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 defense of companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions and derivative suits, complex civil litigation, and internal investigations and representations before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in connection with potential financial reporting and accounting fraud allegations, disclosure issues, and potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

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 SHAREHOLDER DERIVATIVE AND CLASS ACTION MATTERS:
  • SolarCity in Bao v. SolarCity Corp., et al. Following SolarCity's restatement of certain prior financials in March 2014, 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 in August 2016.
  • 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. In 2016, WSGR successfully secured 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 in 2015 successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice of the action in its entirety.
  • Chevron in Pipefitters v. Kirkland, et al. In 2014, 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.
  • Logitech in Vitalone v. Logitech International SA. In this federal securities class action brought by shareholders alleging violation of federal securities laws, WSGR in 2012 successfully obtained a dismissal with leave to amend and a subsequent voluntary dismissal with prejudice of the action in its entirety.
SELECT INVESTIGATIONS:
  • Major software company. In 2016, WSGR represented a major software company in connection with several internal investigations regarding potential bribery and FCPA concerns in its APAC region.
  • 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 in 2016.
  • Leading biotechnology company. In 2015, 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.
  • Major software company. In 2013, WSGR successfully represented a Fortune 500 software company in an SEC internal investigation regarding potential bribery and FCPA concerns throughout global operations, ultimately resulting in no action being taken by the SEC.
SELECT COMPLEX AND MERGER LITIGATION MATTERS:
  • Flextronics in Carrigan v. Solectron Corporation, et al. In 2011, WSGR succeeded in obtaining a final dismissal without prejudice of the action in its entirety in litigation by former Solecton shareholder alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with Flextronics' acquisition of Solectron Corporation. Additionally, WSGR successfully obtained an appellate order affirming the dismissal with prejudice of certain individual defendants and also succeeded in obtaining an award against the plaintiffs for costs incurred during the litigation.
  • Major consulting company. In 2010, WSGR successfully represented members of a major consulting company in an arbitrated dispute regarding millions of dollars of equity-based compensation owed. After a two-week arbitration, WSGR obtained a successful judgment that significantly favored its clients for a total of approximately $20 million.
  • Genentech in In re Genentech, Inc. Shareholders Litigation. In 2009, WSGR successfully represented Genentech in connection with shareholder litigation arising out of Roche's $46.8 billion acquisition of Genentech. WSGR defeated an attempt to enjoin the merger from closing, after which a beneficial settlement was reached.
  • Facebook in Facebook v. Eduardo Saverin. In 2008, 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.
SELECT CLIENTS:
  • A10 Networks
  • Chevron
  • Coupons.com (Quotient)
  • Creative Commons
  • Epicor
  • Facebook
  • FireEye
  • Flextronics
  • Fortinet
  • Fusion-io
  • Genentech
  • HealthNet
  • InfoSpace
  • Intermedia
  • Logitech
  • Marrone Bio Innovations
  • Pacific BioSciences
  • Pandora
  • Polycom
  • SciClone Pharmaceuticals
  • SolarCity
  • Symantec
  • TeleNav
  • TrueCar
  • Zynga
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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