Emma Gilmore is a partner at the Firm and is regularly involved in high-profile class-action litigation. Emma was honored as a 2018 Super Lawyer® in the New York Metro area. In 2017 and 2018, Emma was selected to the Lawyers of Distinction, an exclusive list of top practitioners in the nation.
Emma recently played a leading role in the Firm’s class action case in the Southern District of New York against Brazil’s largest oil company, Petrobras, arising from a multi-billion-dollar kickback and bribery scheme, in which the Firm was sole Lead Counsel. The biggest instance of corruption in the history of Brazil had ensnared not only Petrobras' former executives but also Brazilian politicians, including former president Lula da Silva and one-third of the Brazilian Congress. Emma deposed and defended numerous fact and expert witnesses, including deposing the former CEO of Petrobras, the whistleblower, and the chief accountant. She was also the principal drafter of the appellate brief and played an instrumental role in securing a significant victory for investors in this case at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, when the Court rejected the heightened ascertainability requirement for obtaining class certification that had been imposed by other circuit courts. She opposed defendants' petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. In a significant victory for investors, Pomerantz has achieved a historic $3 billion settlement with Petrobras. This is not only the largest securities class action settlement in a decade, but is the largest settlement ever in a class action involving a foreign issuer, the fifth-largest class action settlement ever achieved in the United States, and the largest settlement achieved by a foreign lead plaintiff.
Emma played a leading role in Strougo v. Barclays PLC, a high-profile securities class action that alleges Barclays PLC misled institutional investor clients about the extent of the banking giant’s use of so-called “dark pool” trading systems. She defeated defendants’ efforts to dismiss the action and more recently contributed to securing an important precedent-setting opinion from the Second Circuit, holding that direct evidence of price impact is not always necessary to demonstrate market efficiency to invoke the presumption of reliance, and that defendants seeking to rebut the presumption of reliance must do so by a preponderance of the evidence rather than merely meeting a burden of production.
Emma also plays a leading role in the Firm's class action litigation against Arconic, arising from the deadliest U.K. fire in more than a century.
She also represents Safra Bank in a class action against Samarco Mineracao S.A., in connection with the Fundao dam-burst disaster, which is widely regarded as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history.
Emma also plays a leading role in the Firm's class action litigation against Yahoo! Inc., in which the Firm is lead counsel. The case involves the biggest data breaches in U.S. history, in which over 3 billion Yahoo accounts were compromised.
Among other cases, Emma is part of the team prosecuting securities fraud claims against BP on behalf of many foreign and domestic public and private pension funds arising from the company's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In re BP p.l.c. Sec. Litig., No. 10-md-2185 (S.D. Tex.). She helped devise a cutting-edge strategy that established the right of individual foreign investors who purchased foreign-traded shares of a foreign corporation to pursue claims for securities fraud in a U.S. court, thereby overcoming obstacles created by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd.
Emma secured a unanimous decision by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, benefitting defrauded investors in Costa Brava Partnership III LP v. ChinaCast Education Corp. In an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit held that imputation of the CEO's scienter to the company was warranted vis-a-vis innocent third parties, despite the fact that the executive acted for his own benefit and to the company's detriment.
She has also devoted a significant amount of time to pro bono matters. She played a critical role in securing a unanimous ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court striking down as unconstitutional a state law banning cohabiting individuals from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The ruling was a relief for the 1,600-plus children in the state of Arkansas who needed a permanent family. The litigation generated significant publicity, including coverage by the Arkansas Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Before joining Pomerantz, Emma was a litigation associate with the firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP, and Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP, where she was involved in commercial and securities matters. Her experience includes working on the WorldCom Securities Litigation, representing more than a dozen prominent banks and also representing clients such as General Electric, Columbia University, Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony, Philips, BT, and JVC.
She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas C. Platt, former U.S. Chief Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
Emma graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, where she served as a staff editor for the Brooklyn Law Review. She was the recipient of two CALI Excellence for the Future Awards, being the highest scoring student in the subjects of evidence and discovery. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University, with a BA in French and a minor in Business.
She serves on the Firm's Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Committee.