John F. Sylvia
Member / Co-chair, Securities Litigation Practice
Jack is Co-chair of the Securities Litigation Practice and a seasoned trial lawyer whose clients include public and private corporations, officers, directors, special committees, accountants, mutual funds, portfolio managers, and investment advisors. His practice encompasses all facets of securities and financial fraud litigation, and he has handled complex civil and criminal matters involving insider trading, revenue recognition, high-yield investment schemes, market timing, late trading, options backdating, and securities. In addition, he frequently represents clients in connection with internal investigations and investigative and enforcement proceedings conducted by the SEC, FINRA, and state regulatory agencies. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups in the life sciences, retail & consumer goods and technology space. Jack also leverages his extensive background in securities litigation and M&A litigation to counsel companies on risks related to SPAC transactions and litigation avoidance.
In addition to his trial experience, Jack also has represented clients in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, including proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and FINRA.
- Jury acquittal for a CEO client charged with criminal tax evasion arising from an options backdating investigation.
- Represented Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a decision crystalizing the standard required to plead scienter in securities fraud cases in the First Circuit.
- Retained as trial counsel to defend former CFO of a two-and-a-half billion-dollar NYSE-listed company based in China, in a securities class action trial relating to the company's 2011 financial collapse. Secured a favorable trial verdict and resulting settlement that required no monetary payment from the CFO.
- Represented the Orchid Cellmark board in connection with shareholder derivative litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a merger transaction, defeating plaintiffs’ attempt to enjoin the transaction, resulting in the merger closing on schedule.
- Represented former officers and directors of The Learning Co. (TLC) in a shareholder class action alleging violation of Section 11 of the '33 Act brought by former shareholders of Broderbund, Inc., a company previously acquired by TLC, securing a dismissal in the trail court and an affirmance in the Ninth Circuit.
- Defended a public pharmaceutical company and its officers against Section 10(b) and Section 11 claims arising out of a secondary public offering, successfully obtaining a dismissal of all counts.
- Successfully represented a technology company and the company’s officers and directors against allegations of securities fraud.
- Favorable post-trial decision in Delaware Court of Chancery for corporate and individual clients charged with breaches of fiduciary duties.
- Defense jury verdict for corporate officers charged with violation of Section 10(b) in connection with the purchase of convertible-preferred securities.
- Represented iBasis, Inc. and its officers and directors in a shareholder derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and violations of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, arising out of alleged stock options “backdating” and improper accounting attendant thereto, prevailing on a motion to dismiss.
Minimizing Stockholder Litigation Risks
February 18, 2022 | Blog
Webinar Recording: When the Dust Settles: A Closer Look at the SPAC Boom and Potential Litigation to Follow
June 7, 2021 | Webinar | By Adam Sisitsky , Nancy Adams, John Sylvia
Supreme Court of Delaware Overturns Court of Chancery, Allowing Corporations To Enact Federal Forum Provisions to Keep Securities Act Claims In Federal Court
March 20, 2020 | Blog | By John Sylvia, Patrick E. McDonough, Ellen Shapiro
Issuers Face Changing Litigation Landscape, Challenges Due to Supreme Court Ruling
March 22, 2018 | Alert | By Adam Sisitsky , John Sylvia
Insider Trading: Lessons from the Mark Cuban Jury Verdict
October 18, 2013 | Blog | By John Sylvia, Chip Phinney
Chancellor Strine Issues Important Decision Validating Board Adoption of Forum Selection Clause in Bylaws
July 3, 2013 | Alert | By John Sylvia
News & Press
Twenty-Eight Mintz Attorneys Named To Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers List
November 22, 2022
Roundtable: Shareholder Disputes
June 16, 2021
SPAC Lawsuits Surge Over Disclosure Claims
June 10, 2021
How A PR Error Might Absolve Kodak Of Insider Trading Charges
August 16, 2020
INSIGHT: Climate Change Based Securities Litigation: A Reminder of Risks to Executives in PSLRA Cases
September 14, 2018
F-Squared Was Wrong Test Case For SEC Disgorgement
August 28, 2018
Chambers USA 2018 Ranks Mintz Attorneys & Practices
May 03, 2018
SEC to Face More Pressure on Enforcement Forum Choices
December 1, 2016
Future is cloudy for Dodd-Frank and financial regulatory agencies under Trump presidency
November 30, 2016
Trump’s SEC Likely To Shrink Back Where White’s Expanded
November 16, 2016
Eighty-Four Mintz Attorneys Named 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
October 18, 2016
Clarity the Big Wish in Insider Trading Case
October 7, 2016
Events & Speaking
The SPAC and deSPAC Evolutions: Where Are They Headed?
2022 PLUS D&O Symposium
New York, NY
When the Dust Settles: A Closer Look at The SPAC Boom and Potential Litigation to Follow
Trends in Whistleblower Activity in the Time of COVID-19
View the Webinar Recording
Hot Topics and Trends in D&O Coverage and Liability
John J. Moakley Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, MA
Mintz and Grant Thornton Present a Multitopic CLE Workshop
Grant Thornton 757 3rd Avenue and 47th Street New York, NY
Preparing for the SEC
Marsh, Mintz Levin, and Grant Thornton
New York, NY
Boston Bar Association
Recognition & Awards
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Securities Litigation (2006, 2010 – 2022)
- Best Lawyers in America: Litigation - Securities (2018 – 2023)
- Chambers USA: Massachusetts - Litigation: Securities (2011 – 2023)
- Lawdragon: "500 Leading Litigators in America" (2022)
- Boston Magazine Top Lawyers – Securities Law (2022)
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America