Dave FreeburgOf Counsel
David Freeburg brings his lengthy experience with high stakes litigation to DLA Piper’s global presence. His commercial litigation practice focuses on complex claims for fraud, breach of contract, and violations of state and federal statutes governing sophisticated clients across the country. He has particular expertise in the resolution of securities litigation and cross-border legal disputes.
He has represented corporations, board members, and executives across a wide range of industries, including private equity, finance, commercial real estate, manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, mortgage lending, and investment management.
He is a nationally recognized D&I leader and serves as the vice-chair of Iris, DLA Piper's international LGBT employee resource group.
- Currently defending the founders of three special purpose acquisition companies against seven shareholder derivative litigations and putative class actions regarding $660 million in investments into three emerging growth companies.
- Defended a broker-dealer and related entities against fraud and securities claims in five cases filed by institutional investors holding over $4 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities.
- Defended a broker-dealer and related entities against four cases filed by monoline bond insurers alleging fraud and breach of contract. Obtained favorable settlements of claims related to $22 billion of mortgage-backed securities.
- Defended a broker-dealer and related entities against a bond insurer alleging $100 million in damages for fraud, breach of contract, and insurance claims relating to a $1.15 billion securities offering. Obtained precedential dismissal of insurance claims and successful resolution of all remaining claims without discovery.
- Defended the investment advisor for a top mutual fund complex in litigation alleging $100 million in excessive advisory fees under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
- Represented the individual directors of a major mutual fund complex as non-party witnesses in litigation alleging, they approved $450 million in excessive advisory fees.
- Represented the general partner of an alternative investment fund in derivative litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duties related to $20 million in investment losses. Won motion to dismiss due to limited partner's failure to meet the standards of demand futility.
- Defended the CEO of retail wealth advisory firm in litigation alleging responsibility for a third party’s theft of over $3.7 million in investor funds. Won summary judgment against all claims due to lack of any knowledge of or control over the relevant transactions.
- Defended regional banks against five putative class actions challenging approximately $500 million of M&A transactions, settling for less than nuisance value.
- Defended real estate developer against three cases asserting Washington State Securities Act violations, including a successful appeal to the Washington Court of Appeals and a settlement for less than nuisance value.
- Defended the nation’s largest consumer cooperative association against a putative class action arguing the company’s annual dividends were subject to state and federal gift card statutes. Successfully defeated all claims on a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, and without the burden and expense of discovery, let alone briefing on class certification and summary judgment.
- Currently defending a manufacturer against eight putative class actions alleging securities violations in a $125 million public offering.
- Negotiated a favorable resolution of claims for an investor in the launch of a $1.8 billion cryptocurrency network.
- Represented investors in a technology start-up asserting claims for fraud and securities violations against the company’s founder. Defeated numerous dispositive motions, established alter ego liability, and secured highly favorable settlement the day before opening arguments in a federal jury trial.
Commercial Business Disputes
- Won summary judgment for a healthcare chain sued by a potential business partner seeking $15.5 million in damages after the cancellation of a proposed joint venture.
- Represented real estate developer in five civil cases, four appellate matters, and a three-week trial regarding the criminal bribery of a senior executive by a foreign national.
- Obtained $9 million judgment on behalf of a private equity investor in a multi-state hospice care provider after demonstrating annual revenue was deliberately inflated by the former owner.
- Advised a minority shareholder in rights regarding his investment in a distressed technology company. Negotiated favorable resolution providing client with increased rights to oversight over company management.
- Represented a private equity investor in a telecommunications firm against the founders’ claims for breach of contract and wrongful termination. Obtained a favorable settlement for pennies on the dollar after opening arguments in a month-long trial.
- Successfully defended an online retailer against a supplier’s claims for breach of an inventory agreement.
- Represented a prominent charitable foundation against an attempt to divert a donor’s $5 million bequest. Waged aggressive defense and obtained highly favorable settlement recovering nearly all disputed funds.
- Representing Asian international development bank and affiliated entities against a putative class action field by investors in nuclear technology start-up.
- Defended a Canadian company and its US subsidiary against claims regarding breach of a commercial lease.
- Representing a Canadian manufacturer against contractual claims by a US customer. Won motion to dismiss, without prejudice, after removal to federal court.
- Successfully represented a British investment fund in four cases against a counterparty seeking $35 million in damages regarding an M&A transaction. Defeated one case through a pre-discovery motion to dismiss and defeated a second case through an early motion for summary judgment. After winning a preliminary summary judgment victory in a third case, negotiated a complete walk-away from all remaining claims.
- Representing a Canadian retailer against claims relating to an unsuccessful M&A transaction.
- Representing investor in a Canadian technology services company against claims filed by the former shareholders of a cross-border acquisition.
- Successfully represented a Russian mining company in contractual claims against an equipment supplier. Recovered 100% of the mining company's claim despite the supplier’s attempt to seek bankruptcy protections in the US.
- Successfully represented an American bank against fraud claims by German and Luxembourger investors holding over $190 million in residential mortgage-backed securities. Led discovery into institutional investment advisers and won summary judgment due establishing lack of any reasonable reliance on alleged misstatements in offering documents.
- Successfully protected customer information held by the Singaporean subsidiary of a global bank against improper subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Advised a Canadian manufacturer in the successful resolution of claims relating to the termination of an executive employee.
- Obtained $2 million judgment for a Japanese American investor regarding assets invested in Korean real estate.
- Successfully represented a global electronics manufacturer against claims filed by a New Zealand citizen in Washington courts. Settled the litigation for less than nuisance value after filing a summary judgment motion demonstrating that New Zealand's Accident Compensation Act barred tort claims outside that country.
