Mary Eaton is a partner in Willkie’s Litigation Department and Chair of the firm’s Business and Corporate Litigation Practice Group. Mary has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation, with a focus on shareholder litigation (including securities class actions and shareholder derivative claims) and other complex business disputes. Mary regularly represents registered investment companies, registered investment advisors, private equity companies, officers, directors, trustees and executives in a wide variety of disputes in federal and state courts across the country. In addition to her substantial trial experience, Mary regularly counsels clients on litigation avoidance and corporate governance matters.
Shareholder Derivative Claims. Mary has extensive experience in shareholder derivative matters, representing boards of directors, trustees, companies, registered investment companies and registered investment advisors in connection with shareholder demands and claims of all sorts. Mary also advises boards of directors and special committees in connection with their duties as fiduciaries and best practices with respect to corporate governance.
Securities Litigation and Enforcement. Mary represents issuers, underwriters, officers and directors in private securities litigation and in enforcement and examination proceedings before securities regulators, including the SEC.
Complex Commercial Disputes. Mary’s ability to distill and simplify the critical issues has enabled her to successfully represent clients across a broad array of industries in litigations of all types, securing favorable verdicts and settlements for her clients. As a result, Mary is regularly called upon to represent clients in a wide range of complex disputes, including a contract dispute regarding the sale of an iconic work of post-modern art, a breach of fiduciary claim involving executive compensation, a corporate governance contest for control of a treasure salvage enterprise, and a claim for copyright infringement damages against a music file sharing service.
Appellate Practice. Mary has been the author of a number of amicus submissions to the United States Supreme Court on matters related to the proper interpretation of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and other federal securities laws on behalf of SIFMA, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mutual Funds Directors Forum. She has also represented a number of organizations before the Supreme Court on various social issues of national importance (such as the reach of TRAP laws and the treatment of enemy combatants).
Pro Bono. Mary is a firm believer in giving back to the community through pro bono service, and has dedicated thousands of hours to managing and supervising various pro bono matters, both large and small. In recognition for that work, Mary has received a number of awards, including the Thurgood Marshall Award (Federal Bar Council), Outstanding Pro Bono Volunteer (New York State Bar Association), Lawyer Who Leads By Example (New York Law Journal), and Attorneys And Advocates Award (Sylvia Rivera Law Project), and is a six-time recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award (Legal Aid Society).