George C. Aguilar is a former federal prosecutor who has taken more than forty federal criminal cases to verdict. He currently concentrates his practice on complex litigation, and is the partner in charge of the firm’s Antitrust Litigation Group. Prior to taking the helm of the firm’s antitrust practice, Mr. Aguilar litigated on behalf of shareholder clients against fraudulent management and company insiders, securing meaningful corporate governance reforms at companies across the U.S.
Before joining Robbins LLP, Mr. Aguilar spent seventeen years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. During his tenure, Mr. Aguilar served as chief for the Terrorism, Violent Crimes and General Prosecutions Section; deputy chief for the General Crimes Section; trial lawyer for the Financial Institution Fraud Task Force and the Major Frauds Sections; and as a supervising ethics officer. He led grand jury investigations, and indicted and tried complex white-collar criminal cases involving myriad types of fraud. He authored thirty-five appellate briefs, and argued more than a dozen cases on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Aguilar worked on complex securities defense litigation at Morrison Foerster LLP in San Francisco.
Mr. Aguilar is a recognized leader in the legal and civic communities. He has served in top leadership positions with legal and public entities, including San Diego La Raza Lawyers, California La Raza Lawyers, the State Bar of California, and the City of San Diego. He has been appointed by the judges for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California to serve as a member on several U.S. Magistrate Judge merit selection panels for appointment and reappointment. For his leadership inside and outside the courtroom, Mr. Aguilar has received numerous awards of recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice, legal associations, and civic organizations. Mr. Aguilar’s peers have recognized him as a Super Lawyer for 11 consecutive years, and he was ranked as a Top 50 San Diego Super Lawyer for five years. Mr. Aguilar received his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where he served as managing editor of the La Raza Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California, where he studied political science and journalism.
Mr. Aguilar led the firm’s efforts as part of a team of plaintiff firms in a high profile, antitrust class action against several private equity firms. The case involved allegations of conspiracy among defendants to rig bids, restrict the supply of private equity financing, fix transaction prices, and divide up the market for private equity services for leveraged buyouts. Robbins LLP bore the responsibility for building the case against a principal defendant, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. In doing so, Mr. Aguilar conducted several depositions of some of the key private equity principals during the discovery phase of the case. The defendants settled for more than $590 million. Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, No. 1:07-cv-12388 (WGY) (D. Mass., Mar. 17, 2015).
Acting as sole lead counsel on behalf of our shareholder client, Mr. Aguilar led the firm in litigating this action that arose from defendants’ mismanagement of risk, controls, and operations that led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history at the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Aguilar navigated the case through Halliburton’s internal investigation, and difficult and complex settlement discussions and mediation sessions, to secure comprehensive health, safety, and environmental governance reforms. Warner v. Lesar, No. 2011-09567 (Tex. Dist. Ct.-Harris Cnty. Oct. 1, 2012).
Mr. Aguilar led his team in litigating this shareholder derivative action against corporate officers and directors of Maxwell Technologies, Inc., a developer, and manufacturer of energy storage and power delivery-related products, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) after the company came under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice amid allegations of bribery and subcontracting kickbacks. As co-lead counsel, Mr. Aguilar helped secure a settlement in which the company adopted corporate governance and compliance measures, including a new FCPA and Anti-Corruption Compliance department to be led by a Chief Compliance Officer, to provide greater effectiveness of Maxwell’s board of directors in responding to FCPA compliance issues worldwide. Loizides v. Schramm, No. 37-2010-00097953-CU-BT-CTL (Cal. Super. Ct.-San Diego Cnty. Apr. 12, 2012).
Mr. Aguilar played a key role in shareholder derivative litigation involving a criminal options backdating scheme at Brocade. Working closely with partners Marc Umeda and Craig Smith, Mr. Aguilar helped prevent an inadequate settlement that would have released all defendants for no money to the company. The firm prosecuted the action until Brocade formed a Special Litigation Committee to consider the plaintiffs’ claims, and Brocade ultimately retained the firm as co-counsel to prosecute its claims against Brocade’s officers and directors. In re Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 1:05-cv-041683 (Cal. Super. Ct.-Santa Clara Cnty., Jan. 28, 2010).
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