Nancy J. Sennett

Retired Partner

Overview

Nancy J. Sennett is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Sennett's practice includes all aspects of commercial and business litigation. Her practice is focused on securities litigation representing corporations, boards of directors, broker-dealers, investment advisers, law firms and individuals in private securities litigation, including shareholder class actions and derivative suits, SEC enforcement actions, SRO proceedings and ERISA actions. She has also conducted internal investigations for public and private companies. Specifically, she represented broker-dealer defendants in the Rule 10b-5 litigation arising out of the Orange County bankruptcy and in the SEC's "yield burning" enforcement action and the companion civil 10b-5 cases. She has tried insider trading cases and has managed securities litigation where clients are named as defendants in multiple civil actions and are the subject of SEC and DOJ investigations. Ms. Sennett also spends significant time litigating IP licensing agreements. An experienced trial lawyer, she appears regularly in federal courts of appeal, district courts, and state courts throughout the country, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.

Ms. Sennett is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and its Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practices. She is also a member of the International Business Team. Ms. Sennett served on the firm's Management Committee, was the managing partner of the Milwaukee office, and chaired the firm's Strategic Planning Committee.

Recognition

Ms. Sennett has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. She has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2006 and has been named the 2013 Milwaukee Litigation – Securities Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America. She is listed as a leading Wisconsin litigator in Chambers USA (2002-2017) and has been included in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (2005-2016).

In 2013, Ms. Sennett received the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee’s Equal Justice Medal in recognition of her distinguished volunteer lawyer commitment to Legal Aid Society’s mission. She also was recipient of the 2011 Sacagawea Award. This prestigious honor recognizes women who have distinguished themselves through leadership, intelligence, foresight, common sense and adaptability. In addition, she was selected in 2011 as one of Wisconsin Law Journal’s "Women in the Law" recognizing her positive influence on other women pursuing legal careers, encouraging women to seek advanced opportunities within the profession. Ms. Sennett was named to The Business Journal’s 2011 Women of Influence list, an honor bestowed upon Milwaukee’s most influential women.

Thought Leadership

Ms. Sennett spoke on the topic of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act at the BusinessWeek Summit in Washington, D.C. and on the topics of boardroom governance and SEC enforcement at the Foley & Lardner National Directors Institutes in 2002-2010. She has presented the "Top Ten Securities Cases" at the annual Wisconsin State Bar Securities Law seminar and co-authored an article of the same title for the Securities Litigation newsletter of the ABA. She also was a speaker on The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act at the annual Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Institute at Northwestern University School of Law. In addition, she is a co-author of Wisconsin Civil Procedure Before Trial.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Ms. Sennett is licensed to practice in Wisconsin and is a member of the Milwaukee Bar Association, having received its 2003 Lawyer of the Year award. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and the American Bar Association, where she is a member of the Securities Litigation Committee. She also is a member of the Securities Industry Association Compliance and Legal Division and has completed FINRA’s training program for securities arbitrators. Ms. Sennett is chair of the Merit Selection Committee for the Reappointment of the Magistrate Judges for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Affiliations and Community Involvement

Ms. Sennett is the past president of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association and in 2003 received its Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a board member of The Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Tempo, Professional Dimensions, and Rotary. She is a founding board member of ABCD, Inc. and the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.

Education

Ms. Sennett joined Foley in 1979, after receiving her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Northwestern University, where she served as notes and comments editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1973, where she studied English and communication arts.

Representative Matters

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Served as counsel to a special committee of the board of directors of an oil field services company for purposes of discussions with the SEC and considering derivative claims regarding allegations of accounting improprieties. Foley conducted an internal investigation, reported to the SEC Regional Office in Fort Worth, Texas, and made decisions regarding the merits of derivative claims.