George C. Aguilar
George C. Aguilar concentrates his practice on complex litigation, including shareholder rights, securities, antitrust, and employment actions. Mr. Aguilar has successfully litigated numerous cases on behalf of shareholder clients against fraudulent management and company insiders, and has secured meaningful corporate governance reforms at companies across the U.S.
Mr. Aguilar is a former federal prosecutor and trial lawyer who has taken more than forty federal criminal cases to verdict. Before joining Robbins Arroyo LLP in 2007, Mr. Aguilar spent seventeen years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. During his tenure, Mr. Aguilar served as chief for the Terrorism, Violent Crimes, and General Prosecutions Section; deputy chief for the General Crimes Section; trial lawyer for the Financial Institution Fraud Task Force and the Major Frauds Sections; and as a supervising ethics officer. He led grand jury investigations and indicted and tried complex white collar criminal cases involving corporate, securities, bank, investor, tax, foreign currency, and bankruptcy fraud, bank bribery, and money laundering, among others. He authored thirty-five appellate briefs, and argued more than a dozen cases on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. For his work, Mr. Aguilar received several awards of recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies, including the prestigious Director’s Award of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Aguilar worked on complex securities defense litigation at Morrison Foerster LLP in San Francisco.
Mr. Aguilar is a recognized leader in the legal and civic communities. He writes and speaks on topics related to shareholder litigation and corporate governance. He has served in top leadership positions with legal and public entities, including San Diego La Raza Lawyers, California La Raza Lawyers, the State Bar of California, and the City of San Diego. For his leadership, Mr. Aguilar has received awards including 2014 Attorney of the Year and 2013 President’s Award from San Diego La Raza Lawyers and San Diego Mediation Center’s Peacemaker Award for Community Service, among others.
Mr. Aguilar received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. While at UC Berkeley, Mr. Aguilar served on the Moot Court Board and as managing editor of the La Raza Law Journal. He studied political science and journalism at the University of Southern California.
Selected Noteworthy Cases
- Halliburton Company, Warner v. Lesar, No. 2011-09567 (Tex. Dist. Ct.-Harris Cnty. Oct. 1, 2012): Acting as sole lead counsel on behalf of our shareholder client, Mr. Aguilar led the firm in litigating this action that arose from defendants’ mismanagement of risk, controls, and operations that led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history at the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Aguilar navigated the case through Halliburton’s internal investigation, and difficult and complex settlement discussions and mediation sessions, to secure comprehensive health, safety, and environmental governance reforms.
- Maxwell Technologies, Inc., Loizides v. Schramm, No. 37-2010-00097953-CU-BT-CTL (Cal. Super. Ct.-San Diego Cnty. Apr. 12, 2012): Mr. Aguilar led his team in litigating this shareholder derivative action for our client against corporate officers and directors of Maxwell Technologies, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of energy storage and power delivery-related products, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) after the company came under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice amid allegations of bribery and subcontracting kickbacks. As co-lead counsel, Mr. Aguilar helped secure a settlement in which the company adopted corporate governance and compliance measures, including a new FCPA and Anti-Corruption Compliance department to be led by a Chief Compliance Officer, to provide greater effectiveness of Maxwell’s board of directors in responding to FCPA compliance issues worldwide.
- Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., In re Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 1:05-cv-041683 (Cal. Super. Ct.-Santa Clara Cnty., Jan. 28, 2010): Mr. Aguilar played a key role in shareholder derivative litigation involving a criminal options backdating scheme at Brocade. Working closely with partners Marc Umeda and Craig Smith, Mr. Aguilar helped prevent an inadequate settlement that would have released all defendants for no money to the company. The firm prosecuted the action until Brocade formed a Special Litigation Committee to consider the plaintiffs’ claims. Mr. Aguilar successfully presented facts and law to the Special Litigation Committee on behalf of the firm’s shareholder clients. Brocade ultimately retained the firm as co-counsel to prosecute its claims against Brocade’s officers and directors.
- Private Equity Firms, Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC, No. 1:07-cv-12388(WGY) (D. Mass. Mar. 17, 2015): Mr. Aguilar led the firm as part of a team of plaintiff firms in a high profile, antitrust class action against several private equity firms. The case involved allegations of conspiracy among defendants to rig bids, restrict the supply of private equity financing, fix transaction prices, and divide up the market for private equity services for leveraged buyouts. Robbins Arroyo LLP played a prominent role in this litigation, bearing the responsibility for building the case against a principal defendant, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. In doing so, Mr. Aguilar conducted several depositions of some of the key private equity principals during the initial discovery phase of the case. The defendants settled for more than $590 million.