Mr. Lawson’s practice includes defending corporate and individual clients in a variety of disputes. His recent work for clients includes:
- Representation of a syndicate of investment banks in a putative securities class action filed in New York state court relating to approximately $30 billion in debt and equity securities offerings conducted in connection with Occidental Petroleum’s $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.
- Representation of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a leading global provider of information technology, consulting, and business process services, and certain current and former directors and officers in putative shareholder derivative actions in federal and state court in New Jersey, a putative securities class action in federal court in New Jersey, and various shareholder demands in the Delaware Court of Chancery arising out of Cognizant's announcement of an internal investigation into whether certain payments relating to facilities in India were made in possible violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws.
- Representation of BioAmber Inc. in a putative securities class action filed in New York federal court challenging various disclosures relating to the company’s operations.
- Representation of a hedge fund using algorithmic trading strategies in an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into market manipulation.
- Representation of a London-based trader in connection with an antitrust class action concerning SSA bond trading.
- Representation of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst, Ashish Aggarwal, against allegations of conspiracy, insider trading, and wire fraud charges. A Central District of California jury found Mr. Aggarwal not guilty related to his role in an alleged insider trading scheme. This was a rare defense victory in an insider trading case and the first since the U.S. Supreme Court’s December 2016 decision in Salman v. United States, which lowered the bar for prosecutors in insider trading cases.
- Representation of an internationally renowned post-secondary educational institution defending against state-law contract and tort claims. Successfully obtained dismissal of all of the plaintiffs’ claims.
- Representation of a global technology company in connection with False Claims Act qui tam litigation and criminal investigations by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division.
- Representation of a U.S.-based global manufacturer of scientific instruments and medical devices in connection with investigations by the SEC, DOJ and Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption into alleged bribery and corruption violations at several of the company's China subsidiaries, including relating to the use of third-party intermediaries in connection with contracts with state-owned entities.
- Representation of a nationwide transportation company in numerous civil suits arising out of alleged misclassification of independent contractors.
In addition, Mr. Lawson has:
- Served as lead counsel for the King’s County District Attorney’s Office in briefing and arguing a criminal appeal before New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department. Successfully secured the appellant’s top-line convictions for murder, attempted murder, and first-degree burglary and a substantial sentence of 50 years to life in prison.
- Co-authored the briefing and served as second-chair in U.S. Supreme Court case Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, No. 18-8369, concerning the proper interpretation of the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
- Co-authored several briefs at the certiorari stage in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Co-authored a brief in the Second Circuit challenging a district court’s revocation of a pro bono client’s in forma pauperis status. Successfully obtained reversal of the district court’s order.
- On a pro bono basis, successfully challenged under the First Amendment a city’s ban on charitable solicitation in public.
In 2018-2019, Mr. Lawson gained significant trial experience during a seven-month secondment with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where he served as an Assistant District Attorney. During that time, he prosecuted numerous felony cases on behalf of the State of New York, including a jury trial and several evidentiary hearings. Among other things, he obtained a conviction and substantial jail sentence after an approximately one month long jury trial on a 15 count indictment, including an attempted murder charge. He also successfully presented a number of cases before the Grand Jury and briefed several post-conviction and post-sentencing challenges.
Mr. Lawson served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2015-2016.