BENJAMIN M. CROSSON

Partner
Litigation

EXPERIENCE:

Benjamin Crosson is a partner in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he is a member of the litigation department. Ben specializes in several areas, including advising clients involved in SEC, government, and internal investigations, as well as representing clients in complex class action and shareholder litigation.

In his internal investigations practice, Ben regularly assists clients in navigating sensitive and complex matters, both internally, as well as before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, in connection with potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), insider trading, financial reporting and accounting fraud allegations, and disclosure issues. Ben also regularly counsels clients with respect to related legal, regulatory, and compliance issues arising from their operations.

In his litigation practice, Ben frequently represents companies, as well as their officers and directors, in various types of litigation and litigation-related matters, including securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits, complex civil litigation matters, and shareholder litigation and books and records demands. Ben has successfully secured dismissals or favorable settlements in dozens of such matters on behalf of clients such as Google, Facebook, Chevron, Logitech, SolarCity, TrueCar, FireEye, Fortinet and many others.

Prior to joining the firm, Ben served as a law clerk to the Honorable William B. Shubb of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

SELECT INVESTIGATIONS:
  • Security software company. WSGR represented a top security software company in connection with an internal investigation regarding potential FCPA violations in its APJ region.
  • Data analytics provider. WSGR represented an industry leader in data analytics in connection with an SEC investigation into possible insider trading concerns.
  • Multinational technology company. WSGR represented Fortune 50 company in connection with inquiry involving SEC and DOJ regarding critical hardware vulnerabilities affecting worldwide computer networks.
  • Cybersecurity company. WSGR represented a major cybersecurity company in connection with an internal investigation into potential FCPA, OFAC, CFAA, and other related concerns.
  • Telecommunications company. WSGR represented a major telecommunications company in an investigation by the SEC and DOJ regarding potential bribery and FCPA violations in its APAC region, ultimately leading to a declination by the DOJ.
  • Imaging company. WSGR represented the Audit Committee of a publicly traded leading imaging company in an internal investigation regarding revenue recognition concerns.
  • International pharmaceutical company. Over the span of seven years, WSGR represented the audit committee of a multinational pharmaceutical company in ongoing internal, SEC, and DOJ investigations regarding potential bribery, FCPA, and accounting concerns throughout their business in China, ultimately resulting in a favorable global settlement.
  • Leading biotechnology company. WSGR successfully represented the audit committee of a biotechnology company in an SEC internal investigation regarding certain revenue recognition issues. SEC ultimately took no action against WSGR clients.
SELECT SHAREHOLDER DERIVATIVE AND CLASS ACTION MATTERS:
  • Alphabet, in Alphabet Shareholder Derivative Cases. Following several record-breaking files by the European Union regarding allegations of anti-competitive conduct, WSGR secured several dismissals of shareholder derivative complaints against current and former directors and officers of Alphabet.
  • SolarCity in Bao v. SolarCity Corp., et al. Following SolarCity's restatement of certain prior financials, plaintiffs brought suit in the Northern District of California alleging violations of federal securities laws. WSGR successfully obtained three dismissals, the final time with prejudice. After appeal, the dismissal was subsequently affirmed in a published opinion by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Coupons.com in O'Donnell v. Coupons.com Inc., et al. In this shareholder class action, plaintiffs brought suit in Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara, alleging violations of Section 11 of Securities Act of 1933. Ben argued and won the clients' demurrers, successfully securing for WSGR a dismissal with prejudice, after several amendments to the complaint.
  • TrueCar in Satyabrata Mahapatra v. TrueCar, Inc. et al. In this federal securities class action brought by shareholders alleging violation of federal securities laws, WSGR successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice of the action in its entirety.
  • Chevron in Pipefitters v. Kirkland, et al. WSGR successfully secured a dismissal, with prejudice, of a shareholder derivative complaint filed against the board of directors of Chevron, following the Richmond refinery fire.
  • Facebook in Facebook v. Eduardo Saverin. WSGR represented Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, Inc. in their dispute with former co-founder Eduardo Saverin regarding the equity ownership of the company, in which WSGR successfully reached a beneficial settlement for its clients.
EDUCATION:
  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 2006
    Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; Executive Editor, Columbia Science and Technology Law Review
  • B.A., Psychology, Harvard University, 1999
    Cum Laude; Dean's List; Recipient, Harvard College Scholarship for Academic Excellence
SELECT PUBLICATIONS:
  • Co-author with E. Peterson, "Navigating the Thorny Path of Corporate Compliance in the Wake of Dodd-Frank," Inside the Minds: SEC Compliance Best Practices—Leading Lawyers on Managing Risks, Building and Maintaining Compliance Programs, and Understanding New Legislation, Aspatore, 2011
SELECT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:
  • Speaker, "Whistleblowing and Hotline Management 2.0—How to Appropriately Respond to an Increasing Number of Reports," American Conference Institute's Ninth West Coast FCPA Enforcement and Compliance Conference, San Francisco, October 18, 2016
ADMISSIONS:
  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of California

Contact Information

650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone | 650-565-3851

Email | Ben Crossonbcrosson@wsgr.com


Areas of Expertise

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