William K. (“Ned”) Dodds has served as lead counsel in the representation of major institutional clients, officers, directors and professionals in significant litigation, arbitration and government enforcement matters for over 30 years. Mr. Dodds headed the firm’s global white collar, securities and commercial litigation group for over a decade before relocating from New York to Hong Kong in 2013 to serve as Resident Liaison Partner for Asia. He focuses on the integration and continued expansion of the firm’s Asian practices while also adding seasoned expertise to the firm’s Asia investigations and cross-border disputes team.
In recent years Mr. Dodds’ practice has centered on defense of public and private companies, financial institutions, officers and directors, and professionals in securities fraud class actions, derivative and corporate governance litigation, commercial litigation, and in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by government regulators. He has also led internal investigations for both public and private companies, investment managers and private fund groups relating to potential violations of both U.S. and international law. Throughout his career, Mr. Dodds has tried class actions and other securities matters in the U.S. federal and state courts, before various arbitration panels and before professional disciplinary panels. In addition to his experience in litigation and investigations, Mr. Dodds is frequently called upon to provide advice to senior management, boards and board committees on issues of corporate governance, litigation exposure and regulatory issues. He has also handled numerous commercial arbitration matters in various U.S. forums and The Hague.
The 2012 edition of Benchmark Litigation featured Mr. Dodds as a New York Litigation Star in white-collar crime, commenting that peers considered him “among the very best” and noting his focus on white-collar work for securities clients and his expertise in SEC proceedings and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority matters. Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2014 noted his “senior-level credibility” and recommended him for his expertise in its Dispute Resolution and Regulatory categories in Hong Kong. Mr. Dodds is also designated as a New York “Super Lawyer” in Securities Litigation, Business Litigation, Corporate Governance & Compliance by Super Lawyers, a publication of Thomson-Reuters.
Mr. Dodds’ work as lead counsel in recent class action, complex commercial litigation and government enforcement matters have included:
- representation of a large mutual fund investment complex in a putative class and derivative actions relating to disclosure of risks relating to real estate securitized assets;
- conduct of an internal investigation on behalf of a large hedge fund into issues raised by securities trading in the context of corporate takeover activities;
- defense of the parent corporation of a hedge fund manager that advised a number of the largest Madoff feeder funds in class actions and individual claims filed across the country alleging securities and common law fraud;
- defense of approximately 20 major mutual funds complexes and large institutional investors, among others, against fraudulent conveyance actions seeking, in each instance, the clawback of billions of dollars paid to investors in LBO transactions;
- defense of a major multinational technology company in a consolidated class action securities litigation alleging financial statements and revenue projections were false and misleading;
- representation of a major hedge fund in investigations commenced by several European securities regulators relating to shareholder activist activities involving a major European securities exchange;
- representation of a major investment manager in connection with fee and disclosure issues relating to foreign currency exchange transactions; and
- defense of an investment management company in putative ERISA class and individual actions arising out of losses allegedly incurred as a result of investment in offshore structured investment vehicles.
University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.A., 1975, with honors
New York University School of Law, J.D., 1980
Registered Foreign Lawyer, Hong Kong
Mr. Dodds has served on the Government Ethics, State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, and Federal Courts Committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and is currently a member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. He was also a court-appointed mediator for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for New York County. For over a decade, Mr. Dodds served as pro bono outside litigation counsel for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the entity formed to restore lower Manhattan following the events of 9/11. He has also handled disability claims on behalf of U.S. veterans, prisoner’s rights cases and appeals as special counsel to the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Publications and Lectures
As a featured speaker at various industry and legal seminars, Mr. Dodds has spoken in recent years on FCPA, compliance, securities, corporate governance and litigation strategy topics at programs sponsored by many organizations including Columbia University School of Law, the Investment Company Institute, the Bond Market Association, the American Corporate Counsel Association, and the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies and by clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, TIAA-CREF, The Hartford and American Express.