Latham & Watkins partner Patrick Gibbs’ journey to winning one of the biggest U.S. insider-trading cases to go to trial began with an email out of the blue. The message came in 2009 from an in-house lawyer at sTec Inc. The Santa Ana, Calif., digital storage company was under the investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the target of a class action by investors who claimed it overstated the strength of future sales and revenue.
Unfamiliar with sTec, Gibbs did an Internet search to verify the company’s legitimacy. “Clients don’t typically land in your lap like that,” the Menlo Park, Calif., lawyer said. He and sTec’s then-chief executive officer Manouch Moshayedi “hit it off,” and the company hired the lawyer to lead its fight against the lawsuit and the SEC.
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