Matt Fornshell has served as the leader of two Ice Miller litigation practice areas: Securities Litigation and Regulation and Government Enforcement, Internal Investigations and Corporate Compliance. His practice focuses on representing public and private companies and individuals in connection with state and federal securities investigations and litigation, antitrust investigations and confidential internal corporate investigations. Matt also represents boards of directors and audit committees regarding corporate governance matters.

As the former Director of Enforcement for the Ohio Division of Securities, Matt has substantial experience representing clients in civil and administrative proceedings before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") and the Ohio Division of Securities. He also regularly represents clients in complex private securities litigation in state and federal courts. Matt is a frequent author and lecturer on securities regulatory issues. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of Securities Law.

Matt previously served as an Alternate Board Member for the National White Collar Crime Center and as a member of the Enforcement Policy Group of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Matt graduated from Ohio University cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration and received his juris doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1993.
Reported and Representative Cases
  • 2016 - Represent public company Audit Committee in connection with confidential internal investigation.
  • 2015 - Represent public company Audit Committee in connection with issuance of restated financial statements.
  • U.S. v. Showa Corporation, 1:14-CR-044: Represent Showa Corporation in connection with a Department of Justice criminal antitrust investigation into the sale of certain pinion-assist power steering assemblies to Honda Motor Corp., Ltd. (2014).
  • Myers, et al. v. Bedway Land and Minerals Company, et al., CVH -2012-0120: Defense of mineral rights owner in response to declaratory judgment and quiet title action under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. Summary judgment was awarded to the defendants on all claims. (2014).
  • Schucht v. Bedway Land and Minerals Company, et al., CVH -2012-0010: Defense of mineral rights owner in response to declaratory judgment and quiet title action under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. Summary judgment was awarded to the defendants on all claims. (2014).
  • Robert Coil: Defend Respondent in response to Ohio Division of Securities administrative action alleging a violation of the Ohio Securities Act (2013 - Present)
  • Henkel v. Aschinger, et al. 167 Ohio Misc.2d 4, 2012 -Ohio-423, Shareholder derivative action initiated following announcement of merger.  The Court dismissed the shareholders' claim in their entirety and the transaction closed as negotiated.
  • Ramius Private Select Ltd., et al. v. Robert Daugherty, et al., Case No. 10-CV-742173 (2010 - Present).
  • Represent hedge fund investors against issuer and executive of hedge fund alleging securities fraud, common law fraud, breach of contract, and other common law claims.
  • Ramius Private Select, Ltd. v. Sacha Lainovic, et al., Case No. 12-CV-774615 (2012 - Present).
  • Represent hedge fund investors in fraudulent conveyance claims against entities and individuals who were the recipients of fraudulent conveyances from the hedge fund.
  • In Re Mark Pantenburg (2012).
  • Represent registered representative and investment advisor representative in connection with Ohio Division of Securities enforcement action. Matter tried before an administrative hearing officer and awaiting decision. Status: Ongoing.
  • University Estates, Inc., et al. v. City of Athens, Ohio, et al. (2009-2011).
  • Represent City of Athens in connection with plaintiffs’ Section 1983 claims relating to the development of a 650 acre mixed-use real estate development. Case dismissed in June 2011 with no liability to client.
  • In Re Tribune Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation, Case No. 11-MD-2206 (2011-present).
  • Represent numerous public pension funds in response to state law constructive and intentional fraudulent conveyance claims arising from the leveraged buy out of The Tribune Company and its subsequent bank bankruptcy. Serve on the defense Executive Committee for this complex multi-district litigation matter.
  • In Re Lyondell Chemical Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation, Adv. Pro No. 10-05525 (2011 - Present).
  • Represent numerous public pension funds in response to state law constructive and intentional fraudulent conveyance claims arising from the leveraged buy out of The Lyondell Chemical Company and its subsequent bank bankruptcy.
  • Academic Imaging, LLC v. Soterion Corp. (2011-2012).
  • Represent Soterion Corp. in response to allegations of conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and negligent misrepresentation in connection with sale of limited liability company membership interests. Status: Settled.
  • Ohio Division of Securities Investigation (2009-2010).
  • Represented Wirehouse Broker Dealer in Ohio Division of Securities Investigation into the sale of auction rate securities. Status: No action taken.
  • In Re Timothy Lofton (2009-2010).
  • Represented Wirehouse Broker Dealer in Ohio Division of Securities Investigation and denial of license. Status: Client prevailed following an administrative trial and was awarded a securities license and no enforcement action taken.
  • Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, et al. v. Standard & Poor's, Case No. 2:09-cv-1054 (2009-ongoing).
  • Represented various public employee retirement funds against certain rating agencies in connection with the issuance of ratings in residential and commercial mortgage backed securities.
  • In Re Abercrombie & Fitch Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Case No. 05-cv-0860 (2009).
  • Defense of Abercrombie & Fitch board members in shareholder derivative litigation. Status: Case dismissed on Motion.
  • In Re National Century Financial Enterprises Litigation (2008).
  • Defense of former outside legal counsel in a $2.5 billion securities fraud action regarding an Ohio healthcare finance company. The client was dismissed from the litigation upon the Court’s granting of our motion to dismiss. This litigation was a complex MDL matter and represented the largest non-public securities fraud in the United States prior to the Madoff investigation.
  • SEC v. Tab Keplinger (2008).
  • Represented former CFO of a public company in an SEC investigation. Status: Settled.
  • SEC Enforcement Investigation - Ohio Division of Securities (2008).
  • Represented individual in an Ohio Division of Securities and SEC investigation involving the alleged sale of interests in real estate investments. Status: No action taken.
  • In Re Brantley Capital Securities Litigation (2007).
  • Represented former CFO of a public company in a securities fraud class action. Status: Settled.
  • In Re ComScape Holding, Inc. (2006).
  • Represented Chairman and CEO of telecommunications company in litigation against the company and individual board members regarding change of control issues. Status: Settled.
  • Securities Regulatory Litigation (2006).
  • Represented private Ohio real estate company and its founders in an enforcement investigation by the Ohio Division of Securities. Status: No action taken.
  • In Re Blue Flame Energy Corp. (2006-2008).
  • Represented the North American Securities Administration Association as an amicus filer in a securities regulatory matter.
  • Securities Regulatory Defense (2006-2008).
  • Represented issuer of securities during investigations being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ohio Division of Securities. Status: No action taken.
  • Ohio Division of Securities v. Joanne Schneider, Case No. 04-cv-548887 (2005 to date).
  • Served as receiver in a $60 million securities fraud case initiated by the Ohio Division of Securities. As receiver, Fornshell managed a large and diverse business enterprise and liquidated more than $30 Million in assets for the benefit of creditors.
  • U.S. v. Derrick McKinley; SEC v. Derrick McKinley (February 2005).
  • Defense of individual against insider trading allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. Status: Settled.
  • CFTC v. Joseph Foley; U.S. v. Joseph Foley (September 2005-2007).
  • Defense of individual against market manipulation allegations by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. Status: Settled.
  • Securities Litigation (2004-2006).
  • Represented client as a Claimant in an NASD securities fraud arbitration against an individual and registered broker/dealer. Status: Settled.
  • Bergholtz Coal Holding Company v. Buckeye Industrial Mining Company, et al., 03CV001652 (2003-2006).
  • Represented Bergholtz Coal Holding Company in mineral rights litigation involving the conversion of over 600 acres of coal rights. This matter was tried to judgment in favor of our client. Status: Closed - Judgment for client.
Firm Publications
Published In
  • Mentioned in Law360 Bankruptcy article on March 25, 2016 - "2nd Circuit Says Tribune Creditors Can't Touch Stock Payouts"
  • "Protecting Your Company's Assets as Whiteblowing Rises," Co-author, Litigation, Fall 2015.
  • “Rebirth of Aiding-and-Abetting Liability in Private Securities Litigation? -- Maybe,” Co-author, Securities Litigation Journal, ABA Section of Litigation, Winter 2010.
  • “No Violation of Law’ Legal Opinions: What They Really Mean,” BNA Securities Regulations & Law, August 11, 2008.
  • “Not So Fast: Preemption of State Securities Regulation,” Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, Summer 2007.
  • “Securities Salespeople Beware: Ohio is Serious About Revoking Licenses,” Business First, June 8, 2007.
  • “Conducting Internal Investigations Requires Several Preliminary Steps,” Business First, October 20, 2006.
  • “Receiverships: An Important Tool for Securities Regulators,” Andrews Litigation Reporter: Securities Litigation and Regulation, Volume 12, Issue 12, October 18 2006.
  • “Government Regulations May Place Attorney-Client Privilege At Risk,” Business First, August 2006.
  • “Receiverships: An Important Tool for Securities Regulators,” Ohio Securities Bulletin, Spring 2006.
  • “SEC Regulation of Hedge Fund Advisers,” Cleveland Bar Journal, January 2005.
  • “New Legislation Tackles Viatical Settlements,” Ohio Securities Bulletin, Issue 2000:4.
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