Adam M. Harris
Adam Harris is a dynamic courtroom advocate and a thoughtful, creative strategist who litigates complex, high-profile disputes before trial and appellate courts and arbitration forums nationwide.
Adam regularly defends public companies, officers, directors, and underwriters in securities class action cases. In addition, Adam is frequently called upon in corporate governance and control disputes, as well as complex commercial and transactional cases, including matters involving contracts, mergers and acquisitions, allegations of fraud and other business torts, and restructuring.
Adam’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, investment banks, asset managers, and prominent individuals.
In recent years, Adam has litigated a number of important cases for life sciences companies, with particular expertise in disputes related to drug and device development. Adam is the founder of the firm’s Life Sciences Litigation Blog that covers developments in this area.
Securities Class Action Litigation
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of underwriter defendants, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse, in federal securities litigation in the Eastern District of New York concerning the IPO of China-based retailer Yunji.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of Stemline Therapeutics and its officers and directors in a putative class action in the Southern District of New York arising from Stemline’s alleged failure to disclose adverse events in a clinical drug trial that occurred just prior to a public offering of securities.
- Currently representing Osmotica Pharmaceuticals and its officers and directors in a putative class action in New Jersey state court, in which plaintiffs allege Osmotica failed to disclose an alleged decline in pricing of one of its generic drug products at the time of its IPO.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of independent directors of ChinaCast Education Corporation in a putative securities class action in the Central District of California arising from a scheme by ChinaCast's former CEO and CFO to loot ChinaCast of cash and other assets.*
- Counsel to CIT Group Inc., its Board of Directors, and several of its senior-most officers in securities litigation in the Southern District of New York relating to the subprime mortgage and student lending businesses.*
Corporate Governance & Control Disputes
- Counsel to Oxbow Carbon & Mineral Holdings, Inc. and William I. Koch in litigation in Delaware arising from a multi-billion dollar dispute in which minority investors sought to force a sale of Oxbow Carbon, resulting in a unanimous en banc decision in favor of our clients by the Delaware Supreme Court.
- Represented the directors of a clinical stage biotech company in a series of shareholder derivative cases alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with compensation and disclosure issues.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of life sciences company Chromocell Corporation and two of its founders in an action in New York state court brought by Chromocell's third co-founder based on allegations that his two co-founders had agreed to increase his ownership share, allegedly entitling him to one-third of the company.
- Currently representing Invesco and OppenheimerFunds in a breach of contract action in the Southern District of New York brought by developers of certain exchange-traded funds who claim breach of an acquisition agreement relating to earn-out payments connected to the performance of the funds.
- Represented a leading clinical research organization in a contract dispute with a pharmaceutical company arising in connection with investigator misconduct in a clinical drug trial.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of pharmaceutical company Shire of a $425 million breach of contract claim in the Delaware Court of Chancery brought by shareholders of a company acquired by Shire, who claimed they were entitled to earn-out milestone payments under an acquisition agreement based upon the results of clinical drug trials.
- Regularly represent a leading investment management firm in FINRA arbitrations brought by customers and employees.
- Obtained dismissal on behalf of Costco Wholesale Corporation in the Southern District of New York of an action in which plaintiffs alleged that Costco aided and abetted fraud and entered into a conspiracy to defraud in connection with a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. On appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal.
- Counsel to a leading investment banking firm in litigation in the Southern District of New York alleging breach of contract in connection with an alleged commitment to finance the acquisition of a hospital facility in Georgia.*
- Obtained dismissal of $1 billion in fraudulent conveyance claims in the Southern District of New York as lead defense counsel for funds that invested in Jones Group Inc. (later known as Nine West) prior to its leveraged buyout and subsequent bankruptcy, including funds affiliated with BlackRock, Fidelity, and Vanguard.
- Trial counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of LINN Energy, an independent oil and natural gas production company, in Chapter 11 proceedings in the Southern District of Texas.
Representations denoted with an asterisk were completed prior to joining Ropes & Gray.
- Quoted, “Payment Tech Firms Battle in Del. Over Merged Fraud Case,” Law360 (April 14, 2022)
- Co-author, “Discovery Stay in Securities Act Cases Remains a ‘Pivotal’ Issue After Case Settles Before U.S. Supreme Court Argument,” New York Law Journal (November 5, 2021)
- Founder, Ropes & Gray’s Life Sciences Litigation Blog
- Co-author, “Director Pay Remains a Prime Target of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” New York Law Journal (Dec. 22, 2020)
- Profiled, “How I Made Partner: Ropes & Gray's Adam Harris,” Law.com (March 5, 2020)
- Gregg Weiner, Adam Harris and Caitlin Giaimo, “'Consent by Registration' Theory of Jurisdiction: Are Its Days Numbered?,” The New York Law Journal (November 28, 2016)
- Israel David & Adam M. Harris, “Untangling a Statutory Web: Arguing Conflicting Jurisdictional Provisions for Securities Act Class Actions after CAFA,” New York Law Journal (July 19, 2010)
- Panelist, “Physiology of the Income Statement,” Practising Law Institute: Basics of Accounting for Lawyers (May 12, 2021)
- JD, cum laude, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, 2007; Dean’s Distinguished Scholar; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Cardozo Law Review
- BSFS, Georgetown University, 2003
Admissions / Qualifications
- New York, 2008
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2015
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2013
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2012
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2008
- Legal 500 (2020)
- New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Star (2015-2021)