C. Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown is known as a forceful advocate and thoughtful counselor at both the trial and appellate level, skilled at guiding clients through complex and difficult disputes involving complex business transactions, corporate governance issues, and the federal securities laws, while maintaining sharp focus on achieving clients’ business and investment objectives.
Tom represents investors, officers and directors of both public and private companies in connection with disputes over financing, corporate control, insolvency and strategically important business relationships. Tom is particularly experienced in issues related to companies with private equity sponsors or controlling shareholders. In transactional cases, Tom has represented officers and directors of both acquirers and targets, helping clients successfully move deals from negotiation to closing through effective management of deal-related litigation. In the securities area, Tom has defended clients in cases alleging securities fraud and, in particular, cases involving complex financial instruments such as mortgage-backed securities, as well as pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Tom is also a member of Ropes & Gray’s appellate practice. He has handled a number of appeals in both federal and state appellate courts, particularly in matters related to the federal securities laws and state corporate governance questions. Most recently Tom argued a successful appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, winning affirmance of a dismissal with prejudice of a range of securities fraud claims against Monomoy Capital Partners in connection with its investment in EveryWare Global, Inc. Tom’s pro bono practice has also focused on appellate work, most notably as the senior member of the team supporting Ropes & Gray partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier in briefing and arguing the landmark marriage equality cases decided by the United States Supreme Court. Additionally, Tom has led teams preparing amicus briefs to several state supreme courts in cases involving families headed by same-sex couples.
Before law school, Tom worked as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.
- Monomoy Capital Partners. In litigation related to EveryWare Global, Inc., represented a private equity sponsor and its principals, directors of the company, in a securities fraud case challenging a secondary offering. The case was dismissed with prejudice as to Monomoy and all other defendants, on the grounds argued in Ropes & Gray’s lead brief. Tom also successfully argued the appeal of this dismissal, winning an affirmance from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- Oxbow Carbon & Mineral Holdings, Inc. & William I. Koch. Member of the trial team in the Delaware Court of Chancery, representing Mr. Koch and his family holding entity in a dispute with minority investors over an attempt by those investors to force a sale of Oxbow Carbon, a multi-billion dollar company founded and built by Mr. Koch that recycles refinery and natural gas byproducts.
- TravelCenters of America, LLC. Member of the trial team in the Delaware Court of Chancery representing TA, a leading truck-stop operator, in a case arising out of the wrongful termination of a business-critical contract by TA’s primary payment processor.
- Columbia Laboratories, Inc.: Represented Columbia Labs and two of its officers in shareholder litigation (and a subsequent appeal) filed after the FDA did not approve Columbia Labs’ new drug application. Shareholders alleged that the defendants misled investors by praising a clinical study supporting Columbia’s application. A dismissal with prejudice at the trial court level was affirmed by the Third Circuit.
- Rue La La: Member of the trial team representing the former shareholders of Rue La La, a private online sales boutique, in a breach of contract action for damages in excess of $170 million.
- Unsecured Creditors of Sabine Oil & Gas: Represented creditors’ committee in litigation and related appeals in a Chapter 11 case.
- Sovereign Bond Holder: Represented a fund with investments in defaulted sovereign bonds, including initiating litigation in the Southern District of New York and settlement of the claim.
- Wright Medical: Advised Wright and its board in litigation in Delaware challenging the company’s 2015 merger with Tornier N.V.
- Marriage Equality: Part of the Ropes & Gray team representing plaintiffs in Tanco v. Haslam, one of the four marriage equality cases decided by the United States Supreme Court under the caption Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court held that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. Led a team to research and draft a merits brief for the Supreme Court, and assisted Ropes & Gray partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier in preparing for his landmark oral argument in the combined marriage equality cases.
- Closed-End Fund: Represented a large closed-end fund in litigation against an insurgent hedge fund investor, at both the trial court and appellate levels in Massachusetts state court.
- Morgans Hotel Group. Represented hotel operator in litigation in New York state court related to operation of the Mondrian SoHo hotel.
- Former officers of Freddie Mac: Defended former senior officers in a series of derivative cases and Section 10(b)(5) securities fraud claims, including a claim related to a $6 billion preferred stock offering.
- M&A Litigation and Advice: Advised investors including private equity sponsors and public and private companies concerning fiduciary duties, litigation risk management, director and officer insurance issues, and other process concerns in complex transactions.
- Post-Closing Disputes: Represented clients in mediations, arbitrations, and litigation related to price-adjustment mechanisms and other post-closing disputes, including a large mutual fund manager, a hospital operator, and a pharmaceutical services company.
- Co-author, “Chancery court addresses standing to bring fiduciary duty claims following freeze-out merger,” International Law Office Corporate Finance/M&A Newsletter (June 14, 2017)
- Co-author, “Three decisions consider effect of stockholder approval on challenged transactions,” International Law Office Corporate Finance/M&A Newsletter (May 24, 2017)
- Quoted, “EveryWare Beats Shareholder Suit At 6th Circ.,” Law360 (February 21, 2017)
- Co-author, “Three Days in August: Delaware’s Evolving View of the Impact of Stockholder Approval on Post-Closing M&A Litigation,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (November 2016)
- Co-author, “Rural Metro decision results in significant liability for financial adviser,” International Law Office (ILO) (November 2014)
- Co-author, “Additional guidance on Kahn v M&F Worldwide Corp,” International Law Office (ILO) (November 2014)
- Co-author, “Delaware Supreme Court upholds a one-way fee-shifting bylaw,” Financier Worldwide (October 2014)
- Co-author, “Indemnification and Advancement Where Multiple Sources Available,” Insights (September 2014)
- Co-author, “New York state court finds Kenneth Cole's go-private to be sound,” International Law Office (ILO) (February 2014)
- Co-author, “Delaware court advances unified standard for controlling shareholder buy-outs,” International Law Office (ILO) (November 2013)
- Co-author, “The "Liquidity Conflict" and Duty of Loyalty Under Delaware Law,” Insights (November 2012)
- Co-author, “Control Person Liability - A Potential Risk to Influential and Activist Shareholders,” MCLE, Inc. (May 2009)
- Co-author, “Delaware Chancery Court Gives Huntsman Merger A Boost,” Insights (October 2008)