Ian M. Ross
Ian M. Ross represents clients in business disputes, commercial and securities litigation, class actions, and government investigations. He previously practiced as a litigation shareholder in Greenberg Traurig, P.A.’s Miami office; before that, he worked in the financial and securities litigation group in Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago office. He is an AV Preeminent-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given for ethical and technical competence.
For more than fifteen years, Ian has defended defending public and private corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and directors, and officers in federal securities claims, state securities actions, shareholder derivative suits, breach of fiduciary duty actions, and claims arising out of complex commercial transactions. He offers expertise to businesses on corporate governance and compliance issues, and regularly publishes analysis of new case law and statutory developments in publications such as Law360, the Daily Business Review, and the Florida Bar Journal (see Publications section below).
Ian also advises and defends national manufacturers, retailers, and telecommunication companies in privacy and consumer class actions. He has served as lead counsel in dozens of putative class actions brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, privacy and e-mail statutes, and deceptive and unfair trade practices statutes. He defends these cases in federal and state court and has extensive experience briefing issues of consumer standing, federal preemption, consent, and statutory interpretation, and has had success compelling class actions to arbitration and defeating them at class certification (see Representative Engagements section below).
Ian’s governmental practice includes representing clients in connection with investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. He has represented corporations, directors, officers, and accounting firms in investigations involving insider trading, allegations of misappropriation and fraud, internal control (SOX and SAS 70) audits, and financial restatements relating to complex accounting issues such as revenue recognition, software capitalization, and earnout accounting.
Ian previously served as a member of Greenberg Traurig’s eDiscovery group, and has handled and coordinated complex multijurisdictional and multinational discovery matters, including document collections, reviews, and productions.
Business Disputes and Complex Commercial Litigation
- Represented corporations, banks, directors and officers, national consulting firms, and accounting firms in contract and tort actions in federal and state court. Obtained affirmative rulings on these cases before trial on motions to dismiss and/or summary judgment motions.
- Obtained permanent injunction against investors seeking to pursue $100 million FINRA arbitration against broker‑dealer, affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Pictet Overseas Inc. v. Helvetia Trust, 905 F.3d 1183 (11th Cir. 2018); see also Trusts Can’t Revive $101.8M Arbitration Claim At 11th Circuit, available at https://www.law360.com/articles/1085791.
- Represented television studio defending tortious interference claims for $50 million in federal jury trial in which judge granted defendant’s Rule 50 motion following plaintiff’s presentation of its case.
- Represented defendants in civil RICO case alleging a conspiracy to convert personal business and property assets. Sanders v. Sanders, et al., 2020 WL 5361881 (S.D. Fla. July 20, 2020).
- Obtained dismissal of majority of claims over $80 million of notes filed against financial institution brought by noteholder for breaches of duty and negligence.; See FBK Associates v. Suntrust Bank, 2014 WL 12514898 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 16, 2014) (dismissing majority of noteholder claims); FBK Associates v. Suntrust Bank, 2014 WL 12514899 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 18, 2014) (granting motion for partial judgment on the pleadings against noteholder); see also SunTrust Ducks Claims Over $80 M Notes Enforcement, available at https://www.law360.com/articles/502321/suntrust-ducks-claims-over-80m-notes-enforcement.
- Represented Lennar Corporation in federal and state court and established personal jurisdiction against foreign manufacturer producing and selling drywall for American homes. See How They Won It: Greenberg Sticks It to Chinese Drywall Co., Law360, October 23, 2012, available at https://www.law360.com/articles/388831.
- Represented medical physics company in suit against former executive for violation of noncompete and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and defamation, obtaining consent injunction against executive. See Global Physics Solutions, Inc. v. Benjamin, Case No. 17-60662-CIV-SCOLA, 2017 WL 6948721 (S.D. Fla. June 26, 2017).
- Represented investment advisors and broker-dealers in professional liability and tort actions in federal court, state court, and in FINRA arbitrations relating to private placement securities and investment portfolio recommendations.
- Represented professional service and accounting firms in professional liability actions in federal and state court in matters involving complex accounting issues, including earnout accounting, revenue accounting, derivative accounting, and software capitalization.
