Andrew B. Holmes

Top rated General Litigation attorney in Los Angeles, California

Holmes, Athey, Cowan & Mermelstein LLP
Andrew B. Holmes
Holmes, Athey, Cowan & Mermelstein LLP

Practice Areas: General Litigation, White Collar Crimes, Business Litigation view more

Licensed in California since: 1996

Education: Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2013, 2021 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2007 - 2009, 2011

Holmes, Athey, Cowan & Mermelstein LLP

811 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 1460
Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone: 213-985-2200 Email: Andrew B. Holmes Visit website


Mr. Holmes' practice focuses on complex civil litigation, securities enforcement defense, and other regulatory defense. He represents clients in a broad range of fraud-based matters, including SEC and CFTC investigations, grand jury investigations and criminal and civil litigation involving allegations of financial fraud and related allegations of malfeasance. He also represents clients in proceedings before FINRA, the Department of Insurance, Department of Real Estate, and Board of Accountancy.

An accomplished trial lawyer, a few of Mr. Holmes’ successes include a federal trial regarding securities law claims (defeating all claims of fraud against his client), an approximately $1 million decision in favor of his plaintiff client in a breach of fiduciary duty case tried in state court, an over $1 million award for his client following a securities arbitration, complete vindication of a brokerage client following a hotly-contested FINRA arbitration, a state court trial verdict for another client (the plaintiff in a breach of contract and fraud case), and a nonsuit for his client in a jury trial following the close of the plaintiffs’ case – and these are only a few of his many favorable trial results. Mr. Holmes has also represented clients in appellate matters (most recently affirming a state-court post-trial result he’d earlier obtained for his client), as well as before the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal (in securities-related matters), and the Delaware Supreme Court (resulting in a precedent-setting decision in favor of Mr. Holmes’ client). While at the SEC, Mr. Holmes led SEC investigations and injunctive/administrative actions, and since entering private practice, has defended – at the investigative and litigation stages – numerous such actions, including conducting corporate internal investigations. Mr. Holmes has also been retained as an expert witness on securities law matters. 

Prior to founding what became Holmes, Athey, Cowan & Mermelstein LLP, Mr. Holmes was a shareholder in a Los Angeles-based white collar criminal and civil litigation firm, and was Of Counsel to two national law firms. He also served as a Staff Attorney in the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities & Exchange Commission, and as Corporations Counsel in the Enforcement Division of the California Department of Corporations (now known as the "Department of Financial Protection and Innovation", or DFPI). While at the California Department of Corporations, Mr. Holmes was a founding member of the Internet Compliance and Enforcement ("ICE") unit, and while at the SEC, Mr. Holmes was a member of the Internet Enforcement Branch.

Practice areas

General Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Business Litigation, Securities Litigation

First Admitted: 1996, California

Professional Webpage:

Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Obtained judgment for plaintiff in case involving fraud and reach of contract; Obtained very favorable settlement at start of federal jury trial for overseas client; Obtained nonsuit after jury trial for defense client; Obtained numerous settlements of SEC, CFTC, FTC and other cases on neither admit-nor-deny basis, and preserved various clients' professional licenses; Obtained dismissal of three separate multi-million dollar fraud cases against client; Obtained six-figure settlement in wrongful eviction case; Negotiated civil settlements and concurrent plea agreements on behalf of several white-collar defendants in parallel SEC and U.S. Attorney actions, some with no time served.
Representative Clients:
  • Represented various companies, boards, audit committees and special committees, as well as current and former directors and officers, in internal investigations and in related SEC investigations and shareholder litigation regarding stock options practices and related accounting and reporting issues. Represented several clients in EB-5 immigrant-investor program-related investigations and litigation. Represented clients in trade-dress, unfair competition, and antitrust-related litigation. Represented doctor accused of criminal misfeasance in his prescribing opiates and other drugs to a high-profile actress prior to her death. Represented individual and entity in connection with IRS and US Attorney investigation into under-reported income over several years. Represented NASDAQ company and principal shareholders against big four accounting firm in high-stakes breach of contract and negligence action. Represented family in multi-million dollar breach of contract and negligence action regarding complex three-parcel real property funding secured by deeds of trust. Confidential representation of corporate private investigator during internal investigation triggered by federal congressional investigation. Confidential investigation of public company’s alleged “channel stuffing” and “round-tripping” transactions in connection with allegations that company revenues were overstated. Confidential investigation of allegations of unregistered stock issuances in connection with public company’s acquisition through reverse merger. Confidential investigation into allegations of selective disclosure by public company in violation of regulation FD. Confidential investigation into auditor independence issues in connection with allegations of an audit failure at a publicly-traded company. Confidential investigation into activities of executive at publicly traded company who allegedly posted confidential information on Internet bulletin boards. Confidential investigation of major retailer in connection with a variety of criminal and civil fraud matters. Confidential investigation into alleged improper animal care at a large research facility. Represented various persons in insider trading investigations by the SEC and United States Attorneys’ Offices (multiple). Represented claimants in FINRA arbitration regarding suitability, churning, and failure to supervise issues. Represented commodities broker in NFA arbitration regarding suitability and related customer claims. Represented health insurer in government investigation into claims practices. Representation of law firm in federal criminal investigation regarding anti-kickback statutes.  Represented licensed insurance agent in license revocation proceeding.  Administrative trial ended after four days and resulted in a small fine and restoration of agent's insurance license. Represented real estate brokerage license applicant in Department of Real Estate administrative proceeding to deny licensure. Represented CPA in action by California Board of Accountancy to revoke accountant's license.
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Represent community clinic for general legal matters; Represent indigent plaintiffs in recovery actions.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Association of Securities & Exchange Commission Alumni
Educational Background:
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania (Double major: Intellectual History and Philosophy), 1993

Office location for Andrew B. Holmes

811 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 1460
Los Angeles, CA 90017


6 Years Super Lawyers
4 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2013, 2021 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2007 - 2009, 2011

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