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Charles S. Duggan

Lawyers
Highly regarded civil litigator focusing on securities matters, board representations and tax controversies. Also serves as Davis Polk’s general counsel.

Charles represents a broad range of clients in complex civil matters, with a focus on securities litigation, board of director representations and tax controversies. He has a varied appellate practice that includes arguing cases in the federal circuit courts of appeal and state appellate courts. He also serves as Davis Polk’s general counsel.

In his securities law practice, Charles represents issuers, underwriters, and individual officers and directors in securities fraud cases. Law360 twice named him a “Securities MVP of the Year.”

His board of director and committee representations have included matters involving accounting restatements, related-party transactions, insider trading, board oversight, executive and director compensation, and various aspects of the financial crisis.

Charles also represents clients in investigations by regulatory agencies.

Experience highlights

  • The special litigation committee of the independent directors of SCANA in connection with an investigation into matters relating to the construction of a nuclear facility
  • A special committee of the board of directors of a public social media company in connection with assessing a demand received from a shareholder regarding the company’s historical disclosures relating to users
  • The underwriters of the Facebook IPO in consolidated securities class actions, derivative litigation and other proceedings, including obtaining dismissal of disgorgement claims against the lead underwriters under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
  • Morgan Stanley and certain of its officers and directors in securing complete victories in securities fraud actions, derivative lawsuits and ERISA cases in New York state and federal courts arising out of the client’s subprime-related trading losses
  • A major diversified multinational corporation as plaintiff asserting a federal tax refund claim in federal district court that resulted in a substantial recovery
  • The independent directors of a public investment company in an internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of improper accounting
  • A committee of independent directors of a major manufacturing company in an internal investigation of whistleblower allegations of related-party dealings
  • McGraw Hill Financial in obtaining the dismissal of multiple shareholder derivative suits brought in New York state court relating to ratings of residential mortgage-backed securities
  • The directors of a major financial institution in obtaining dismissals of numerous federal and state court derivative actions arising from the financial crisis and allegedly improper oversight of various corporate activities
  • The directors of a major financial institution in obtaining dismissal of securities fraud claims brought in New York federal court alleging inadequate disclosure of potential liabilities
  • Bank Leumi in obtaining the dismissal of derivative lawsuits in New York state court alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with alleged failures to prevent customers’ evasion of U.S. taxes
  • The underwriters of the IPO of a global transportation company in obtaining dismissal of a putative securities class action in New York federal court
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Credentials

Recognition
Law360 – “Securities Litigation MVP of the Year,” 2013 and 2017
Chambers USA – Litigation: Securities
Benchmark Litigation – National and New York, Star
Legal 500 U.S. – Securities Litigation: Defense
Education
J.D., Harvard Law School
  • magna cum laude
  • Editor, Law Review
A.B., Harvard University
  • magna cum laude
Clerkships
Law Clerk, Hon. Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United States, 1995-1996
Law Clerk, Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1994-1995
Professional history
  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2002-2004 and 2005-present
  • Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, 2004-2005
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1996-2002
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