Ari Berman, co-chair of Pillsbury’s Securities Litigation & Enforcement team, focuses his practice on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on defending clients in shareholder disputes and investigations involving federal securities laws.

Ari has extensive experience representing companies and individuals—including public companies, financial institutions, private investment funds, and officers and directors—in contexts such as investigations and enforcement proceedings by the SEC, FINRA and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies. In addition, Ari has significant experience representing companies in bankruptcy court proceedings and investors in distressed settings.

Representative Experience

  • Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in a $1.4 billion post-closing arbitration over the amount of working capital associated with Teva’s $40 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generics business. The parties reached an agreement to resolve the dispute, with Allergan paying Teva $700 million.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley Infrastructure in adversary proceedings in Delaware chapter 11 proceedings involving a joint venture counterparty, Magnum Hunter. After discovery, motion practice and a contested hearing, MSI obtained a favorable ruling and resolved the parties’ remaining disputes.
  • Represented Riverstone Holdings in connection with New York State Attorney General and SEC investigations involving “pay-to-play.” Following multiyear investigation, Riverstone entered into a settlement with the NYS Attorney General, and the SEC did not pursue any claims.

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  • Securities & Shareholder Litigation
    • Obtained dismissal of claims against directors in securities class action alleging control person liability under the 1933 and 1934 Acts.
    • Obtained dismissal of claims against oil & gas company in connection with securities class action.
    • Obtained dismissal of stock option backdating claims against former chief executive officer of public company.
    • Represented a buyout group member in defeating an attempt to derail a transaction and in defense of shareholder class actions challenging buyout price.
    • Represented a former director of a public company in a shareholder derivative action alleging excessive officer and director compensation.
    • Represented international securities firm in FINRA arbitrations.
  • Federal & State Regulatory Proceedings
    • Represented a private equity firm and its board designees in an SEC investigation into the collapse of an oil and gas company.
    • Represented REIT in connection with SEC investigation regarding disclosure of various accounting practices.
    • Represented individual in connection with DOJ insider trading investigation.
    • Represented investment bank in a DOJ investigation regarding solar tax credits.
    • Represented publicly traded energy company in connection with internal investigation regarding whistleblower complaint.
    • Represented a petroleum company in an FTC investigation involving anticompetitive conduct in the oil and gas markets.
    • Represented investment bank in an SEC investigation involving a “pump and dump” scheme.
    • Represented international securities firm in FINRA investigations into integrity of public offerings.
    • Represented New York Stock Exchange specialists in connection with investigations by the New York Stock Exchange, SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office into the specialist industry.
  • Commercial & Business Litigation
    • Represented major pharmaceutical company as insured in a suite of 11 ad-hoc arbitrations concerning a denial of coverage in a pharmaceutical-related insurance policy excess tower.
    • Part of trial team that represented publicly traded insurance companies in $1 billion dispute concerning surety bonds.
    • Part of trial team that represented a manufacturing conglomerate in a tax shelter trial.
    • Part of team that obtained complete dismissal of claims against a financial services company in an action challenging “Forward Out” financial strategy.
    • Part of team that obtained dismissal of a publicly traded cable television provider from a customer class action alleging excessive rates.
    • Represented an international logistics company in an antitrust class action involving the freight forwarding industry.
    • Part of team that obtained preliminary injunction against a competitor on behalf of a meat industry client in a trademark dispute.
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
    • Obtained dismissed of claims against investment bank in a fraudulent transfer action brought by the trustee for chapter 7 estate of a real estate developer.
    • Representing several shareholder defendants in connection with Tribune clawback litigation.
    • Represented private equity fund in chapter 11 proceedings of an oil and gas company, including adversary proceedings.
    • Represented private equity fund in chapter 11 proceedings of offshore drilling company, including adversary proceedings.
    • Represented a private equity firm in the bankruptcy of a portfolio company, including a bankruptcy court-appointed examiner’s investigation and avoidance claims brought by litigation trustee.
    • Represented Shinsei Bank in connection with its claims against Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
    • Part of trial team that successfully represented a financial advisor to creditors’ committee in a bankruptcy court action arising from advisor’s engagement.
    • Represented secured lender group to a pipeline company in chapter 11 proceedings.

Professional Highlights

Recognized by Super Lawyers (2016 – 2020)

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  • External Publications
    • The SPAC Explosion: Beware the Litigation and Enforcement Risk,Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Bruce A. Ericson and Stephen B. Amdur, 1/14/2021.
    • “Secondary Liability Risks for Private Funds—Recent Developments,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Authors: Ari Berman, Tom Hill, Cassie Lentchner and Stephen Amdur, 10/9/2019.
    • “Private Funds Year in Review and 2017 Outlook,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Amy Riella, Chris Rowley, 2/25/17.
    • “How PE Firms Can Minimize Attorney-Client Privilege Risks,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Laurel Fensterstock, 1/30/17.
    • “Cybersecurity Concerns for Private Equity Firms,” InsideCounsel, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Mark Proctor, Chris Rowley, Laurel Fensterstock, 6/24/15.
    • “Practical D&O Insurance Considerations for PE Firms,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Sarah Hargrove Mitchell, 4/13/15.
    • “How PE Firms Can Mitigate Secondary Liability Risks,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Amy Tankersley, 3/5/14.
    • “Navigating the 546(e) Safe Harbor Provision,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Alexandra S. Kelly, Lance A. Mulhern, 12/19/12.
    • “In 5th Circ., Time Is Not on SEC’s Side,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Ethan Jacobs, 10/4/12.
    • “Recent Trends in FINRA Enforcement: A Focus on FINRA’s Regulatory Activities and Agenda,” Bloomberg Law Reports, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Benjamin D. Tievsky, 3/6/12.
    • “So Simple to State, So Hard to Apply,” New York Law Journal, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Lyndsey R. Cholak, 5/16/11.
    • “Control Person Liability: Tips for Investment Firms,” Law360, Authors: Ari M. Berman, Nikolay Vydashenko, 9/21/11.
    • “Pleading the Loss Causation Link: Dura and Twombly Play Out on Motions to Dismiss,” New York Law Journal, Authors: Ari M. Berman and Steven R. Paradise, 12/3/07.
    • “CPLR §7502(c): Changes to Aid Arbitration Remedies,” New York Law Journal, Authors: Cliff Thau and Ari M. Berman, 6/4/07.
  • Speaking Engagements
    • "The SEC from A to Z,” Pillsbury Webinar, December 14, 2021.
    • SPACs Under Attack – Litigation and Enforcement Risks from SPAC IPO Through De-SPAC,” PLI Webinar, February 26, 2021.
    • “Fraud and Security in Uncharted Territory: Considerations in the Age of COVID-19,” Citrin Cooperman Webinar, April 21, 2020.
    • “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: The New Era of Merger Litigation,” Pillsbury CLE Marathon, San Francisco, January 14, 2020, and Palo Alto, January 15, 2020.
    • “Game of Thrones: Private Equity Deal Trends and Regulatory Concerns in a Changing Landscape,” Pillsbury CLE Marathon, New York, May 21, 2019.

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1999
    NYU Law Review, 1997-1999

    B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1996
    magna cum laude

Admissions

  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

    U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Languages

  • Hebrew