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Securities fraud actions secure shareholders’ rights

Sturman LLC dedicates its significant experience and resources to protecting the rights of shareholders seeking redress for damages sustained through securities fraud or during merger and acquisition transactions, and to improving corporate governance for companies worldwide.

For well over two decades, we have protected the interests of our clients – primarily European institutional investors – in a wide range of complex securities and antitrust matters, shareholder derivative lawsuits, and other types of cases where shareholder rights are imperiled.

Cases prosecuted by Sturman LLC in the United States have resulted in over 20 billion USD in recoveries for investors. Sturman LLC recently served as counsel to the European institutional investor lead plaintiff in In re Twitter Inc. Securities Litigation, resulting in a record $809.5 million settlement on the eve of trial. This was the highest securities fraud recovery in the United States in 2022 and one of the top twenty U.S. securities fraud recoveries of all time.

Our steadfast commitment to protecting the rights of European institutional investors and representing them in such cases sets us apart from other law firms that prosecute securities fraud. Sturman LLC, and its partner firm Motley Rice LLC, have never argued against European institutional investors’ standing to represent their funds in U.S. courts, making them unique among U.S. firms that prosecute securities fraud litigation. Through its advocacy, Sturman LLC has enabled its clients – as well as European institutional investors generally – to obtain all available compensation and to serve in leadership roles in U.S. securities litigation. Sturman LLC’s tireless championing of European institutional investors’ rights has resulted in precedent-setting judicial decisions upholding the standing of European institutional investors from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, and elsewhere to seek compensation in U.S. courts.

Sturman LLC also represents shareholders in global securities fraud actions, including developing the first-of-its-kind action in France against Vivendi S.A. following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court (Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd., 561 U.S. 247 (2010)) that precluded recovery in U.S. courts for shares purchased on non-U.S. exchanges.  

International litigator Deborah Sturman represents European institutional investors in securities fraud actions and other complex litigation both abroad and in the U.S., and advises them in connection with their legal portfolio management, the proprietary system ensuring Sturman LLC’s clients consistently receive all available compensation, and opportunities to seek recovery in securities fraud actions across the globe.

Since the early 1990s, Sturman has represented European businesses and institutional investors in connection with their U.S. and international interests.  She has also represented Holocaust survivors and heirs seeking restitution of real property in former East Germany. Sturman initiated the first class actions in U.S. courts on behalf of victims of World War II slave labor, and represented the class in In re Holocaust Victim Asset Litigation against certain Swiss banks, leading to recoveries of approximately $7 billion for victims of Nazi prosecution. She was also appointed by the governor of California to the California Holocaust Era Insurance Oversight Committee, and was significantly involved in convincing the legislatures of four U.S. states (New York, California, Washington, and Illinois) to enact legislation supporting Holocaust survivors to obtain compensation for their forced labor during World War II. 

Sturman has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Handelsblatt (a German business newspaper), and The Financial Times for her innovative lawyering and has been named runner-up Lawyer of the Year by The National Law Journal. In 2012, Sturman was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Novis Insurance S.A. in Bratislava and, more recently, to the Board of Managers of B-ON, an electric vehicle last-mile-delivery company (formerly known as Streetscooter). She was a featured speaker for Finance Dublin and a key speaker at the Lippers/Reuters Compliance Talks tour in Europe. As a legal commentator, Sturman has appeared regularly in German, Dutch, French, Swiss and Belgium media, as well as on numerous international and national continuing legal education panels for complex and international litigation. In addition, Sturman has contributed as a legal columnist for Manager Magazin, Wirtschaftswoche, and Dow Jones. She is fluent in German, Dutch/Flemish, and conversant in both French and Italian.

After completing a Prix D’Excellence at the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music in Belgium, Sturman received a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is licensed to practice law in California, New York and Washington, D.C.

Stages of a Securities Fraud Class Action


Filing a Complaint

A document filed with the court by a party claiming legal rights against a wrongdoer.

Lead Plaintiff Motion

The formal request made to a court to be appointed Lead Plaintiff.

Lead Plaintiff Appointment


Complaint Amendment


Motion to Dismiss

A motion that asks the court to decide that
a claim, even if true as stated, is not one for which the law offers a remedy. The pleading requirements for securities actions were significantly raised by the PSLRA so that securities complaints must be pleaded in far more detail than most other U.S. complaints. As a result, a far higher number of securities actions are dismissed than other types of actions.


Confirmation signed by an investor seeking appointment as Lead Plaintiff or Class Representative establishing its suitability under the prescriptions in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA).


The pre-trial phase of a litigation in which evidence is gathered pursuant to which the parties, through their attorneys, obtain information through demands for production of documents, depositions of parties and potential witnesses, written interrogatories (questions and answers written under oath), and written requests for admissions of fact. The process takes place largely without court participation, although the court defines the scope of permissible discovery. Discovery is meant to ensure that no party to a case will successfully conceal pertinent information, allowing cases to be pursued with as much knowledge of the underlying facts as possible.

Settlement / Judgement

The resolution of a lawsuit that occurs prior to
a final court judgment. Most settlements are achieved by negotiation in which the attorneys and the parties agree to terms of settlement. Class Action settlements require court approval, and the court must determine that a proposed
settlement is “fair, adequate, and reasonable” before issuing a final judgment of approval of a settlement.

Proof of Claim

Form for submission by Class Members seeking compensation from a Settlement Fund and providing a release of liability to the participating Defendants.


The amount received after a loss, paid by the party causing the damage (frequently through insurance).

Types of securities fraud

Securities fraud class actions and/or individual (opt-out) cases allow investors to seek recovery of losses resulting from corporate fraud during a defined time frame. Examples of securities fraud include insider trading, providing false or misleading information that investors rely upon in making trading decisions, omitting material information about a company’s operations or liabilities, and market manipulation.

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