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Randall Baron Named Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer

October 17, 2014

Robbins Geller partner Randall J. Baron is no stranger to accolades for his advocacy on behalf of shareholders. The American Lawyer recognized him as “Litigator of the Week” after the October 10 ruling in which Delaware Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster ordered RBC Capital Markets (“RBC”), the investment banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada, to pay former Rural/Metro shareholders over $75 million, in an award TheStreet.com described as stunning and “one of the largest in the history of the Court of Chancery.” Baron and co-counsel Joel Friedlander of Friedlander & Gorris, who was also recognized as the Litigator of the Week alongside Baron, were victorious in a bench trial that Laster found defendant RBC liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by Rural/Metro Corporation’s board of directors in connection with the buyout of Rural/Metro.  Following that decision on liability, the parties briefed the issue of damages and a hearing was held in June.  Laster’s 95-page opinion quantifies how plaintiffs had been underpaid for their Rural/Metro shares in the merger and how RBC bore the bulk of the financial responsibility.

According to The American Lawyer, Baron and Friedlander “took a gamble [and] devoted intense effort and tens of thousands of dollars in order to successfully object to the settlement, a move that allowed them to take over as lead plaintiffs counsel and pursue extensive discovery. They ultimately uncovered what a judge found to be a web of conflicts, self-interest and deception involving financial adviser Royal Bank of Canada, Rural/Metro directors, and secondary financial adviser Moelis & Co.”

For more than a decade, Baron has led a team that has been instrumental in shaping the legal landscape of breach of fiduciary duty jurisprudence in the context of M&A transactions.  Baron’s specialty is helping shortchanged shareholders recover hundreds of millions of dollars lost after their boards led them into misguided and lowball takeovers.  In the Kinder Morgan case,Baron obtained an unprecedented $200 million common fund for former Kinder Morgan shareholders, the largest M&A recovery to date. Baron also served as lead counsel in the Del Monte case where he helped change Wall Street practices and secured an $89.4 million settlement for shareholders, which is among the largest shareholder recoveries in Delaware.California Lawyer praised his work on the Del Monte case and named him “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year.”

Baron’s unflinching approach to trial and expertise in unraveling complicated fact patterns is rooted in his background with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried felony cases as a trial deputy and investigated and prosecuted public corruption cases as an attorney in the Special Investigation Division. He also teaches M&A litigation at Columbia Law School and frequently guest lectures at law schools throughout the country, including Stanford and Harvard.

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