FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Cynthia  Hanawalt

Cynthia Hanawalt

Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP

New York, NY, USA

Cynthia Hanawalt is a Partner at the boutique firm Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP, litigating complex securities cases on behalf of institutional investors in class and direct actions nationwide.  She was honored as a “Rising Star” (rating lawyers under 40) in the field of securities litigation by Super Lawyer awards in 2016, marking her third consecutive year receiving this distinction.

Cynthia recently prosecuted In re MF Global Holdings Limited Securities Litigation on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta and MF Global investors in connection with the company’s dramatic collapse on October 31, 2011. Judge Marrero in the Southern District of New York sustained plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety, and parties engaged in a complex discovery process, including dozens of depositions coordinated across multiple MF Global litigations. Plaintiffs achieved settlements totaling over $234 million, resolving claims against MF Global’s former officers and directors, underwriter defendants, and MF Global’s outside auditor.

Cynthia also contributed to the prosecution In re Genworth Financial Inc. Securities Litigation, a “rocket docket” matter in the Eastern District of Virginia, which alleged the fraudulent concealment of Genworth’s deteriorating long-term care business.  Plaintiffs resolved the case for a record $219 million, the largest securities class action recovery ever achieved in that jurisdiction. And she handled plaintiff discovery in the Freedman v. Weatherford International Ltd., et al. litigation, which sought to recover losses for investors stemming from three restatements of audited financials by the company. On June 30, 2015, parties announced a $120 million settlement on behalf of the class.

Cynthia was previously involved in the prosecution of In re Computer Sciences Corporation Securities Litigation, another highly compressed E.D.Va case, on behalf of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the class, which settled for $97.5 million just a few weeks before trial.  She also has significant experience prosecuting fraudulent activity in the securitization and sale of mortgage-backed securities.

Cynthia writes regularly on issues pertaining to the securities industry, and is the co-author of several articles, including: including: "A Look at Shareholder Remedies in Japan," Law360, June 15, 2016; "Cross-Listed Securities Cases Present Challenges," The National Law Journal, May 30, 2016, addressing recent Morrison interpretations in light of modern financial markets; “IndyMac Leaves Uncertain Landscape for Opt-Out Litigation,” New York Law Journal, October 28, 2014; “The Evolving Legacy of Fait v. Regions Financial,” New York Law Journal, May 3, 2013; “Dodd-Frank: Rating Agencies and the ABS Market,” Law360, January 25, 2011; and “Theory of Implied Misrepresentation in Securities Fraud Cases,” New York Law Journal, April 5, 2010.

Prior to joining BFA, Cynthia practiced at Labaton Sucharow LLP.  She began her legal career at McKee Nelson LLP, where she was part of the team that launched the firm’s structured finance litigation practice.  Prior to attending Columbia Law School, Cynthia was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, providing strategic and operational advice to Fortune 500 companies and local not-for-profit organizations.

Cynthia serves on the Board of Directors of Wave Hill, a garden and cultural center in the Bronx, as a Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee.

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