Palo Alto — Sidley Austin LLP announced that Norman J. Blears is joining the firm as a partner and member of its Securities Litigation practice. Mr. Blears will reside in the firm’s Palo Alto office and work closely with the firm’s team of securities litigation professionals in Northern California and around the globe. 

Mr. Blears is a senior securities litigator with 30 years of experience. He focuses his practice on complex securities law matters, such as securities class actions, corporate governance litigation and SEC enforcement. His extensive securities law experience includes representing corporations, banks, officers, outside directors and accountants in shareholder derivative actions, class actions and complex coordinated investor lawsuits in both state and federal courts, as well as in government regulatory proceedings.

“Norm is widely viewed as one of the top securities litigators in Silicon Valley,” said Tom DeFilipps, managing partner of Sidley’s Palo Alto office. “His deep experience advising clients on some of the most complex securities litigation matters has made him a sought-after counselor. He is a valuable addition to our securities litigation team here on the West Coast, and we are delighted to welcome him to Sidley.”

His experience extends to conducting internal investigations and advising board litigation committees, as well as leading defense efforts in all aspects of securities litigation, including jury trial and appeal. He has also served as a court appointed special master and arbitrator in both state and federal courts. Additionally, Mr. Blears regularly lectures on topics relating to director and officer liability, shareholder litigation and federal civil procedure.

“Our clients look to Sidley for the highest-level counsel when faced with the many issues related to securities law matters,” said Sara Brody, a global coordinator of the firm’s Securities Litigation practice. “Norm’s extensive knowledge and broad range of experience as a securities litigator will further enhance our strong securities litigation capabilities in Northern California and around the globe.”

Mr. Blears has been ranked by Chambers USA, Securities Litigation for the past six years and listed by The Best Lawyers in America since 2006. Earlier in his career, Mr. Blears served as a law clerk to the Honorable William B. Enright of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. In 2000, Mr. Blears was named Professional Lawyer of the Year by the 4,000-member Santa Clara County Bar Association.

With more than 1,800 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide, Sidley has built a reputation as a premier legal adviser for global businesses and financial institutions. For the fourth consecutive year, and every year since the survey’s inception, Sidley received the most first-tier national rankings of any U.S. law firm in the 2014 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” survey. On Law360’s list of Global 20 Firms, Sidley was ranked among the top law firms “with the greatest global reach and expertise.” To stay up-to-date with the latest Sidley news, please follow us on Twitter at @SidleyNewsroom or download the Sidley Mobile App.