Maria Fehretdinov is a Shareholder in the Litigation Department and a member of the Firm’s Hiring Committee and Latin America Practice Group. Her practice focuses on complex litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts nationwide, including counseling foreign parties on U.S. matters. She has represented public and private companies and executives in antitrust litigation and merger review, class actions, contract disputes, product liability litigation, securities and shareholder derivative claims, False Claims Act suits, deceptive and unfair trade practices cases, anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, and like matters.
Prior to joining the firm, Maria was a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of a large international law firm. She also served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen H. Glickman in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and worked at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs.
Maria is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Hispanic Bar Association, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and is the Communications Coordinator for the Florida Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. A native of Uruguay, she is fluent in Spanish.
- Represented Flagstone Island Gardens LLC and Flagstone Development Corporation in a suit against the City of Miami in connection with Flagstone’s right to develop and lease a $1.2 billion mixed-used hotel, retail and marina project on Watson Island. Flagstone sued for breach and repudiation of the parties’ agreements, and the City counterclaimed to declare Flagstone in default and order it to vacate the property. Ms. Fehretdinov second-chaired a 7-day bench trial on liability and obtained a 27-page order finding against the City and in favor of Flagstone on every disputed issue. The project was fiercely opposed by community activists, who also filed suit to block its development for alleged violations of the City Charter; Ms. Fehretdinov obtained the prompt dismissal with prejudice of their complaint against Flagstone.
- Developed novel component product tracing theory to help obtain the fourth largest antitrust settlement ever – $151,250,000 – for an indirect-purchaser class, after defeating appeals to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court by the leading manufacturers of polyurethane foam.
- Lead counsel in negotiating a favorable settlement, for one of the nation’s largest providers of specialty foods, of a shareholder action to block a merger; plaintiff dismissed its injunction claim.
- Represented an energy trading company that is one of the world’s largest distributors of petroleum coke against the perpetrators of an international scheme to defraud the company of tens of millions of dollars; suit settled on the eve of trial after the court dismissed all of defendant’s counterclaims.
- Second-chaired a three-week product liability jury trial defending the leading distributor of defective Chinese-manufactured drywall in the Southeastern United States and secured a favorable verdict with nominal damages.
- Achieved the dismissal of shareholder derivative claims for a mobile marketing company with offices in Florida and Uruguay.
- Achieved a favorable settlement for one of the largest insulation contractors in the U.S. in a class action based on an alleged hub-and-spoke price-fixing conspiracy with claimed damages in excess of $750 million.
- Successfully represented two targets of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) into a multi-million dollar healthcare kickback scheme; the OIG closed its investigation without bringing any charges. Also, successfully defended those clients in a complex civil litigation, involving more than twenty parties, spawned by the investigation.
- Advised businesses involved in the following mergers or acquisitions: Live Nation/Ticketmaster, Yahoo HotJobs/Monster.com, DirecTV/Liberty Entertainment, and Energy Transfer Equity/Southern Union Company, enabling them to obtain antitrust clearance by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
- Obtained the closing of a formal Department of Justice antitrust investigation for the largest satellite television company in Puerto Rico without any charges being brought.
- Counseled the world’s largest oil-field services company in responding to a grand jury subpoena in connection with alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, export controls, and trade sanctions involving hundreds of millions of dollars in potential penalties.
- Defended the chief executive officer of a leading operator of hospitals and healthcare facilities in an investigation stemming from eight qui tam suits alleging violations of the False Claims Act and kickbacks.
- Defended Spanish owner of luxury hotel in product liability suit against one of the nation’s largest water treatment equipment manufacturers that involved appellate review of novel issues of product liability law and the Economic Loss Rule.
- Represented a global manufacturer of pressure-sensitive labelstock in multi-district litigation alleging market allocation and conspiracy.
- Provided pro bono representation to clients in matters involving asylum and international human rights.
- Law Clerk, Honorable Stephen H. Glickman, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Professional & Community Involvement
- Women's White Collar Defense Association
- Communications Coordinator, 2018
- American Bar Association
- National Hispanic Bar Association
- Florida Association for Women Lawyers
- Benchmark Litigation, “Top Litigator Under 40,” 2018
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, “40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida,” 2017
- Pro Bono Honor Roll, U.S. District & Bankruptcy Courts of the Southern District of Florida, 2016
Publications & Presentations
Redeeming Gideon: Access to Counsel 50 Years Later
2013 District of Columbia Judicial and Bar Conference |April 2013
Mexico’s Tough New Approach to Antitrust Enforcement
Noted with Interest – Assessing Circumstantial Evidence in Price-Fixing Conspiracy Cases: A Comparison of the Seventh Circuit’s Recent Decisions in Text Messaging and Omnicare
ABA Antitrust Section Joint Conduct Committee E-Bulletin|June 2011
The Effect of Twombly/Iqbal and Newly Rigorous Class Certification Standards on the Substantive Viability of Class Actions in Federal Court
Unpublished manuscript, on file with The Sedona Conference®|October 2010
Noted with Interest Noted with Interest
ABA Antitrust Section Joint Conduct Committee E-Bulletin|September 2010
Analyzing the Past and Future of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force in Light of Its Expanded 2010 Mission
Federal Contracts Report (BNA) |June 2010
Mission Impossible? With a Proven Track Record Combating Procurement Fraud, The National Procurement Fraud Task Force Takes on a New Mission: Recovery Act and Other Financial Fraud
Client Alert|August 2009
Commission on Wartime Contracting First Public Hearing: Burgeoning Waste, Fraud and Abuse Investigations
Client Alert|February 2009
Stearns Weaver Miller Lawyers Named Among Benchmark Litigation’s 2018 “Under 40 Hot List”
In the Media:
Watson Island Developer Wins Case Against Miami, Plans to Seek Damages
Daily Business Review|March 2018
In the Media:
Developer Beats City Of Miami In Suit Over $400M Project
Maria Arhancet Fehretdinov Named Among 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
In the Media:
$151 Million Settlement Approved in Foam Class Action
Daily Business Review|March 2016
Stearns Weaver Miller Names New Shareholders