Joshua Sohn
Partner, Dispute Resolution



T: +1 212 922 2200
D: +1 212 922 2248


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Summary Open

Joshua’s practice spans a wide range of commercial and regulatory matters, with particular specialty in complex disputes involving real estate, real estate finance, construction and securities matters.

During his 20-year career, Josh has tried cases and argued appeals in New York state courts and U.S. federal courts. He has also arbitrated before regulatory bodies and private tribunals and has negotiated resolutions of disputes before, during, and after litigation.

In real estate, Josh has litigated disputes arising as a result of violation of covenants, disputes between JV partners, and outright defaults or accelerations. As a securities litigator, Josh has significant experience handling a wide range of securities cases, including SEC enforcement actions and investigations, federal securities class actions, directors’ and officers’ liability cases.

Josh was Head of the Complex Civil Litigation and White Collar Defense Group at his previous firm.

Experience Open

    Joshua’s experience includes:
    Real estate/real estate finance litigation
    • Represented developer in litigation over entitlement to deposit from aborted deal to purchase Washington, D.C. office building for US$122m.
    • Represented public agency in breach-of-contract arbitration brought pursuant to private development agreement concerning compliance with construction conditions
    • Represented public agency in US$3.5bn arbitration brought by private developer arising out of alleged breach of development agreement.
    • Represented Hong Kong-based developer in dispute with finder claiming entitlement to finder’s fee pursuant to an oral agreement.
    • Represented a European bank in connection with a deficiency claim against Lehman Brothers arising out of a default under US$1.35bn repurchase agreement and the litigation management of the resulting portfolio of more than 70 mortgages around the United States.
    • Represented joint venture partner/property manager in dispute with other joint venture partner in connection with purported exercise of ROFO sale option for nine-property portfolio.
    • Represented turbine manufacturer in construction arbitration brought by project owner alleging delays
    • Represented electric power company regarding eminent domain issues in connection with application to install power lines in New York State
    Fiduciary duty/officers & directors litigation
    • Represented former officer and director of public company in multiple securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty class actions in the Southern District of New York.
    • Represented former officers and directors of private company in breach of fiduciary duty action brought by the company’s trustee in bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The trustee sought more than US$50m in damages from the defendants. Following a three-week bench trial, successfully obtained a reversal by the Second Circuit of the court’s finding of liability and an order remanding the case for a new trial to be held before a jury.
    • Represented two former directors of public company in defamation case
    • Represented former directors of public company in 10b-5 action alleging securities fraud in connection with securing financing for the company.
    • Represented former directors of public company in fraud and tortious interference action brought by hedge fund
    Investor representation
    • Represented hostile tender offeror in action simultaneously in both the Southern District of New York and New York State Court in connection with tender offer to acquire debt securities of insurance company.
    • Represented investor in federal court action brought by public company to prevent his candidacy for the company’s board of directors at its annual meeting.
    • Represented investor in private company in New York State Court action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a series of transactions effected by the controlling shareholder through which corporate assets were transferred away from the corporation without receiving fair compensation.
    Securities Litigation and Securities Enforcement Experience
    • Represented former-CFO of public company in formal SEC investigation by SEC’s Northeast regional office into certain financial reporting issues. After making a Wells submission on behalf of the CFO, no enforcement action was taken.
    • Represented broker in insider trading investigation by the SEC’s Boston office in investigation into his trading in publicly traded securities. After making a Wells submission on behalf of the broker, no disciplinary action was taken.
    • Represented two brokers in insider trading investigation by the NYSE into their trading in publicly traded securities. No disciplinary action was taken.
    • Represented investor in insider trading investigation by the SEC’s New York office into his trading in publicly traded securities. No disciplinary action was taken.
    • Representing an investment adviser in insider trading investigation by the SEC’s Washington, D.C. office. No disciplinary action was taken.
    • Obtained favorable settlement for the underwriters in section 11 & 12 securities class action in SDNY.
    • Obtained dismissal of two amended class-action complaints in SDNY alleging securities fraud arising out of sales of Auction Rate Securities and successfully opposed a motion to consolidate action with 31 ARS cases nationwide.
    • Represented securities trader in SEC enforcement action in the SDNY that alleged market manipulation, which was settled on favorable terms.

Education Open

  • 1998: New York Bar admission
  • 1997: J.D. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York. Managing editor, Cardozo Law Review. Samuel Belkin Award for outstanding contribution to the law school
  • 1994: B.A., History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • New York State Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award, 2005.
  • Center for Constitutional Rights, President’s Award, 2005.

Employment Record Open

  • 2016 – present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams, New York
  • 2014 – 2016: Partner, Head of Commercial Litigation, Mischon de Reya, New York
  • 2000 – 2014: Partner, Co-Chair of National Real Estate Litigation Group and Pro Bono Partner, DLA Piper, New York
  • 1997 – 2000: Associate, Gordon Altman Weitzen Shalov & Wein, New York

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