King & Spalding obtained a victory on behalf of former officers of ATP Oil & Gas Corp., persuading a federal court to dismiss claims brought by a putative class that had purchased $1.5 billion in notes from the company. In an Aug. 14 ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana dismissed with prejudice the claims brought under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933.

The case arose after ATP was forced into bankruptcy by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and by the ensuing moratoria on deep-water drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico. Noteholder plaintiffs alleged that ATP’s former officers had falsely projected a substantial increase in oil and gas production, but the district court found that the challenged projection was protected by the safe-harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

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.


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