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Ashley Simonsen is a litigator whose practice focuses on defending complex class actions in state and federal court.

Ms. Simonsen has successfully represented clients in the financial services, consumer brands, technology, and sports industries through all stages of litigation, including trial, with a strong track record of success on early dispositive motions. She has become one of the nation’s leading experts on “true lender” issues and the related “valid when made” doctrine, having won a complete defense victory for a bank in what is believed to be the first time a bank has ever defeated “true lender” claims following an evidentiary hearing. In 2020, Ms. Simonsen was named one of Law360’s “Top Attorneys Under 40” in Banking, and a Leader of Influence: Litigators & Trial Lawyers by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Before practicing law, Ms. Simonsen was an associate at Lehman Brothers in New York where she advised banks on balance sheet management and interest rate hedging strategies.

  • Representation of state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank in defense of putative “true lender” class actions in California and other federal courts and in arbitration. Won complete defense victory for bank following five-day arbitration hearing. Won motion to compel arbitration in California.
  • Representation of Facebook in defense of putative class actions brought by former content moderators in California state court and Florida federal court, including under the UCL.
  • Representation of loan servicer Navient in defense of putative “true lender” class actions in California federal court challenging interest rates and late fee charges, including under the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL). Won motions to dismiss two cases on federal preemption and statute of limitations grounds, and defeated certification of interest rate classes in another.
  • Representation of professional sports franchise defending putative class actions challenging ticketing policies in state and federal courts in California, including under the UCL and federal antitrust laws. Secured dismissal of both cases at the pleading stage.
  • Representation of snack food manufacturer in defense of putative class actions in California and New York federal court challenging alleged nonfunctional slack-fill in snack boxes, including under the UCL, CLRA, and California False Advertising Law (FAL). Won motion to dismiss New York case and defeated class certification in California case.
  • Represent technology and social gaming companies in consumer class actions alleging unfair competition claims.
  • Representation of Navient in defense of putative nationwide class action in New York federal court challenging representations to borrowers about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, including under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA). Won motion to dismiss 13 of 14 claims.
  • Representation of dietary supplement company in defense of putative class actions in California state and federal courts challenging marketing and advertising of glucosamine supplements and other products under UCL, FAL, and CLRA.
  • Representation of national banks in numerous consumer class actions in California federal court.
  • Representation of Colorado Bankers Association, the Utah Bankers Association, and the National Association of Industrial Bankers as amici curiae in “true lender” lawsuits pending against two marketplace lenders in Colorado state court.
  • Regularly advise banks and Fintech and other financial services companies on "true lender" issues arising in bank partnership models, including marketplace lending arrangements. 
  • Representation of Los Angeles Dodgers in defense of breach-of-contract and antitrust claims asserted by four ticket brokers in California state court, including under the UCL and Cartwright Act.
  • Representation of genomics company in defense of federal lawsuit alleging business torts and attempted monopolization.
  • Representation of a Korean life sciences company and a Korean manufacturer of household products in defense of product liability action. Won two motions to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Representation of Uber Technologies, Inc. in negotiation of consent order with Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Representation of individual in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement action alleging securities fraud.
  • Conducted internal investigation for corporate client.
  • Representation of sports and entertainment company seeking third-party liability insurance coverage for a high-profile six-month trial. Settled on favorable grounds.
  • Representation of clients in qui tam actions alleging violations of current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs), off-label promotion of prescription drugs and medical devices, and non-compliance with the Anti-Kickback Statute.

Pro Bono

  • Representation of federal prisoner asserting claims for excessive force and deliberate indifference under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Argued appeal.
  • Representation of individual in criminal case in Marin County Superior Court. Won motion to suppress evidence following cross-examination of arresting officer, resulting in dismissal of case by District Attorney.
  • Representation of two California state prisoners sentenced under California’s Three Strikes law in state habeas and resentencing proceedings. Argued resentencing motions, conducted direct examination of expert, and secured vacatur of both sentences.
  • Representation of Family Violence Appellate Project as amicus curiae in domestic violence victim’s appeal from decision denying renewal of restraining order before California Court of Appeal.
  • Representation of a California state prisoner in petitioning for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court based on alleged violations of Due Process in state jury instructions.

Previous Experience

  • Lehman Brothers, Analyst and Associate, New York, NY (2004-2007)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Research Assistant, Boston, MA (2003)