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. Steve's clients also seek his guidance regarding the rapidly evolving laws and regulations that might affect their investments in cryptocurrencies and other blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
In addition to his active litigation practice, Steve develops potential cases for his 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 has also been recommended by The Legal 500 for securities opt-out litigation (2018); named a Future Star by Benchmark Litigation (2017); recognized on Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List (2016-2017), which honors “the nation’s most accomplished legal partners of the age of forty or younger”; and honored by New York Metro Super Lawyers (2014-2017).
He 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.
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals direct actions. On behalf of several prominent institutions, pursuing direct securities fraud claims against Valeant and its outside auditor, arising from Valeant’s improper accounting and billions of dollars of fraud-related losses.
- Adeptus Health direct action. Pursuing direct securities fraud claims on behalf of a hedge fund that owned one of the largest equity positions of Adeptus Health prior to its multi-billion dollar bankruptcy.
- Eros International securities class action defense. On behalf of a leading Bollywood film producer, secured 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.
- Eros International affirmative litigation. Pursuing defamation claims against several hedge funds and market participants that conspired to execute a multi-year short-and-distort scheme.
- SunEdison direct action. On behalf of numerous prominent hedge funds, secured a favorable settlement arising from a claim for fraud against SunEdison’s officers and directors following the dramatic multi-billion dollar bankruptcy of SunEdison.
- Unsecured Creditors’ Litigation Trust of Essar Steel Minnesota.
- 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 financial restatement, resulting in a $173 million settlement.