Stephen W. Tountas is a versatile trial lawyer who prosecutes and defends complex securities, antitrust and commercial disputes on behalf of leading hedge funds, mutual funds and public pension funds.
Steve has been a principal member of several high-profile trial teams and has recovered billions of dollars for stakeholders of public companies. He also regularly handles significant defense-side litigation, including matters arising from allegations of securities fraud and corporate malfeasance.
In recent years, sophisticated creditors have frequently turned to Steve to develop and pursue litigation strategies that will enhance their recovery of fraud-related losses.
In addition to his active litigation practice, Steve develops potential cases for the firm’s clients and provides strategic advice regarding the relative merits of pursuing litigation on a direct or class-wide basis.
Steve has recently been named a 2017 “Rising Star” by Law360, which selected him as one of the top four class action practitioners under the age of 40. He was also recognized on the Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List in 2016 and 2017, which, through a process of peer review and case examination, honored “the nation’s most accomplished legal partners of the age of forty or younger.” Steve has also been recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers.
Steve is an active member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and he is frequently asked to speak or comment on issues pertaining to securities litigation. He has served as a panelist on "An Omnicare’s Dilemma: What Lessons Should Disclosure, Litigation, and Enforcement Counsel Draw from Omnicare, Nvidia, and Stratte-McClure” and “What Hath It Wrought: Did the Financial Crisis Alter the Litigation & Enforcement Landscape?” at the New York City Bar Association. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Council.
- Eros International, a leading Bollywood film producer, in the dismissal, with prejudice, of all securities fraud claims asserted on behalf of a putative class of shareholders. Following a coordinated attack by short sellers, Eros International’s share price had declined over 75%, prompting a wave of putative securities class actions.
- Numerous prominent hedge funds that are pursuing a claim for fraud against SunEdison’s officers and directors, following the dramatic multi-billion dollar bankruptcy of SunEdison.
- A leading global company and its senior executives in defense of a securities class action.
- A multi-billion dollar hedge fund in connection with multiple high-profile antitrust matters.
- Numerous institutional investors in connection with a high-profile securities fraud matter, arising from billions of dollars in fraud-related losses.
- Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Essar Steel Minnesota.
Experience prior to joining Kasowitz includes:
- Schering-Plough/Merck ENHANCE litigation: an institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims against a leading pharmaceutical company and numerous financial institutions, resulting in a $473 million settlement several weeks before trial. At the time of the settlement, it represented the largest securities class action settlement in history from a pharmaceutical company. Together with a related settlement with Merck, the matters settled for $688 million.
- Adelphia: ten institutional investors that opted out of a high-profile securities class action to pursue direct securities fraud claims arising from Adelphia’s bankruptcy. Secured numerous favorable settlements with Adelphia’s officers, independent directors, outside auditor, numerous financial institutions, and other third parties.
- MF Global: an institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims arising from the bankruptcy of a commodities brokerage firm, resulting in a $234 million settlement.
- Broadcom: an institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims arising from a $2 billion restatement of historic financial statements, resulting in a $173 million settlement.
- An institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims against a pharmaceutical company, resulting in a $138 million settlement.
- An institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims against a leading IT consulting and outsourcing company, resulting in a $97.5 million settlement.
- An institutional investor in pursuing securities fraud claims against a specialty chemicals company and its outside auditor, resulting in a $92.4 million settlement.