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Sidney S. Liebesman
Wilmington Office

1105 North Market Street
15th floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

P: 302-504-7800
F: 302-504-7820

Philadelphia Office

1735 Market Street
21st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7505

P: 215-772-7279
F: 215-772-7620

New York Office

437 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022

P: 212-867-9500
F: 212-599-1759

Biography

Sidney S. Liebesman is a partner in the Litigation Department at Montgomery McCracken. His practice focuses on complex commercial and business litigation, shareholder derivative litigation, and class action litigation involving shareholder rights and securities fraud. Mr. Liebesman has represented many U.S. and foreign institutional investors, including some of the largest institutional investors in the world. Mr. Liebesman played major roles prosecuting many high-profile securities fraud civil actions, including In re Tyco International, Ltd. Securities Litigation which settled for $3.2 billion, In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation, In re WorldCom, Inc. Securities Litigation and In re Global Crossing Ltd. Securities Litigation which settled for nearly $450 million. In the Delaware Court of Chancery, Mr. Liebesman has handled matters involving a range of corporate law issues, including stockholder challenges to corporate mergers and acquisitions, requests for the appointment of temporary receivers, fiduciary duties, indemnification of corporate directors for litigation expenses and stockholders’ demands for inspection of corporate and partnership books and records.

Mr. Liebesman has appeared before tribunals and conducted depositions in Europe, Singapore and Australia. He played a central role in the landmark Pan-European settlement of securities claims under Dutch law involving Royal Dutch Shell where he represented dozens of financial institutions located throughout Europe. The settlement was then a first of its kind in the Amsterdam Court of Appeals and has been the topic of many conferences and legal journals.

Before attending law school, Mr. Liebesman was a police officer with the New Castle County, Delaware Police Department, where he investigated criminal offenses, served on the Department’s Emergency Response Team and received many commendations from the Department and civilian organizations.

