Retired partner Mark Holland is one of the most experienced mutual fund litigators in the country. For over 35 years, he has defended investment advisors, underwriters, and independent trustees in shareholder litigation arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and state law. He also has advised mutual fund boards and special committees in numerous investigations.
Many of the cases Mr. Holland has argued and won have set important precedents for the investment industry. These include Olmstead v. PruCo. (2d. Cir. 2001), the first case holding that no implied private rights of action exist under the 1940 Act; In re Reserve Primary Fund Litig. (S.D.N.Y. 2011), the first case involving a money market fund “breaking the buck;” Riley v. MLPF&S (11th Cir. 2004), the first case holding that mutual fund shares are subject to the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act; Green v. FAM (3rd Cir. 2003), the first case to grant summary judgment under Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act; and Olesh v. Dreyfus Corp. (E.D.N.Y. 1994), the first case applying Section 15(f) of the 1940 Act to the acquisition of a mutual fund advisor. He represented Alliance Bernstein in the market timing litigation, In re Mutual Funds Investment Litig., (D. Md. 2004), and Merrill Lynch Investment Management in the research reports class actions, In re Merrill Lynch & Co. Research Reports Litig. (S.D.N.Y. 2003). As an associate, he worked on Gartenberg v. MLAM (2d. Cir. 1984) and Krinsk v. FAM (2d Cir. 1989), two of the first cases tried under Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act.
Mr. Holland also has extensive experience representing issuers and investment banks in securities fraud cases, including defending Merrill Lynch in the In re IPO Securities Litig. (2d. Cir. 2006) class action; Citigroup in the In re Parmalat Sec. Litig. (S.D.N.Y. 2006) class action; and Countrywide in cases brought by two monoline insurers, MBIA and Syncora, alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with over $25 billion of mortgage-backed securities, MBIA v. Countrywide, 39 Misc. 1220 (N.Y. Sup. 2013).
Current and Recent Representations
- Defended JP Morgan Investment Management (JPMIM) and won dismissal of claims under Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act alleging JPMIM charged excessive advisory fees to its $7.1 billion U.S. Large Cap Core Plus Fund. Pirundini v. JPMIM, 309 F. Supp 3d 156 (S.D.N.Y. 2018). Mr. Holland also argued the appeal before the Second Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s decision. 765 Fed. Appx. 538 (2d Cir. 2018).
- Defended Northern Lights Distributors (NLD) and won dismissal of a securities class action alleging that the Catalyst Hedged Futures Strategy Fund, a $2.2 billion mutual fund that lost $600 million during one week of heavy market volatility in 2017, and its advisor, trustees, and distributor (NLD) misrepresented the fund’s risks and investment strategy in its registration statement in violation of the 1933 Act. Emerson v. Mutual Fund Services Trust, et al., 2019 WL 2601664 (E.D.N.Y. 2019).
- Defending J.P. Morgan Investment Management and winning summary judgment dismissing claims that JPMIM violated Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act by charging seven J.P. Morgan mutual funds with over $105 billion in assets excessive investment advisory and administration fees. This was the first Section 36(b) case filed since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Jones v. Harris that granted summary judgment to an investment advisor. Goodman v. JPMIM, 301 F. Supp 3d 759 (S.D. Ohio 2018).
- Defending NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC in class actions alleging that the LJM Preservation and Growth Fund, a mutual fund that lost over $600 million in February 2018 during unprecedented VIX volatility, and other defendants violated the 1933 Act by misrepresenting the fund’s investment objective and strategy in its registration statement.
- Advised demand review committees of the boards of directors of the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund, Sequoia Fund, Western Asset funds, Highland Global Allocation Fund, and Eaton Vance funds, among others, in investigations of allegations raised by shareholder demand letters.
- Represented Intralinks in shareholder class actions and derivative suits alleging that defendants misrepresented the company’s business prospects and relations with a key customer in violation of the 1933 and 1934 Acts. The case settled. Wallace v. Intralinks Holding, Inc., 302 F.R.D. 310 (S.D.N.Y. 2014).
- Defended MuniMae in class actions and derivative suits alleging violations of the federal securities laws in connection with the company’s accounting restatements. Mr. Holland argued and won dismissal in the district court, and also argued and won the appeal.Yates v. Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC, 744 F.3d 874 (4th Cir. 2014).
Mr. Holland has served multiple terms on the New York City Bar’s Committee on Investment Management Regulation and on the Committee on Securities Litigation. He has spoken on securities and mutual fund litigation at numerous industry conferences and CLE seminars, including the Investment Company Institute’s Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference, the Practicing Law Institute, and the Independent Directors Council.
Cornell Law School
(with honors), Managing Editor, Cornell Law Review.
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Recognition & Awards
Benchmark Litigation recognizes Mr. Holland as a 2021 Litigation Star in New York for his work in Securities. In 2010, Mr. Holland was named Independent Counsel of the Year at the 17th Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards ceremony, sponsored by Fund Action and Fund Directions. He repeatedly has been recognized by The Legal 500 US and by Chambers USA as one of the leading individuals in securities litigation in New York and nationwide.