White Collar Crime and Internal Investigations
- Defended developer of high-frequency trading algorithm in SEC investigation into "spoofing" allegations. Coordinated response to discovery requests and parallel criminal investigation.
- Defended executives of a regional bank in an SEC investigation into accounting misstatements related to interest rate swaps. Represented employees in formal and informal testimony before SEC staff and negotiated a favorable settlement of all claims.
- Performed internal investigation in response to allegations of intentional wrongdoing by self-styled whistleblowers in the mortgage-servicing industry.
- Represented investment management professional in FINRA investigation regarding unauthorized fees charged to individual investors. Successfully defused investigation without civil or criminal charges filed.
- Represented non-party witness in litigation alleging wrongful disclosure of confidential taxpayer information by the IRS. Successfully defused allegations without criminal charges filed.
- Advised the family of a murder victim regarding release of the man responsible for murdering their brother/son. Represented the family before the Washington Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, which subsequently rejected the offender's petition for early release under juvenile re-sentencing legislation.
Financial Services Litigation
- Defended global banks in seven suits brought by putative classes and individual mortgage borrowers regarding claims for fraud, breach of contract, and multiple federal statutes. Won favorable judgments at dismissal and summary judgment stages in state and federal courts across the country. Successfully defended judgments on appeals to the Ninth and DC Circuits.
- Defended a consumer loan servicer in a putative class action alleging violations of Washington's consumer protection act and related claims. Won a motion to dismiss, before discovery, on the basis of preemption under the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act.
- Defended national mortgage lenders and affiliated reinsurers in two putative class actions alleging violations of federal anti-kickback statute. Obtained summary judgment against putative classes prior to class-wide discovery or certification.
- Led the defense of a global bank in litigation filed by insolvent borrower. Secured dismissal of all claims without discovery.
- Represented nuclear power facilities in relicensing proceedings before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Worked closely with engineering experts regarding environmental impacts of proposed cooling technology at two 2,000-megawatt facilities.
- Represented 620-megawatt nuclear power facility in proceedings before the Vermont Public Service Board related to unintentional discharges of radioactive materials.
Real Estate Disputes
- Represented Washington's largest county against five coordinated cases challenging ownership of former railroad corridors valued at over $100 million. Defeated motion for preliminary injunction and dismissed one case just nine days after it was filed. Obtained summary judgment against over 200 plaintiffs in two additional cases affirmed on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
- Represented global manufacturer regarding an industrial landlord's breach of a right of first refusal over the purchase of a $20 million property.
- Represented multinational retail tenant in litigation regarding early termination of a commercial lease.
- Defended national mortgage lender against putative class seeking to invalidate security interest in all residential mortgages in the state of Maryland. Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment against all claims for relief.
- Defended partner in failed entertainment company against claims for indemnity due to breach of a commercial lease.
- Represented over a dozen citizens of Burundi, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Russia in applications for asylum. Won favorable outcomes in numerous agency proceedings and administrative trials. Won Ninth Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals decisions overturning trial court orders denying asylum to pro se asylum seekers.
- Advised an EB-5 regional center regarding compliance with SEC regulations, including broker-dealer registration requirements and safe harbor provisions in Regulation S.
- Represented a real estate developer in investment claims against an EB-5 regional center.
- Represented numerous immigrants in connection with adjustment of status, naturalization, derivative petitions, and employment authorization.
- B.S. and B.A., Gonzaga University
magna cum laude
- J.D., Georgetown University
- Chambers USA: National Shortlist for D&I Future Leaders (2023)
- Super Lawyers Rising Star (2017-2023)
- Robert B. Fraser Pro Bono Award, Goodwin Procter (2014)
In addition to his complex litigation practice, Mr. Freeburg has obtained immigration asylum, pro bono, for numerous clients fleeing persecution in their homes. His clients have fled violence in Burundi, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Russia, among other countries around the globe. He has won cases at every level of the immigration system, including asylum offices, numerous Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit of Appeals.
- Author of Merger-Related Litigation, Chapter 5 of Shareholder Litigation in Washington State (2d Ed. 2022) (forthcoming)
- Contributing Author of Business Guide to Climate Disputes (March, 2022)
- Moderator for The Luck of the Irish: An Introduction to Dual Citizenship Around the Globe, a CLE course for members of the Washington State Bar (March 17, 2022)
- Contributing Author of International Survey on Marriage Equality for the Japan-based Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network (2021)
- "Judge Allows Investors To Voluntarily End Funko IPO Suit," Law 360, October 16, 2023
- "Robbins Geller To Lead Funko Investors' Warehouse Suit," Law 360, August 18, 2023
- "3 Firms Vie To Lead Funko Investors' Warehouse Move Suit," Law 360, August 2, 2023
- "Funko Seeks End To 'Meritless' IPO Stock-Drop Suit," Law 360, June 15, 2023
- "Shareholder SPAC Spat Ensnares Commercial EV Co.," Law 360, February 27, 2023
- "Funko IPO Securities Suit Dismissed In Washington State," Law 360, August 6, 2020
- "Killer apologizes for murder, pleads for early release," K5 News, May 13, 2015
- "Killer of GU law student denied early release," The Spokesman-Review, June 16, 2015
Before joining DLA Piper, Mr. Freeburg worked in the Washington, DC office of another leading global law firm and at one of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent litigation boutiques.
While at the Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Freeburg worked in the Federal Legislation Clinic for a coalition of disability-rights groups. As a result of the groups’ lobbying to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 passed the Senate and House of Representatives unanimously and became law on Jan.1, 2009.
Memberships And Affiliations
He is also the vice-chair for the US branch of Iris, DLA Piper’s global network for LGBT attorneys, business professionals, and allies across the firm.
Mr. Freeburg has served as a guest lecturer teaching legal drafting and arbitration agreements at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE)