENTS:
- Siebel Systems
- Ventana Medical Systems
- Cirrus Logic (I and II)
- Critical Path
- Crossworlds Software, Inc.
- Daisy Systems
- Diamond Multimedia
- E*TRADE (Outside Directors)
- Force Media
- H&R Block
- Hewlett-Packard (I-VIII)
- Hewlett-Packard (Compaq Merger Case)
- Informix (I and II)
- Lazard Freres
- Level One Communications
- Sam & Libby
- SciClone Pharmaceuticals
- Secure Computing
- Silicon Graphics
- STAC Electronics
- Strayer Education
- The North Face
- Trident Microsystems
- Ventana Medical Systems
- Wyse Technology (I and II)
- Please see wsgr.com for a complete list of cases.
- J.D., Columbia University Law School, 1972
Notes and Comments Editor, Columbia Law Review
- B.A., Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1969
- Steering Committee Member, Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School
- Honored among California's top litigators in the 2012 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which describes him as "very effective in motion practice" and notes that his clients are "delighted by his pragmatic approach and his accessibility"
- Selected for inclusion in the book Best Lawyers in America
- Recognized by The Recorder newspaper (an American Lawyer affiliate) as one of the top three "go-to" securities defense lawyers in the Bay Area
- Selected for inclusion in The Legal 500 US
- Named in Northern California Super Lawyers
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
- Selected by L.A. Daily Journal as a "Top" Securities Litigator in California
- Bar of the District of Columbia
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of New York