Michelle M. Newcomer


  • Loyola University Maryland
    B.B.A 2002
  • Villanova University School of Law
    J.D. 2005
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • United States Supreme Court
  • USCA, Second Circuit
  • USCA, Ninth Circuit
  • USCA, Tenth Circuit
  • USDC, District of New Jersey
  • USDC, District of Colorado
  • USDC, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Michelle M. Newcomer, Counsel to the Firm, concentrates her practice in the area of securities litigation. Michelle has been involved in dozens of class actions in which the Firm has served as Lead or Co-Lead Counsel, through all aspects of pre-trial proceedings, including complaint drafting, litigating motions to dismiss, for class certification and for summary judgment, conducting document, deposition and expert discovery, and appeals.  Michelle was also part of the trial team in the Firm’s most recent securities fraud class action trial, which resulted in a jury verdict on liability and damages in favor of investors.

Michelle has represented many types of individual and institutional investors, including public pension funds, asset managers and Sovereign Wealth Funds.  Michelle’s experience includes traditional class actions, direct actions, and non-U.S. collective actions.

Michelle began her legal career with the Firm in 2005.  Prior to joining the Firm, she was a summer law clerk for the Hon. John T.J. Kelly, Jr. of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

Ongoing Cases
  • In a multi-district litigation stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, we represent seven public pension funds that purchased BP securities on the London Stock Exchange. Our clients allege that BP misrepresented its compliance with safety protocols and concealed the true extent of the oil spill following the explosion. We successfully opposed BP’s motion to dismiss, obtaining a landmark decision that allows our clients to pursue English law fraud claims in Texas federal court. The ruling was the first by a U.S. court to uphold foreign law securities fraud claims following the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank which limited the reach of the federal securities laws to U.S. transactions.  

Representative Outcomes
  • This securities fraud class action in Manhattan federal court arose out of Pfizer’s concealment of clinical results for two arthritic pain drugs, Celebrex and Bextra. Despite being aware of significant cardiovascular adverse events in clinical trials, Pfizer misrepresented the safety profile of the drugs until the U.S. Food & Drug Administration discontinued a key trial, forced the withdrawal of Bextra from the market, and issued an enhanced warning label for Celebrex. Following a summary judgment order dismissing the case several weeks before trial was set to begin, we successfully appealed the dismissal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the case was remanded for trial.

    After twelve years of litigation, the case resolved in 2016 with Pfizer agreeing to pay the shareholder class $486 million, the largest-ever securities fraud settlement against a pharmaceutical company in the Southern District of New York.

  • Represented the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association, former shareholders of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., (Lehman) in a case alleging that Lehman made false and misleading statements prior to its unprecedented bankruptcy filing in 2008. 

    The statements, which concerned Lehman’s net leverage, risk management and concentration of risks, were made ’in registration statements and prospectuses used to market numerous offerings leading up to the bankruptcy filing. Despite Lehman’s bankruptcy, we were able to negotiate a $616 million settlement funded by Lehman’s underwriters, auditor and officers and directors. 

  • As co-lead counsel representing the State of New Jersey – Division of Investment, negotiated a groundbreaking multipart settlement in litigation arising from Tenet Healthcare’s (Tenet) manipulation of the Medicare Outlier reimbursement system and related misrepresentations and omissions.

    The initial partial settlement included $215 million from Tenet, personal contributions totaling $1.5 million from two individual defendants—an unusual result in class action litigation—and numerous changes to the company’s corporate governance practices. A second partial settlement of $65 million from Tenet’s outside auditor, KPMG, addressed claims that it had provided false and misleading certifications of Tenet’s financial statements.  As a result of the settlement, various institutional rating entities now rank Tenet’s corporate governance policies among the strongest in the United States. 


“Finding a Way Around Morrison: Texas Court Sustains BP Investors’ English Law Claims in Deepwater Horizon Suit,” Kessler Topaz Bulletin, Fall 2013 (co-author), http://www.ktmc.com/pdf/NEWSLETTER%20KTMC_FALL2013HighDef.pdf

“Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds – Will the Supreme Court Heighten a Plaintiffs’ Burden on Class Certification?” Kessler Topaz Bulletin, Fall 2012 (author), http://www.ktmc.com/pdf/newsletter_fall_2012.pdf

“One Hand Watching The Other – In Re Parmalat Sec. Litig. Refuses to Allow Global Accounting Firms to Escape Liability by Claiming that Each Member Firm Is Separate Legal Entity,” Kessler Topaz Bulletin, Spring 2009 (co-author)


Pennsylvania Super Lawyers–Rising Star, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015