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Ken Turnbull represents clients in high-stakes government investigations, enforcement proceedings, and complex civil litigation.  Ken has deep experience in defending accounting firms and their professionals in matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and other federal and state agencies, as well as in parallel civil litigation.

Ken’s practice focuses on securities, financial reporting, and professional liability matters.  He has successfully represented firms and individuals in government investigations and enforcement proceedings, including quietly resolving matters that involve considerable risks to individuals’ reputations and careers.  Ken has also defended clients in civil cases involving significant alleged losses by investors or by insolvent companies represented by trustees or receivers.  This work has included obtaining dismissal of fraud claims in securities class actions or opt-out actions relating to Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Petrobras, and Freddie Mac, among other notable matters.  Ken was also a key member of the King & Spalding trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict following a six-week jury trial on a $1.2 billion claim by the Florida Department of Financial Services, as receiver, against an independent auditor.

Prior to practicing law, Ken taught classes in the humanities at the Pennsylvania State University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in ancient philosophy.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Maryland, with honors, Order of the Coif

B.A., St. John's College

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

District of Columbia

Maryland

Law Clerk, Hon. Lawrence F. Rodowsky, Maryland Court of Appeals

Matters

Defense of a Big 4 accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Defense of a Brazilian accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras. Ken led the briefing that resulted in dismissal of claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act. In re Petrobras Sec. Litig., No. 14-CV-9662 (JSR), 2016 WL 1533553 (Feb. 18, 2016).

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in a $1.2 billion malpractice suit brought by the Florida Department of Financial Services as receiver of three Florida insurance companies. Following a six-week jury trial, the accounting firm obtained a complete defense verdict. Ken examined both fact and expert witnesses at trial.

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Matters

Defense of a Big 4 accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Defense of a Brazilian accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras. Ken led the briefing that resulted in dismissal of claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act. In re Petrobras Sec. Litig., No. 14-CV-9662 (JSR), 2016 WL 1533553 (Feb. 18, 2016).

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in a $1.2 billion malpractice suit brought by the Florida Department of Financial Services as receiver of three Florida insurance companies. Following a six-week jury trial, the accounting firm obtained a complete defense verdict. Ken examined both fact and expert witnesses at trial.

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in trustee suit related to the collapse of Refco, one of the largest providers of brokerage services in various international markets. The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of the trustee’s claims based on the New York Court of Appeals’ answers to certified questions in Kirschner v. KPMG LLP, 938 N.E.2d 941 (N.Y. 2010), a landmark auditor liability decision applying the in pari delicto doctrine. Ken led the appellate briefing for this firm and took and defended numerous depositions in the MDL proceeding.

Represented a Big 4 Firm in litigation involving Kentucky’s transition from a fee-for-service to a managed care Medicaid program.

Represented Big 4 firms in three separate civil actions alleging malpractice in tax preparation and tax consulting work.

Represented a Big 4 accounting firm in a $6 billion class action relating to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). The Court dismissed the securities fraud claims against the firm in an unpublished decision.

Defended a Big 4 firm in a class action arising out of a mortgage banking client’s $3 billion restatement. The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. In re Doral Fin. Corp. Sec. Litig., 563 F. Supp. 2d 461 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), aff’d, 2009 WL 2779119 (2d Cir. Sept. 3, 2009).

Represented a partner of an accounting firm in a PCAOB proceeding relating to audits of a pharmaceutical company. Following submission of a PCAOB Rule 5109(d) statement, the Division of Enforcement and Investigations declined to recommend any enforcement action as to this partner. Ken has also assisted with other Rule 5109(d) and Wells statements.

Matters

Defense of a Big 4 accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Defense of a Brazilian accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras. Ken led the briefing that resulted in dismissal of claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act. In re Petrobras Sec. Litig., No. 14-CV-9662 (JSR), 2016 WL 1533553 (Feb. 18, 2016).

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in a $1.2 billion malpractice suit brought by the Florida Department of Financial Services as receiver of three Florida insurance companies. Following a six-week jury trial, the accounting firm obtained a complete defense verdict. Ken examined both fact and expert witnesses at trial.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Defense of a Big 4 accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Defense of a Brazilian accounting firm in a securities class action relating to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras. Ken led the briefing that resulted in dismissal of claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act. In re Petrobras Sec. Litig., No. 14-CV-9662 (JSR), 2016 WL 1533553 (Feb. 18, 2016).

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in a $1.2 billion malpractice suit brought by the Florida Department of Financial Services as receiver of three Florida insurance companies. Following a six-week jury trial, the accounting firm obtained a complete defense verdict. Ken examined both fact and expert witnesses at trial.

Defended a Big 4 accounting firm in trustee suit related to the collapse of Refco, one of the largest providers of brokerage services in various international markets. The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of the trustee’s claims based on the New York Court of Appeals’ answers to certified questions in Kirschner v. KPMG LLP, 938 N.E.2d 941 (N.Y. 2010), a landmark auditor liability decision applying the in pari delicto doctrine. Ken led the appellate briefing for this firm and took and defended numerous depositions in the MDL proceeding.

Represented a Big 4 Firm in litigation involving Kentucky’s transition from a fee-for-service to a managed care Medicaid program.

Represented Big 4 firms in three separate civil actions alleging malpractice in tax preparation and tax consulting work.

Represented a Big 4 accounting firm in a $6 billion class action relating to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). The Court dismissed the securities fraud claims against the firm in an unpublished decision.

Defended a Big 4 firm in a class action arising out of a mortgage banking client’s $3 billion restatement. The Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. In re Doral Fin. Corp. Sec. Litig., 563 F. Supp. 2d 461 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), aff’d, 2009 WL 2779119 (2d Cir. Sept. 3, 2009).

Represented a partner of an accounting firm in a PCAOB proceeding relating to audits of a pharmaceutical company. Following submission of a PCAOB Rule 5109(d) statement, the Division of Enforcement and Investigations declined to recommend any enforcement action as to this partner. Ken has also assisted with other Rule 5109(d) and Wells statements.

Credentials

J.D., University of Maryland, with honors, Order of the Coif

B.A., St. John's College

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

District of Columbia

Maryland

Law Clerk, Hon. Lawrence F. Rodowsky, Maryland Court of Appeals