With nearly 20 years of complex litigation and securities experience, Serena Hallowell has been recognized by her peers as a leader in the plaintiffs’ securities bar and a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer “Trailblazer” in 2019 by National Law Journal for her work in securities opt-out litigation.
As lead of Motley Rice’s direct-action litigation efforts, and a leader of the firm’s securities fraud team, Serena litigates for some of the world’s largest institutional investors, including pension funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, family offices, and other large institutional investors. She also regularly advises institutional investors and public entities regarding recovery opportunities in connection with fraud-related conduct.
Prior to her time at Motley Rice, Serena was the head of a direct-action practice and member of the securities class action group as a partner of a large securities law firm in New York. In that capacity, she was a key member of several litigation teams that achieved multi-million settlements for clients, aggregating close to $500 million. Notable cases Serena was a leading/key member of prior to joining Motley Rice include:
- In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation ($140 million settlement*)
- In re Computer Sciences Corp. Securities Litigation ($97.5 million settlement*)(“rocket docket” jurisdiction and estimated to be the third largest all cash settlement in the Fourth Circuit)
- Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. Endo ($50 million settlement*) (state court Section 11 action believed to be the largest class settlement obtained pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with a secondary public offering)
- In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-01920 (N.D. Cal.) ($42.5 million settlement* for the class, including the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii)
- In re NII Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation ($41.5 million settlement*) (“rocket docket” jurisdiction where settlement was obtained even after company filed bankruptcy)
Serena has also led opt-out cases against companies, including Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Perrigo Company, and Teva Pharmaceuticals for a variety of institutional investors seeking to recoup losses stemming from alleged fraud-related conduct. With respect to Valeant, Serena and her team pursued claims under the New Jersey RICO statute, and was the first opt-out plaintiff to successfully defeat a motion to dismiss those claims. Certain Valeant actions have since been resolved and Serena continues to prosecute matters on behalf of others.
Serena was selected to The National Law Journal’s “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar” in 2020 for having consistently excelled in high stakes matters on behalf of plaintiffs. She was also recognized by them as a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer “Trailblazer” in 2019 in part for her work on behalf of opt-out plaintiffs. 2020–2022 Chambers USA reports recognized her in the area of New York securities litigation for plaintiffs and legal publication Law360 named her as a “Securities MVP” in 2019.
Serena is a frequent speaker in legal circles throughout the country on matters related to securities litigation and diversity and inclusion in the legal and financial sectors. She uses her platform to champion women’s rights and promote diversity in the financial realm, including advocating for women and minority-led investment firms.
In 2022, Serena was invited to join Law360's Securities Editorial Advisory Board. Serena is also an active member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA), where she currently serves on both the NAPPA Securities Litigation Committee and the NAPPA Fiduciary & Governance Committee.
Serena has performed pro bono work for immigrant detainees through the American Immigrant Representation Project, in addition to volunteering with the Securities Arbitration Clinic at Brooklyn Law School, among other positions. She is conversational in Hindi and Urdu.
*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
- 'Justices Should Acknowledge ESG’s Importance to Investors’ Law360 (June 2021)
- ‘Don’t Forget the “E” and the “S” in ESG: Securities Lawsuits Are No Longer Only About Corporate Governance’ NAPPA Report (October 2021)
- 'Mutual Funds Should Consider Shareholder Litigation,’ Law360 (Oct. 8, 2019)
- ‘Around the World in a Decade: The Evolving Landscape of Securities Litigation Post-Morrison,’ NAPPA (Nov. 26, 2019)
- ‘Emulex Highlights Greater Scrutiny of Issues at High Court,’ Law360 (April 25, 2019)
- ‘China Agritech’s Positive Implications for Plaintiffs,’ Law360 (July 3, 2018)
- ‘Direct Actions: A Path to Recovery for Foreign Purchases of Securities,’ The NAPPA Report (Oct. 31, 2017)
- ‘Investor Recovery Strategies Following ANZ Securities,’ Law360 (July 12, 2017)
- ‘Does ‘Dukes’ Require Full ‘Daubert’ Scrutiny at Class Certification?’ New York Law Journal (Nov. 25, 2011)
Litigation AreasSecurities Class Actions
J.D., Boston University School of Law, 2003
B.A., Occidental College, 1999
- New York
Admitted to Practice Before
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
New York City Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee
Federal Bar Council
South Asian Bar Association
National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
National Association of Women Lawyers
Awards and Accolades
2020–2022 Litigation: Securities: Plaintiffs – New York, Up and Coming
2020–2021 Future Star
2019–2021 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers
2019–2020 Leading Lawyers in America
2019 Securities MVP
2016 Rising Star
2016–2017 Securities Litigation
2022 New York Metro Super Lawyers – Securities