Selected Representations

  • Mr. Liebesman successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit where the Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in a case involving an attempt to pierce the corporate veil under Delaware law originally brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Cohen v. Schroeder, No. 17-1301. 2018 WL 1109632 (Feb. 28, 2018).
  • On October 25, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a federal securities fraud class action brought under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and various of its members involving options trading strategies. Rabin, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, v. NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, et al., No. 16-2511. 2017 WL 4812550 (Oct. 25, 2017). Mr. Liebesman was part of the team representing two of the member defendants.
  • Mr. Liebesman was retained by New Castle County, Delaware to represent it in connection with a high profile land-use project in which the County denied a plan of development based on traffic issues.  Following briefing and argument before the Delaware Superior Court, the Superior Court denied the developers’ request to allow the plan to proceed.  Golf Course Assoc., LLC v. New Castle County, et al., 2016 WL 1425367 (Del. Super. Mar. 28, 2016).  The developer appealed that decision to the Delaware Supreme Court and following briefing and oral argument, en banc, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an order on December 9, 2016 affirming the Superior Court’s decision.  Del. Supreme Ct., No. 200, 2016 (Dec. 9, 2016).
  • Mr. Liebesman was lead counsel in a shareholder class action brought in the Chancery Court of Delaware on behalf of shareholders of Pet360, Inc. relating to the September 2014 acquisition of that company by PetSmart, Inc. The case centered on the low valuation of Pet360, Inc. and the wrongful process used by the company as part of the acquisition process. In September, 2016, during the course of extensive discovery, the action settled with additional consideration being paid to the former Pet360 shareholders.
  • In August 2016, Mr. Liebesman successfully intervened a stakeholder of a waste management company, who admittedly was working for a competitor, from accessing company data. The case involved complicated interpersonal relationship between the entities’ three owners and principals, and was a rare exception where a fiduciary’s presumed right to access books and records was rebutted. The decision followed a two-day trial.
  • In March 2016, Mr. Liebesman successfully prosecuted a motion for a temporary restraining order in the Chancery Court of Delaware forcing the removal of a competitor’s website from the Internet that infringed on a client’s website in violation of Delaware’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  The following day, Mr. Liebesman successfully opposed a motion for a temporary restraining order in the Chancery Court that sought to limit a company’s disbursements of its own funds.
  • Mr. Liebesman secured partial judgment on behalf of a stockholder and putative class in a high profile Chancery Court matter challenging a Delaware corporation’s non-reciprocal fee-shifting bylaw and whether the bylaw applied to the stockholder’s challenge to the fairness of a reverse stock split.  Four days after completing the stock split (which had the effect of involuntarily cashing out the challenging stockholder), the Company adopted a fee shifting bylaw.  The court ruled based on principles of contract law that the fee-shifting bylaw was not applicable because it was adopted after the stockholder was cashed out of the Company.  Stougo v. Hollander (First Aviation Services, Inc.) 111 A.2d 590 (Del. Ch. 2015).
  • Mr. Liebesman successfully defended the management company and owner of a hotel in Delaware in connection with an employment claim brought by an individual who had accepted an offer of employment as an executive at the hotel. Using a discrete area of the law, a critically favorable pre-trial ruling respecting available damages was made in February 2015 – just weeks before trial was to commence in the Delaware Superior Court.
  • In January 2013, Mr. Liebesman was retained by New Castle County, Delaware to take over the representation of the County in a high-profile rezoning matter involving what would have been one of the largest construction projects in County history. Following a successful result at trial in the Chancery Court of Delaware, the trial court’s ruling was upheld March 25, 2014 upon appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court. Barley Mill, LLC v. Save Our County, Inc., et al., 89 A.3d 51 (Del. Sup. 2014).
  • Mr. Liebesman successfully intervened in an action pending the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of a client who was owed a substantial sum of money in connection with work it had performed related to the lawsuit pending in that court. After a six day evidentiary hearing, a favorable decision was rendered in early 2014 resulting in a sizeable recovery for the client.
  • Mr. Liebesman successfully prosecuted a breach of fiduciary duty and statutory violation case in the Delaware Chancery Court brought by a group of founders and shareholders of a health care technology company in connection with several rounds of venture capital financings. The decision in that case, Carsanaro v. Bloodhound Technologies, Inc., C.A. No. 7301-VCL (March 15, 2013), is oft-cited in discussions about venture capital financing of Delaware corporations.

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist at  “Delaware Court of Chancery, Current Issues and Dilemmas: What’s New and What’s News,” Delaware State Bar Association’s Bench and Bar CLE Conference, June 17, 2016
  • Presenter at Practising Law Institute’s Class Action Litigation 2015 webinar on July 22, 2015
  • Presenter before financial institutions and institutional investors worldwide on corporate governance and litigation matters, and speaks regularly at conferences for public pension fund trustees and administrators
  • Spoken before groups throughout the United States, England, Scotland, Canada and Japan
  • Spoken at the World Bank
  • Lectured to law enforcement officers and agencies regarding civil rights litigation

Community Involvement

  • Founder and former president of the Chesapeake Police and Fire Foundation, created for the benefit of survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty

Professional Activities & Achievements

  • Delaware State Bar Association

Academic Achievements

Mr. Liebesman graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 1995. While attending Villanova Law School, he served as an editor of the Villanova Environmental Law Journal and was a finalist in the 35th Annual Reimel Moot Court competition.

During his tenure on the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Mr. Liebesman authored “Triggering an Obligation: Receipt of an EPA PRP Letter and An Insurer’s Duty to Defend,” 5 VILL. ENVTL. L.J. 479, 480 (1994) (cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Texas in McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Ins. Co., 477 S.W.3d 786, 788, n. 14 (Tex. 2015).  Mr. Liebesman’s brief submitted in connection with the 35th Reimel Moot Court competition was also published in the Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal.  See “Baseball’s Exemption from Section One of the Sherman Antitrust Act Applies to the National League’s Decision to Deny the Sale and Transfer of a Franchise,” Vol. 2, Issue 2 (1995).