Highly-regarded securities litigation and enforcement lawyer, Michael Charlson, who handles the full spectrum of securities work for pharmaceutical, technology and financial services clients, has joined Vinson & Elkins LLP in San Francisco.

Michael, who has practiced in the Bay Area for 27 years, joins as a partner from Hogan Lovells, further expanding V&E’s Northern California presence. He previously spent 22 years at Heller Ehrman, where he served stints as the managing partner of that firm’s Silicon Valley office and co-chair of the firm’s securities and corporate governance litigation practice. For three years, Michael was the managing partner of Hogan Lovell’s Bay Area offices.

At V&E, Micheal will help steer the firm’s San Francisco location alongside Matt Jacobs, the office’s managing partner.

“Michael’s practice and personality make him a natural fit for our clients and our firm,” said V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe. “His national practice and extensive experience with both private securities litigation and the SEC offers key experience to our clients. He’s an important and strategic addition to our team.”

In defending shareholder litigations of all types, Michael has represented corporations, officers, directors, venture investors, auditors and underwriters. He also has handled numerous internal investigations, including representation of special board committees and individuals in connection with allegations of accounting irregularities, improper securities trading and other misconduct. He represents clients in SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings involving a myriad of allegations.

“Michael helped lead a team that secured a jury verdict for defendants in one of the few securities class actions that have gone to trial. His broad command of securities litigation and extensive experience with the SEC will substantially help us expand our outstanding securities litigation and SEC enforcement practices to include the West Coast,” said V&E Partner John Wander, who heads the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group. “Everyone who knows Michael speaks highly of him. We are thrilled to welcome Michael to our team.”

V&E’s securities litigation group represents clients nationwide in litigation, investigations and enforcement proceedings involving securities and shareholder disputes. The strength of the firm’s capital markets and securities practices provides the impetus for much of the firm’s practice. The Northern District of California is particularly active in criminal and civil antitrust enforcement, as well as securities litigation and enforcement, and the region is a center of commerce that is important to the global economy.

“Vinson & Elkins’ diverse practice areas and its presence in key business centers around the world, including San Francisco and Silicon Valley, make it a very attractive platform from which to build,” Michael said. “I’ve already worked closely on a number of matters with V&E partners, and have come away consistently impressed. Joining a firm where I know my values align on issues such as work product quality, client service and team-focused solutions to complex client problems made this the right move. I couldn’t be more pleased and look forward to the path ahead.”

A member of the California, New York, and District of Columbia bars, Michael received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1985. He also holds masters and undergraduate degrees in biological sciences from Stanford University. Michael was the former law clerk to the Honorable William C. Canby, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“Michael is a home run on all fronts – something I know first-hand,” Matt said. “Michael is a great and highly-regarded lawyer in Northern California, where he will be a good cultural match and marvelous partner within our practice. His high end securities practice offers a strategic fit and his addition is an important development for our white collar and antitrust practices in the Bay Area.”



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