- Stockholder Rights & Fiduciary Duty Litigation
- Shareholder Derivative Actions
- Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions
- Securities Fraud Class Actions
- The American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 1997)
- Emory University (B.A. 1994)
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits
- Kevin A. Seely, Nichole T. Browning, and Gina Stassi, Reducing FCPA Exposure, The Recorder, June 25, 2012
- Nichole T. Browning, Understanding the Shareholder Bill of Rights, Law 360, November 10, 2009
- Nichole T. Browning and Martin D. Chitwood, Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) Update, Institute of Legal Education of Georgia, November 2000
Nichole T. Browning has spent her career representing clients in a range of complex litigation matters, including corporate merger and acquisition class actions, shareholder derivative actions, securities fraud class actions, consumer class actions, and antitrust litigation. She has handled all aspects of case management from inception through trial and appeals. Ms. Browning currently focuses her practice on litigation involving mergers and acquisitions, securities fraud, and excessive fees charged by mutual fund advisors. Ms. Browning also assists the firm’s cases through the settlement process.
Before joining Robbins Arroyo LLP in 2011, Ms. Browning was a senior associate at the San Francisco office of Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, LLP, where she represented shareholders throughout the United States in complex litigation involving securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative actions. Earlier in her career, Ms. Browning worked for preeminent Atlanta-based firms prosecuting and defending complex litigation, including securities fraud and antitrust class actions.
Ms. Browning earned her Juris Doctor degree from the American University, Washington College of Law. While in law school, Ms. Browning studied law at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia and the Universidad de Chile/Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University.
Selected Noteworthy Cases
Saba Software, Inc.
Along with partner Stephen Oddo, Ms. Browning litigated this shareholder class action against the officers and directors of Saba Software for breaches of fiduciary duties related to the buyout of Saba Software by Vector Capital Management. Plaintiffs alleged that because the company was facing mounting financial concerns, including delisting by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a failure to complete its internal review of the accounting treatment of certain international transactions, defendants chose to sell the company in a flawed and self-serving sales process in exchange for inadequate merger consideration for Saba Software shareholders. After three and half years of litigation, including extensive discovery, mediation, and a lengthy settlement negotiation process, defendants agreed to pay Saba Software's former shareholders $19.5 million. In approving the settlement, Vice Chancellor Slights called Robbins Arroyo's representation of the class "exemplary" and touted the settlement as a "strong recovery for the class." Transcript of Proceeding at 18, 22, In re Saba Software, Inc. Stockholder Litig. C.A., No. 10697-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2018). In re Saba Software, Inc. Stockholder Litig. C.A., No. 10697-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2018).
Ms. Browning acted as co-lead counsel in this shareholder derivative action involving stock option backdating at a high-tech company based in Silicon Valley. The case ultimately secured $9.65 million for the company and the implementation of significant corporate governance reforms, including a strengthened process for granting and documenting the issuance of employee stock option awards and enhanced independence of the board of directors. In re Atmel Corp. Derivative Litig.,No. 06-4592 (Aug. 13, 2010 N.D. Cal.).
Stone Energy Corporation
Ms. Browning represented a pension fund in this securities fraud class action alleging that Stone Energy had misstated their financial results by overvaluing its oil reserves through improper and aggressive reserve methodologies. The case ultimately secured $10.5 million in cash for the class of shareholders. In re Stone Energy Corp. Sec. Litig., No. 6:05CV2088 (Mar. 23, 2010 W.D. La.).
Apple Computer, Inc.
Ms. Browning played an instrumental role in recovering $14 million for the company in this shareholder derivative action involving stock option backdating at Apple Computer. Ms. Browning helped prosecute plaintiffs’ claims, and supported team efforts that prompted Apple to implement cutting edge corporate governance practices. In re Apple Computer, Inc. Derivative Litig.,No. C-06-04128 (Nov. 10, 2008 N.D. Cal.).