News & Insights

Cases & Deals

April 24, 2017

King & Spalding Wins Significant Fifth Circuit Ruling on Behalf of Former Officers of Bankrupt Energy Company

AUSTIN, April 24, 2017 — King & Spalding secured a significant Fifth Circuit victory on behalf of former officers of ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, a Texas-based energy company that was forced into bankruptcy by the Deepwater Horizon disaster and ensuing moratoria on deepwater drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an opinion issued on April 21, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an August 2015 district court dismissal of a putative class action filed by ATP shareholders under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The shareholders accused ATP’s former officers of committing securities fraud by misrepresenting various aspects of the company’s business prior to bankruptcy, including its production from a particular oil-and-gas well, its liquidity, and the resignation of its CEO.  The Fifth Circuit held that the shareholders failed to satisfy the heightened standard for pleading scienter.

The Austin-based King & Spalding team included partners Paul Bessette, who co-chairs the firm's Securities Litigation Group, and Mike Biles, along with associates James P. Sullivan and Tyler Highful.

About King & Spalding
Celebrating more than 130 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 1000 lawyers in 19 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at