Benchmark Litigation Continues to “Highly Recommend” Robbins Geller as One of the Top Plaintiffs Firms in America and Commends 8 Partners as Stars and Top Litigators

October 21, 2016

Benchmark Litigation is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a North American litigation information hub this year, and to commemorate the occasion, the publication decided to take a “closer look at some of the firms and players within those firms who have been deemed worthy of ‘Top 10’ status in certain areas, based on six months of intensive peer and client review as well as case review.” After studying plaintiff firms, Benchmark has named Robbins Geller one of the Top 10 Plaintiff Firms in America.  Additionally, the publication also recognized Robbins Geller as a “Highly Recommended” plaintiffs firm in California for 2017. Compiled by the publishers of leading financial news magazines Institutional Investor and EuromoneyBenchmark has ranked the Firm highly nationally and in New York. In praising Robbins Geller for having “earned recognition from peers and opponents alike,” Benchmark also recognized several of the Firm’s partners as Litigation Stars, Top Litigators Under 40 and Future Stars. Darren J. Robbins, Samuel H. Rudman, Randall J. Baron, Spencer A. Burkholz, David A. Rosenfeld, Luke O. Brooks, Daniel J. Pfefferbaum and Lucas F. Olts were all honored for their recent casework.

Robbins Geller’s top rankings come on the heels of securing an “eye-popping” $1.575 billion settlement in Jaffe v. Household Int’l, Inc. The settlement was reached just hours before a second jury trial was scheduled to begin. Benchmark celebrated partner Michael J. Dowd for leading the team in what became the largest recovery “following a securities fraud class-action trial in history.” Additionally, it is also the largest securities fraud settlement in the Seventh Circuit and the seventh-largest settlement ever in a post-PSLRA securities fraud case.

Robbins, named a “Local Litigation Star” in the practice areas of Securities and many others, has served as lead counsel in more than 100 securities actions and has recovered billions of dollars for injured shareholders. Most recently, he served as sole lead counsel in Schuh v. HCA Holdings, Inc., which resulted in a groundbreaking $215 million recovery for shareholders, the largest securities class action recovery ever in Tennessee. Benchmark also praised Robbins who, along with commended partner Paul J. Geller, “represented the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and obtained an $895 million recovery on behalf of the UnitedHealth shareholders.” Shortly after reaching the $895 million settlement with the company, the remaining defendants also settled. The former CEO paid $30 million and returned stock options representing more than 3 million shares to shareholders, while the former General Counsel and Secretary paid an additional $500,000 to shareholders.

Named a “Local Litigation Star” for securities, Burkholz has 21 years of experience in prosecuting securities class actions and private actions on behalf of large institutional investors. In May 2016, Burkholz “triumphed…when a district court judge approved a settlement in which Countrywide Financial agreed to pay $500 million to settle investors' claims that they were misled as part of Countrywide's sale of mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007.” He was also one of the lead trial attorneys in the record-breaking recovery of $1.575 billion in Household International and has recovered billions of dollars for injured shareholders in cases such as Enron ($7.2 billion), WorldCom ($657 million) and Qwest ($445 million), to name a few.

Rudman has been awarded the titles of “Local Litigation Star” and “Litigation Star” for the practice areas of Securities and others. With 22 years of experience in securities practice, he is a former attorney with the U.S. SEC, and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for shareholders. Benchmark emphasized Rudman’s role as lead counsel on behalf of investors in Silverman v. Motorola, Inc., in which he recovered $200 million two months before the trial was set to begin. “This outstanding result was obtained despite the lack of an SEC investigation or any financial restatement,” extolled Benchmark.

Highlighted as a “Litigation Star” in the area of Securities, Baron has worked to advance the practice of shareholder merger and acquisition litigation to achieve substantial monetary recoveries for shareholders for almost two decades. He served as co-lead counsel in the Rural/Metro case, leading former shareholders to a rare victory of nearly $100 million in an award against Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets LLC (RBC), which had acted as financial advisor to Rural/Metro’s lowball buyout. Baron was also involved in the record-breaking Kinder Morgan case, which yielded a $200 million recovery for investors, the largest M&A class action recovery in history.

In ranking Brooks as a “Local Litigation Star,” Benchmark stated that he “acted as lead counsel in concert with a team of plaintiffs that secured a $388 million recovery in July 2015 on behalf of a class of investors in nine 2007 residential mortgage-backed securities offerings issued by JPMorgan.” Brooks was also part of the trial team that secured the $1.575 billion recovery in the Household litigation.

Named a “Future Star,” Rosenfeld has spent more than 15 years practicing in the areas of securities litigation and corporate takeover litigation. He recently led the Robbins Geller team in recovering in excess of $34 million in Overseas Shipholding Group, which represented an outsized recovery of 93% of bond purchasers’ damages and 28% of stock purchasers’ damages. The creatively structured settlement included more than $15 million paid by a bankrupt entity.

Benchmark gave Olts and Pfefferbaum the “Top Litigator Under 40” ranking, which honors the achievements of legal partners who are under 40. Over the past several years, Olts has played an integral role in securing landmark victories in RMBS-related litigation, and has achieved success in recovering losses for investors in RMBS and other structured finance investments. Specifically, he was a leader of the Firm’s litigation team that secured a $272 million recovery in a case involving Goldman Sachs’s mortgage securitization practices. Pfefferbaum was a key member of the team that recovered $65 million for investors in a securities class action against Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., an operator of over 95 psychiatric facilities for at-risk children and teens, and four of its former and current executives. The settlement is the largest securities class action recovery in the Middle District of Tennessee in almost a decade. Pfefferbaum was also recognized as a “Future Star” for his work.

Benchmark decides its rankings after six months of examining recent casework handled by law firms. Sources are then asked to offer their professional opinions on the attorneys practicing within their state or national practice areas. To learn more about their methodology, visit Benchmark’s website.

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