Emily N. Christiansen



Emily N. Christiansen, an associate of the Firm, focuses her practice on securities litigation and non-US actions in particular.  Emily devotes her time to advising clients on the challenges and benefits of pursuing particular litigation opportunities in jurisdictions outside the U.S.  In those non-US actions where Kessler Topaz is actively involved, Emily liaises with local counsel, helps develop case strategy, reviews pleadings, and helps clients understand and successfully navigate the legal process.  Her experience includes non-US opt-in actions, international law, and portfolio monitoring and claims administration.

Emily received her Juris Doctor and Global Law certificate, cum laude, from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2012 and is a graduate of the University of Portland, where she received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Political Science and German Studies.  During law school Emily worked as a law clerk at a law firm specializing in ERISA benefits litigation.  She also interned in Trial Chambers III at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (and while there was involved with the trial of the former Bosnian Serb President, Radovan Karadzic) and spent two months in India as a foreign legal trainee with the corporate law firm of Fox Mandal.  Emily is a 2007 recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and is fluent in German.

Ongoing Cases
  • In a case arising out of the subprime mortgage crisis, our clients are suing Fortis Bank, N.V. (Fortis) and its successor companies BNP Paribas and Ageas NL for fraud in connection with the company’s failed 2007 attempt to acquire Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding NV (ABN Amro). Specifically, our clients claim that Fortis misrepresented the value of its collateralized debt obligations, its exposure to subprime-related mortgage-backed securities, and the extent to which the decision to acquire ABN Amro jeopardized its solvency. After the acquisition failed, Fortis encountered financial difficulties and broke up in the fall of 2008. Its investors lost as much as 90% of the value of their investments. Our lawsuit survived rigorous jurisdictional challenges in the Netherlands Court of Appeals, and proceedings on the merits were pending when we were able to successfully negotiate a $1.3 billion multiparty settlement (including other plaintiff groups in the Netherlands and Belgium). The settlement is currently pending court approval. 

Representative Outcomes
  • Obtained an 11 billion yen ($92 million) settlement in an action filed in Japan over an accounting scandal—one of the largest securities-fraud recoveries ever in that country, if not the largest.

    In 2011, former Olympus CEO and whistleblower Michael Woodford revealed that Olympus had hidden more than $1 billion in losses through a series of sham transactions, many of which involved “paying” exorbitant fees for financial advice. Olympus was forced to restate five years of earnings, and three of its executives pled guilty to the fraud. We represented defrauded shareholders in proceedings in Tokyo alleging that Olympus and its officers had violated their duties under Japanese Company Law. Following a two-day mediation, we reached a settlement agreement for 11 billion yen. 

  • Recovered £267 million on behalf of a group of institutional investors who participated in the Group Litigation Order (GLO) proceedings against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The entire GLO settled for approximately £900 million. At the time it was resolved, the settlement of the GLO was the largest securities settlement in UK history.

    Working with UK counsel, we represented a group of institutional investors in a UK case alleging that RBS misled investors about its exposure to subprime-related assets, collateralized debt obligations, and the inflated value of its assets in connection with a £13 billion Rights Offering that was completed in June 2008. Just months later, in September 2008, RBS failed and had to be bailed out by the UK government. Investors who purchased shares in the Rights Offering lost nearly 90 percent of the value of that investment. Our clients, and investors who were part of other investors groups with which we worked closely, lost billions in connection with the Rights Offering purchases and subsequent RBS collapse. RBS’s write-downs and reported full-year net loss for 2008, represented the largest loss ever for a UK-based company and the largest for any commercial bank in the world. After the initial September 2008 bailout, the UK government bailed out RBS on two subsequent occasions, becoming an 82% shareholder of the company.

Speaking Engagements

Moderator/Speaker and Program Chair of Securities Litigation Under the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and in Other Asian Countries: Progress and Predictions 2016 American Bar Association Section of International Law Fall Meeting, October 21, 2016

Moderator and Program Chair ofA Carrot or a Stick: What is the Best Approach for Encouraging and Shaping Corporate Social Responsibility Policies?2014 American Bar Association Section of International Law Spring Meeting, April 2, 2014

Panelist on "Lessons learned from Volkswagen" 4th Annual IBA Corporate Governance Conference, 7-8 December 2017, Frankfurt, Germany


Contributor to the NAPPA White Paper Post-Morrison: The Global Journey Towards Asset Recovery, June 2016

Co-author of “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Finance: Year-in-Review 2015,” The American Bar Association Section of International Law Year in Review: 2015, Vol. No. 50 (2016)

Co-author of “International Anti-Money Laundering,”The American Bar Association Section of International Law Year In Review: 2013,Vol. No. 48 (2014)

Co-author of “Corporate Social Responsibility,” The American Bar Association Section of International Law Year In Review: 2013,Vol. No. 48 (2014)


Fulbright Fellowship (2007-2008)

Second Place in the Davis Wright Tremaine International Law Writing Competition (2011)

Winner of Best Memorial at the Jessup International Moot Court Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition (2012) Quarterfinalist at the Jessup International Moot Court Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition (2012)


American Bar Association Section of International Law

  • Deputy Rule of Law Officer (2017 – present)
  • Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers' Interest Network (2016 – present)
  • Co-Chair of International Anti-Money Laundering (2014- 2017)
  • Vice Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (2012-2016)
  • Vice Chair of the Young Lawyers' Interest Network (2014-2016)
Community Involvement

Secretary of the Board of the Storybook Society of Team FirstBook Philadelphia

American Cancer Society (Participant in the Philadelphia Bike-a-Thon)