Gillian Groarke Burns 

Special Counsel – New York
T.+1 212 504 5696
gillian.burns@cwt.com
200 Liberty Street
New York , NY 10281 V-CARD

Gillian is a special counsel in Cadwalader’s Litigation Group. She concentrates her practice on complex commercial and securities litigation, in addition to regulatory investigations. Gillian’s clients include public and private companies, underwriters, lenders, professional firms, corporate directors and other individuals in a variety of industries, including financial services, energy, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, real estate and telecommunications. 

Gillian represents these clients in securities, derivative, energy and commodities litigation, antitrust, ERISA and RICO class actions, SEC and stock exchange investigations and arbitrations, internal investigations, suits claiming breaches of fiduciary duty, insider trading or other misconduct by corporate directors, substantial contract disputes, litigation involving structured financial products and investments, insurance coverage issues, bankruptcy related proceedings, and litigation arising from M&A or other transactions involving contests for corporate control in Delaware Chancery Court and elsewhere. Gillian has experience in energy and commodities matters, representing financial institutions trading energy, oil producers, commodities exchanges in regulatory investigations and class action litigation. She also has significant experience in financial services litigation, including matters concerning derivatives, swaps, commodities, futures, options, structured products and securities. 

Gillian has been recognized for her legal abilities by the New York Metro Edition of SuperLawyers, which has named her a Rising Star in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She won a 2016 Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing as co-author of “Assessing A Judicial Solution To Abusive Merger Litigation,” published in November of 2015 by Law360.

Gillian is the Chairwoman of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, and also serves as the Chairwoman for that group’s Professional Development Committee. She is a member of the Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar Association and various American Bar Association committees focused on business law. Gillian actively participates in pro bono representation, and received a Pro Bono Publico award from the Legal Aid Society in 2009 for her outstanding pro bono service. Gillian is a member of the New York City Bar Association and the New York Women’s Bar Association. 

She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Duke University and her J.D., cum laude, from Fordham Law School. At Fordham, Gillian was Chairperson of Fordham’s nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Society and a staff member of the International Law Journal.  During law school, she interned for Judge Richard Wesley of the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit. 

Financial Services Litigation and Advice

  • Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Jefferies in a securities class action arising out of a secondary offering.
  • An international mining company in connection with securities class actions and derivative lawsuits in federal and state court arising out of an acquisition and decision to award a large shareholder dividend.
  • Pfizer and its directors in federal securities and ERISA class actions and derivative litigation relating to the marketing and sale of certain drugs.
  • AK Steel’s officers and directors in a shareholder derivative litigation relating to tax treatment of executive compensation.
  • An international mining company in connection with a books and records demand following a corporate change in control. 
  • A German asset manager in connection with its efforts to enforce rights and remedies arising from their respective municipal guaranteed investment contract (GIC) portfolio.
  • Bank of America in multiple suits in various federal courts involving trustees demands that the bank repurchase commercial loans that were sold and included in securitization trusts. 
  • Multimedia Games in derivative and class action litigation arising out of its acquisition of Pokertek.
  • Bear Stearns in a shareholder class action challenging its merger with JPMorgan Chase.
  • Morgan Stanley in securities class actions and derivative litigation relating to auction rate securities.
  • 40 companies and more than 180 individual defendants in 40 separate securities class actions that were part of the “IPO laddering” coordinated litigation.

Energy and Commodities Investigations and Litigation

  • A global investment bank in a class action involving alleged manipulation of Brent crude oil.
  • A global financial institution in connection with a FERC investigation and lawsuit related to alleged manipulation of commodity prices.
  • A global financial institution in a class action involving alleged manipulation of precious metals benchmarks.
  • A commodities exchange in a breach of contract action.
  • An international oil company in connection with a dispute with a joint venture partner. 
  • A Norwegian oil company in connection with the implementation of a compliance program following corruption charges.

Complex Litigation and Advice

  • Outside Directors of a digital production and animation company for alleged state law violations in New York and Florida.
  • A large hedge fund in a contest for corporate control of a major sports and entertainment company.
  • A financial institution in connection with its rights and obligations under the Volcker Rule of Dodd-Frank.
  • A global manufacturing corporation regarding various insurance coverage related issues.

NEWS

RESOURCES

Gillian Groarke Burns 

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • New York

Education

  • Fordham University, School of Law
    J.D., 2006, cum laude
  • Duke University
    B.A., 2003, magna cum laude

Cadwalader News

ACI Summit on Controlled Substances: Regulation, Litigation and Enforcement

Jodi Avergun is speaking at this ACI event on January 30 in Washington, DC.

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