In re Enron Corp. Sec. Litig.
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- © 2008 Associated Press
- University of California
Largest Securities Fraud Class Action Recovery in History
Investors lost billions of dollars as a result of the massive fraud at Enron. In appointing Robbins Geller lawyers as sole lead counsel to represent the interests of Enron investors, the court found that the Firm’s submissions stood “out in the breadth and depth of its research.” Robbins Geller attorneys and lead plaintiff, The Regents of the University of California, zealously pursued numerous defendants, including many of Wall Street’s biggest banks, and successfully obtained settlements in excess of $7.2 billion for the benefit of investors, which constituted 30% of the claims submitted.
Robbins Geller attorneys and The Regents actively litigated this case for over seven years. During the discovery phase of the litigation, Robbins Geller attorneys reviewed 70 million pages of documents, took over 350 fact depositions and dozens of expert depositions.
Through their determined efforts, counsel uncovered internal bank documents and testimony evidencing how the banks engineered sham transactions to keep billions of dollars of debt off Enron’s balance sheet.
Faced with damning evidence of their scheme, many defendants decided to avoid a jury trial and made large settlement payments instead. Three large banks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup, paid $2.4 billion, $2.2 billion, and $2 billion, respectively. Other banks, auditors, a law firm, a partnership, and the company’s directors also contributed to the overall $7.3 billion settlement fund. This is the largest securities class action recovery in history.
The court found that the exceptional “results demonstrate why the firm is so highly respected and feared in the securities field.” The court further commented, “This Court considers [Robbins Geller] ‘a lion’ at the securities bar on the national level. Lead Counsel’s outstanding reputation, experience, and success in securities litigation nationwide were a major reason why the Regents selected the firm.” Professor John C. Coffee, Jr. from Columbia University Law School also proclaimed his admiration for Robbins Geller’s ability to obtain a $7.2 billion recovery: “Few, if any, other plaintiffs’ counsel . . . could have pulled off such a tour de force” and the achievement “is attributable in almost equal measure to its credibility, creativity and the intensity of its commitment to this case. In my judgment, Lead Counsel is the adversary most feared today by the defense bar in securities litigation, and that reputation played an important role here.”
The court concurred. “The Court finds that in the face of extraordinary obstacles, the skills, expertise, commitment, and tenacity of Lead Counsel in this litigation cannot be overstated.”
Robbins Geller attorneys “are to be commended for their zealousness, their diligence, their perseverance, their creativity, the enormous breadth and depth of their investigations and analysis, and their expertise in all areas of securities law on behalf of the proposed class,” said Judge Melinda Harmon in In re Enron Corp. Sec. Litig., 586 F. Supp. 2d 732, 789 (S.D. Tex. 2008).
In re Enron Corp. Sec. Litig. No. H-01-3624 (S.D. Tex.)