Attorney Spotlight: Randall J. Baron
Robbins Geller partner Randall J. Baron is no stranger to accolades over his advocacy for shareholders. In 2012, he and fellow partner A. Rick Atwood, Jr. were named as California Lawyer magazine’s Attorneys of the Year for their success in the Delaware-based Del Monte shareholder litigation over that company’s buyout and financing, which returned an additional $89.4 million to Del Monte’s shareholders (see 1Q12 Corporate Governance Bulletin). The court in Delaware noted that “it was only through the effective use of discovery that the plaintiffs were able to ‘disturb the patina of normalcy surrounding the transaction.’” The shareholder recovery in the Del Monte action also got Baron named as American Lawyer magazine’s “Litigator of the Week.”
Baron also oversaw the class action that arose over the buyout of Kinder Morgan, Inc., and his efforts led to a $200 million common fund recovery for shareholders of the company who alleged that the buyout had left them underpaid for their shares (see 1Q11 Corporate Governance Bulletin).
Baron, a former Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles, has most recently won praise over the results gained in litigation over the buyout of Rural/Metro Corporation and the role(s) of Royal Bank of Canada’s investment bank (“RBC”). In a case where Baron and co-counsel took over control of the action after objecting to a prior lead plaintiff’s counsel’s proposed settlement, added defendants and took the case to trial, the result was a post-trial ruling (citing the Del Monte case) that turned heads in the legal world. Professor J. Robert Brown at TheRacetotheBottom.org observed that the ruling “has the potential to elevate the role of the board in the oversight of the sale process, particularly the supervision of investment banks.” The Wall Street Journal wrote that the RBC ruling “Crowns a Career of Representing Shareholders,” but Baron’s not ready to let up just yet.