ProfessionalsSusanna M. Buergel
A partner in the Litigation Department, Susanna serves as co-chair of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group. The Group has been named Securities Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer, The New York Law Journal, Benchmark Litigation, Law360 and U.S. News and World Report. The American Lawyer called the practice “big, powerful and swaggering,” noting that “no other firm matched the number and magnitude of headline making securities litigation.”
Noted by clients as an “exceptional lawyer” who has a “keen understanding of exactly what [they] need, and a laser focus on delivering it,” Susanna has extensive experience handling a broad range of matters, with particular emphasis defending financial institutions and corporations in complex securities and commercial matters in federal and state courts across the country. She also regularly represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and numerous other federal and state regulatory authorities.
Susanna has been recognized by numerous publications and directories, including Law360, Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Crain’s and Benchmark Litigation. Susanna was again named a Law360 Banking MVP, a recognition that she also received in 2018. Previously, in 2016, she was recognized by Law360 as one of “The 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law,” and was selected to Law360’s 2010 list of 10 Securities Lawyers Under 50 to watch. In 2019, Susanna was named to Crain’s Notable Women in Law, which celebrates talented female attorneys in the New York City metropolitan area. In 2018, she was recognized by Lawdragon in its list of 31 “Legends” and has been included in its list of “500 Leading Lawyers” for over a decade. Susanna is ranked by Chambers USA in the Litigation: Securities (NY) category and by Legal 500 US as a “Leading Lawyer” in the Securities Litigation: Defense and Financial Services Litigation categories. She is also ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a “Litigation Star (US)” and “Local Litigation Star (NY),” and, since 2017, has been included in the publication’s list of Top 250 Women in Litigation. In 2019, she was named to Crain’s Notable Women in Law.
Susanna's current and recent representations include:
- Citigroup in multiple matters, including:
- its Second Circuit victory allowing corporations to enter into federal regulatory consent judgments without admitting wrongdoing;
- its victory in Delaware Chancery Court securing the dismissal of a claim that Citigroup aided and abetted alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in its role as a financial advisor to Tesaro;
- its victories dismissing False Claims Act litigations alleging municipal bond underwriters defrauded states;
- its subprime and credit crisis-related litigations and regulatory matters;
- its auction rate securities litigation and regulatory matters;
- its failed investment litigations and regulatory matters;
- the civil litigations arising out of the activities of former Salomon Smith Barney research analyst Jack Grubman (in connection with his coverage of WorldCom, Global Crossing and other issuers);
- its two arbitral victories defeating multi-billion-dollar claims brought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), arising out of its $7.5 billion investment in Citigroup; and
- its $97 million settlement, pursuant to a non-prosecution agreement, arising out of a DOJ money-laundering investigation;
- Morgan Stanley, in various matters, including a data breach class action filed in federal court and the dismissal of an antitrust class action concerning the multitrillion-dollar market for the auction and trading of securities issued by the U.S Treasury and a data breach class action filed in federal court.;
- Nikola Corporation, a manufacturer of battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles, and certain of its officers and directors in a securities class action in Arizona federal court and related state and federal shareholder derivative litigations;
- Fresenius Kabi AG, a German healthcare company, at a trial in Delaware Chancery Court in which Fresenius successfully terminated its proposed $4.3 billion merger with Akorn Pharmaceuticals Inc., a U.S.-based generic drug manufacturer, on grounds of a “material adverse change” in Akorn’s business after Fresenius learned of Akorn’s alleged violations of U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards on data-integrity requirements;
- Viking Global Investors LP, a successful hedge fund, in a dispute in Delaware Chancery Court;
- Virtu Financial, in litigation arising out of Virtu Financial’s $1.4 billion acquisition of Knight Capital Group, including the successful resolution of a preliminary injunction challenging the transaction under Section 202 of the Delaware Corporation Law;
- Ericsson in the dismissal of securities class actions in the Southern District of New York;
- A U.S. financial institution, in multiple antitrust investigations being conducted by authorities in the U.S. and Europe;
- A U.S. financial institution, in a federal grand jury investigation of its global compliance with Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering requirements; and
- A bank in connection with sales practices and incentive compensation related issues.
Susanna also has represented numerous syndicates of underwriters in Securities Act class actions arising from public offerings of debt and equity, including:
- An underwriter syndicate in securities class actions in federal and state court in connection with the IPO of Altice USA;
- An underwriter syndicate in the dismissal of securities fraud claims in connection with the IPO of China-based company Canaan Inc.;
- The eight underwriters in the dismissal of an action brought in the New York State Supreme Court under the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with the IPO of Chinese social audio platform Lizhi, Inc.;
- Barclays Capital Inc. in the dismissal of securities fraud claims in connection with a secondary public offering by Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation; and
- An underwriting syndicate in a securities class action in federal court in connection with Opera Limited’s IPO.
Susanna served as articles editor of the Columbia Law Review and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She is an adjunct lecturer in law at Columbia Law School and currently teaches a course in trial practice.