Financial and Securities Litigation
- Represented corporations, directors and officers, and accounting firms in federal securities class actions and state securities actions brought by shareholders or former investors, including shareholder derivative actions, claims under state Blue Sky securities laws, and common law fraud and misrepresentation actions.
- Obtained summary judgment in state securities and fraud action brought by former officer relating to purported misrepresentations and omissions regarding preliminary merger negotiations. See Pritchard v. Levin, No. 2015-020187, 2019 WL 1996252 (Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. Apr. 23, 2019). The trial court’s order was affirmed on appeal, see — So. 3d —, 2020 WL 2050691 (Fla. 3d DCA Apr. 29, 2020).
- Represented public company, its former officers, and private equity company in state securities action brought by an investor relating to purported misrepresentations made in connection with a $25M private placement. See J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC v. Geveran Investments Limited, 224 So. 3d 316 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).
- Represented OPKO Health Inc. in holding off four putative class actions challenging the announced merger of OPKO and Bio-Reference Laboratories, After expedited discovery, the parties came to agreement on a memorandum of understanding on a disclosure-based settlement that allowed OPKO and Bio-Reference to complete their transaction, which was subsequently approved by shareholders. See Tight Timeline Didn’t Disrupt Trio in $1.5 B Deal, available at https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/almID/1202756905626/ (2016).
- Held off a shareholder class action to enjoin a merger, allowing for the sale of Prolor Biotech, Inc., an Israeli-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing longer-acting proprietary versions of already approved therapeutic proteins. Plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed with prejudice (2014).
- Represented former officer of national consulting firm in dismissal of shareholder derivative claims in federal court against corporation’s officers and directors. Oakland County Employees’ Retirement System v. Massaro, 772 F. Supp. 2d 973 (N.D. Ill. 2011); Oakland County Employees’ Retirement System v. Massaro, 736 F. Supp. 2d 1181 (N.D. Ill. 2010).
- Represented Big Four accounting firm in dismissal of “holder” claims asserted by former shareholders of a consumer finance company. Dloogatch v. Brincat, 396 Ill. App. 3d 842 (Ill. App. 2009).
Class Action Litigation
- Represented national companies in litigation arising out of federal and state consumer protection statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Florida Electronic Mail Communications Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Experience includes representing companies in a variety of industries, including retail, insurance, telecommunications, online retailing, food and beverage, sports and fitness, and home appliances.
- Defeated class certification in national class action brought against sports and fitness company. See Powell v. YouFit Health Clubs, LLC, 2019 WL 926131 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 14, 2019) (denying class certification); Powell v. YouFit Health Clubs, LLC, 2019 WL 926131 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 22, 2019) (denying motion for reconsideration).
- Represented international retailer in TCPA class action where the district court judge granted summary judgment in defendants’ favors after concluding that messages were not sent in violation of the TCPA. See Ramos v. Hopele of Fort Lauderdale, LLC, et al., 334 F. Supp. 3d 1262 (S.D. Fla. 2018).
- Successfully compelled arbitration of TCPA class action brought against national food and beverage company. See Greenberg v. Doctors Associates, Inc., 338 F. Supp. 3d 1280 (S.D. Fla. 2018).
- Obtained dismissal of putative class action brought under the Florida Electronic Mail Communications Act and Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, based on federal preemption principles. See George v. Defenders, Inc., 2020 WL 4830310 (Fla. 9th Jud. Cir. Aug. 18, 2020).
- Represented corporations, directors, officers, and accounting firms in investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, and in matters involving insider trading, allegations of misappropriation and fraud, internal control (SOX and SAS 70) audits, and financial restatements relating to complex accounting issues.
- Represented directors and officers in pre-suit investigation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Throughout his career, Ian has worked actively on pro bono matters, representing refugees seeking asylum in removal proceedings in immigration court. He has represented clients from Burundi, Kenya, Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, and Russia, among others. He has been recognized by Americans for Immigrant Justice as a Pro Bono Hero. See http://www.aijustice.org/ian_ross.
