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Matthew L. Larrabee has more than 30 years of experience in trial and appellate practice and currently serves as Chair of Dechert’s global litigation practice group. He has served as lead trial counsel for many leading businesses in the financial services, mutual fund, hedge fund, private equity and technology industries.

Since 2012, Chambers USA has ranked Mr. Larrabee as a leading commercial litigator and, since 2013, as a leading securities litigation attorney, citing that “it’s clear he knows his stuff,” and describing him as an “excellent strategist, experienced litigator and a valued advisor” who "is very savvy with good courtroom judgment skills." In 2015 The Legal 500 recognized his securities and shareholder litigation practice, naming him a "top-tier litigator." He was named a "Litigation Star" in both California and New York by Benchmark Litigation 2015 for his white collar defense practice. In addition, Mr. Larrabee has been regularly recognized as a top-tier attorney for his work in commercial litigation by The Best Lawyers in America since 2007, and was named among the San Francisco Business Times' “2010 Best Lawyers in the Bay Area,” and The San Francisco Chronicle’s “San Francisco’s Top Attorneys” of 2012.

Mr. Larrabee has significant experience in financial services litigation, securities class actions, internal investigations, shareholder derivative litigation, mergers and acquisitions, appraisal actions, and other complex commercial litigation. He has tried a wide range of cases and has argued a number of appeals on class action and other issues of first impression. Mr. Larrabee speaks more than a dozen times a year to clients and at industry conferences on litigation risks, particularly those facing the financial services industry. He is also co-author of Mutual Fund Litigation and Insurance Guide (LexisNexis, 2013), a book that examines the legal risks faced by the mutual fund industry.

Significant Representations


Funds and Asset Managers
  • Section 36(b) Claims. Representing numerous advisers, funds and boards in excessive fee litigations brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, including Calamos Advisors LLC, Prudential Investments LLC, and five trustee boards.
  • Municipal Bond Class Actions. Currently defending OppenheimerFunds, Inc., and its senior officers and directors, in multi-billion dollar MDL proceedings brought by investors in seven municipal bond funds that invested in a range of allegedly volatile securities. 
  • Fixed Income Securities Litigation. Defended one of the country’s leading mutual fund complexes and its senior directors and officers in investor class actions claiming over US$2 billion in losses suffered on fixed income funds invested in credit default swaps, total return swaps, and mortgage backed securities. 
  • Internal Investigations. Represented a US$3 billion public REIT that suffered a $700 million restatement; led investigation and pursuit of remedies for accounting errors, which produced more than $175 million in shareholder value from third party professionals and service providers, which included multi-week arbitration.
  • Derivative and Class Claims. Defended a leading mutual fund complex in derivative and putative class action litigation arising from the failure of a large mutual fund during the credit crisis. Obtained summary judgment in favor of the fund and successfully defended the judgment on appeal.
  • Charles Schwab. Represented Schwab Investments, its Trustees, and Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. following the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Schwab Investments v. Northstar Financial Advisors, Inc.. On remand, obtained final judgment on SLUSA pre-emption grounds.
  • Futures Market Manipulation Claims. Represented mutual funds advised by the world’s largest fixed income investment manager in a Commodity Exchange Act class action alleging claims of market manipulation relating to ten-year Treasury futures contracts. Significant mergers and acquisitions of appraisal representations.
  • Madoff Securities Litigation. Defended Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp., and several of its directors and officers, in investor actions arising out of the massive fraud perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff. Significant commercial litigation representation.
  • ICI Representation. Represented the Investment Company Institute, as amicus curiae, including briefing opposite the Securities and Exchange Commission, in consolidated cases involving allegedly inappropriate investment concentrations in mortgage backed securities.

M&A and Appraisals
  • Safeway. Defended against a US$2 billion-plus Delaware Chancery Court appraisal proceeding arising from the supermarket chain’s US$9 billion acquisition by Albertsons. At the time it was brought, the case was the largest appraisal proceeding in Delaware history.
  • Inhibitex Acquisition. Represented Inhibitex, Inc. in expedited shareholder litigation following the announcement of the company’s acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb for US$2.5 billion. Upon receipt of the Inhibitex preliminary injunction opposition, plaintiffs withdrew their motion and subsequently dismissed the case voluntarily.
  • Buckeye Technologies Acquisition. Represented Buckeye Technologies in expedited litigation challenging its acquisition by Georgia-Pacific. Successfully defeated motion for expedited discovery, leading to dismissal of the complaint.

Complex Commercial
  • Albertsons. Represented Albertsons and its private equity investor Cerberus in obtaining stipulated dismissal of US$3 billion multi-jurisdiction litigation arising from the sale of 146 Albertsons stores to Haggen, Inc.
  • In re Microsoft Antitrust Litigation. Served as co-lead trial counsel for Microsoft in a multi-billion dollar private antitrust suit brought against the company by Sun Microsystems.
  • Corporate Trust Fraud Claims. Defended three leading corporate trust businesses against claims brought by the State of California under the False Claims Act . In the largest case, the State and more than 300 political subdivisions sought more than US$4 billion in damages from Bank of America. Following months of trial, the court issued a tentative ruling favoring the bank on all points, which led to a creative mediation and successful settlement.
  • Trustee Fee Litigations. Represented three leading banks in trust beneficiary class actions over trustee fee overcharges. Mr. Larrabee tried one of those cases, in which the trial court rejected the plaintiffs’ US$200 million damage claim and upheld the propriety of the bank’s voluntary refunds.
  • Guaranteed Student Loan Litigation. Defended a leading financial institution against claims exceeding US$600 million, brought by 14 of the world’s largest financial institutions, arising from a federal guaranteed student loan servicing failure. Mr. Larrabee led prolonged negotiations with federal student loan regulators, and represented the bank in DOJ and GAO investigations and congressional hearings.

Education

University of California, Davis, B.A., 1977, with Honors
University of California Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1980, Thurston Honor Society, Order of the Coif, Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Law Journal

Court Admissions

United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

California
District of Columbia
New York

Memberships

American Bar Association
American Law Institute