Law360 Names Robbins Geller One of the Nation’s Securities Groups of the Year
Law360’s annual list focuses on firms in each practice area that “came through for clients by sealing the biggest deals and securing wins in high-stakes litigation,” changing the legal landscape within the past year. As the publication noted, the Firm obtained the $400 million settlement against Pfizer Inc. on the eve of trial last January, “[a]nd over the rest of the year, Robbins Geller's securities group reached a handful of other mega-settlements, [including] Duke Energy Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.” Out of the eight firms recognized, the publication commended Robbins Geller for “strik[ing] almost half a dozen other settlements that at other firms might crown the year.”
“[T]he year started with [the Pfizer] settlement that no one saw coming,” noted Law360. In the Pfizer litigation, Robbins Geller attorneys were prepared to take the case to trial. Over the past five years, the Firm devoted thousands of hours to the case, took 65 depositions, and reviewed over 20 million pages of documents. Partner Henry Rosen, one of the lead attorneys on the case, noted that “[e]veryone was going on the assumption that the trial was definitely going to happen.” Instead, Robbins Geller attorneys achieved this exceptional result after five years of hard-fought litigation against the toughest and brightest members of the securities defense bar, litigating all the way to trial in a case that no other law firm had bothered to file.
Of the many groundbreaking settlements achieved in 2015, the publication also commended the Firm and partner Tor Gronborg for “convinc[ing] Duke Energy to pay $146 million to settle claims it misled investors about the ouster of the former CEO of Progress Energy Inc. after a $32 billion merger,” and the “big win [where] Sprint Nextel agreed to pay $131 million to settle a shareholder class action over Sprint’s $37.8 billion merger with Nextel in 2005.”
"Our firm has always prided itself on taking cases that were not front-page news, that were not filed within a day, that were not obvious big cases," said Gronborg, who led both litigation teams in the Duke and Sprint actions.
Law360 also praised partner Lucas Olts, who “oversaw a suit and then a settlement with Goldman Sachs in which Goldman agreed to pay $272 million to end long-running litigation” involving Goldman’s issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities in an offering. The case, which was preliminarily approved by the court on December 30, 2015, finalizes the “litigation filed by the NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund alleging that Goldman duped more than 400 investors by giving nearly identical misstatements about the loans underlying each offering.” This remarkable result following seven years of extensive litigation shows the tireless commitment of the Robbins Geller Structured Finance Litigation Team. In addition, the Firm's Appellate Practice Group successfully briefed and argued the matter before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and helped secure a landmark victory that clarified the scope of permissible class action claims under the Securities Act of 1933. Specifically, in a case of first impression, the Second Circuit concluded that a lead plaintiff in a class action has class standing to pursue claims on behalf of class members who purchased not just the identical security purchased by a named plaintiff, but also those securities that involve “substantially similar” concerns. The landmark appellate decision favorably altered the landscape of MBS-related litigation brought by institutional investors.
Partner Darren J. Robbins concluded that “[t]here are probably 15 lawyers in this firm who’ve recovered multiple billions of dollars for investors as lead counsel on a case. That’s just unprecedented. You will not find that anywhere else.”