Ian has written on a variety of issues facing corporations, directors, and officers in business disputes. Last year, he wrote a featured article in the Florida Bar Journal on the enforcement of nonreliance clauses in business transactions and acquisition agreement. See Reframing the Question: Why Florida Courts Should Enforce Nonreliance Clauses, available at https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-journal/reframing-the-question-why-florida-courts-should-enforce-nonreliance-clauses/ (January/February 2019). More recently, he has offered commentary on the continuing uncertainty regarding the scope of seller liability under state securities blue sky laws, see https://www.law360.com/articles/1223069/wash-ruling-highlights-states-clashing-securities-decisions, as well as the enforceability of exculpatory clauses and general releases under Florida law, see https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/09/11/recent-case-emphasizes-the-limits-of-contracts-in-florida-courts/.
Ian has also written a number of articles on developments in cases litigated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. See Consumer Class Standing Faces Uncertainty In Eleventh Circuit, available at https://www.law360.com/articles/1199426; TCPA Questions Loom As Eleventh Circuit Considers Three Cases, available at https://www.law360.com/articles/1151133/tcpa-questions-loom-as-11th-circ-considers-3-cases (April 18, 2019).
Some of his other publications and speaking engagements include:
- Recent Case Emphasizes the Limits of Contracts in Florida Courts, September 11, 2019, available at https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/09/11/recent-case-emphasizes-the-limits-of-contracts-in-florida-courts/.
- Florida Appellate Court Limits Obligations of Third Parties to Preserve Evidence, Daily Business Review, May 30, 2019, available at https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/05/30/florida-appellate-court-limits-obligations-of-third-parties-to-preserve-evidence/
- Panelist, Negotiating eDiscovery Requirements and Requests, ACEDS South Florida Chapter (Nov. 6, 2018).
- Litigation Overview, Florida (PLI State Q&A), Practical Law Litigation, Thomson Reuters (2018).
- Panelist, Potential Litigation Pitfalls in Transactional Documents, Hoffman Professional Center (2016).
- Courts Signal a Change in Tone on Disclosure-Only Settlements in M&A Litigation, American Bar Association, YLD Business Law Newsletter (2015).
- The End of Say on Pay Litigation?, American Bar Association, YLD Business Law Newsletter (2013).
Recognition and Awards
- Recognized as a Pro Bono Hero, Americans for Immigrant Justice Pro Bono Hero
- Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (2018-2020)
- Listed, Florida Trend, Florida Legal Elite (2020)
- Listed, Florida Trend, Legal Elite Up & Comers (2020)
- Listed, The Legal 500 United States, General Commercial Disputes
- Team Member, U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, “Law Firm of the Year,” Banking & Finance – Litigation, 2017
- Recipient, We Can Dream Pro Bono Award, Dade Legal Aid, 2017
Leadership and Community Service
- Board Member, Americans for Immigrant Justice
- Board Member, Miami-Dade Urban Debate League
- Board Member, Read to a Child, South Florida, Regional Board
- Member, Johns Hopkins University Second Decade Society
- Member, Defense Research Institute
- Member, Florida Bar Association Business Law Committee
- Member, American Bar Association
- Co-Chair of Various Litigation Committees (Co- Chair, Litigation Committee (Young Lawyers Division), 2013-2014; Vice-Chair, Business Law Committee (Young Lawyers Division), 2014-2015; Co-Chair, Business Law Committee (Young Lawyers Division), 2015-2016)
- Member, Section of Litigation Pro Bono Task Force, 2017-2019
- J.D., cum laude, Duke University School of Law, 2005
- Executive Editor, Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law
- B.S. Womble Scholarship Recipient
- B.A., with honors, Johns Hopkins University, 2002
- Graduated with General Undergraduate Honors and Departmental Honors in Political Science
Ian Ross was named a “Rising Star” in 2018 by Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers and was listed in 2016 in the Legal 500 United States for Dispute Resolution – General Commercial Disputes. He was also recognized in 2017 as a team member of the “Law Firm of the Year” for Banking & Finance Litigation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition.