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United States > Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: plaintiff > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Civil litigation/class actions: plaintiff
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Leading lawyers

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Berger & Montague, P.C. has acted as lead counsel or co-lead counsel in antitrust cases of the utmost complexity and significance since its inception in 1970. The team, which represents businesses and consumers, is led by H. Laddie Montague, Merrill Davidoff, Eric Cramer and David Sorensen. Sorensen and senior counsel Daniel Simons acted as co-lead counsel to a class of direct purchasers of pharmaceutical drug K-Dur in Re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation, which settled for $60.2m in 2017. Another highlight involved Sorensen and Simons acting as co-lead counsel to a proposed class of direct purchasers in Re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, which concerned the delayed entry into the market of generic versions of the drug Lipitor. Washington DC-based shareholder Daniel Walker2 re-joined the firm from the FTC. Other notable practitioners include Michael Dell’Angelo, Andrew Curley, recently promoted shareholder Caitlin Coslett and associate Zachary Caplan. Named attorneys are based in Philadelphia, except where otherwise noted.

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP is ‘clearly a leading firm’ acting as lead counsel or co-lead counsel in high-profile actions. In 2017, Scott Gant, Melissa Felder Zappala and Fort Lauderdale-based Carl Goldfarb represented a class of online purchasers of contact lenses in an antitrust lawsuit against 1-800 Contacts and other online retailers; the team reached a $7m settlement with two defendants in this ongoing case. Elsewhere, Armonk-based David Boies and others act as co-lead counsel to a class of health plan subscribers in an MDL challenging most-favored nation clauses and territorial restrictions used by Blue Cross entities across the US. Other key figures include William Isaacson, Michael Mitchell, Abby Dennis, Richard Feinstein and Christopher Renner. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC, except where otherwise stated.

Hausfeld, which is ‘at the top of its game’, houses a number of heavyweight practitioners, including chairman Michael Hausfeld (Washington DC/London), Brian Ratner (Washington DC/London), Megan Jones (San Francisco), Timothy Kearns (Washington DC) and Sathya Gosselin (Washington DC). Recent highlights include acting as co-lead counsel to a proposed class of participants in the foreign exchange market in Re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation; this matter has thus far resulted in the recovery of more than $2.3bn in settlements for US investors. The firm is also acting as co-lead counsel in Re Libor-based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, where it is alleged that a number of the world’s largest banks conspired to manipulate the Libor rate. Reena Gambhir and Melinda Coolidge in Washington DC and San Francisco-based Bonny Sweeney are among other recommended individuals.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC has ‘a deep bench of talent’, which ‘does an excellent job of representing plaintiff classes in civil antitrust litigation from inception to trial’. The team is led by Richard Koffman and Kit Pierson and includes a number of other highly regarded figures, such Daniel Small, David Young, Brent Johnson and New York-based Sharon Robertson. Small and others acted as co-lead counsel to a class of around 10,000 animation and visual effects workers in Re Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation; final approval of a $168.5m settlement was granted in 2017. In addition, Michael Eisenkraft and Douglas Richards (who both practice in New York) as well as Pierson are the firm’s lead partners in class action litigation in which it is alleged that a number of the world’s largest banks conspired to maintain anti-competitive control of the interest rate swaps (IRS) market. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC, except where otherwise stated.

Minneapolis-based firm Heins Mills & Olson, PLC, whose antitrust practice is jointly led by Vincent Esades and Renae Steiner, has prominent roles in litigation involving all manner of anti-competitive conduct. In 2017, it acted as co-lead counsel to an end-payor class of consumers and health plan sponsors in Re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation. Another highlight involved Esades acting as lead counsel to a class of direct purchasers in litigation concerning an alleged conspiracy to fix prices and output by manufacturers of after-market automotive sheet metal parts. Jessica Servais, Dylan McFarland and James Anderson are recommended.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP handles some of the most significant private civil and class action litigation (across multiple industries) for investors, companies, employees and other clients. The firm is currently representing the health and welfare fund of New York City’s largest public employee union in an MDL concerning price-fixing in the generic pharmaceuticals industry. It is also acting as co-counsel to a class of consumer plaintiffs in a lawsuit arising from an alleged abuse of market power by Carolina HealthCare System. Eric Fastiff heads up the practice, with Elizabeth Cabraser, Richard Heimann, Dean Harvey, Katherine Benson and Lin Chan among the other notable individuals. David Stellings practices in New York, but all other named lawyers are based in San Francisco.

At Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, New York-based Stephen Neuwirth and others are representing freight-forwarding company Schenker AG in its opt-out action against 11 airlines, which arises from an alleged conspiracy to fix the price of air cargo services. Other key figures in New York include Daniel Brockett and Steig Olson, who are part of a team acting as lead interim class counsel in litigation related to an alleged conspiracy among Wall Street banks to fix the ISDAfix benchmark rate. Harold Barza and Adam Wolfson are located in Los Angeles.

Robins Kaplan LLP’s practice co-chairs Hollis Salzman in New York and Craig Wildfang in Minneapolis together have more than 50 years of antitrust litigation experience. The firm regularly handles the most significant roles in groundbreaking class action litigation and private civil claims. Its recent work includes acting as co-lead counsel to a proposed class of businesses and consumers (who purchased or leased new vehicles containing various price-fixed auto parts) in Re Automotive Parts Antitrust Class Action. New York-based Kellie Lerner is acting as co-lead counsel to a proposed class of direct purchasers of the mumps vaccine in litigation against Merck.

Susman Godfrey LLP excels in representing businesses and individuals in large-scale antitrust class actions. In the auto parts space, Los Angeles-based duo Marc Seltzer and Steven Sklaver are the lead partners acting as co-lead counsel to a class of end-payor plaintiffs in multiple price-fixing and bid-rigging cases against dozens of automobile suppliers and their affiliates. The pair also worked with Seattle-based Matthew Berry to assist a class of animation employees with recovering more than $168m in settlements from a number of the largest animation companies in the industry. James Southwick and Barry Barnett (both based in Houston) are among other names to note.

Zelle LLP represents direct purchaser and indirect purchaser plaintiffs in class actions, and also advises corporate plaintiffs on standalone private civil actions. Judith Zahid and senior associate Eric Buetzow are acting for United HealthCare in litigation against pharmaceutical companies Cephalon, Teva, Ranbaxy, Mylan and Barr over allegedly unlawful pay-for-delay deals relating to the generic equivalents of branded drug Provigil. Christopher Micheletti and Qianwei Fu are acting for consumer purchasers in litigation concerning an alleged price-fixing conspiracy by producers in the packaged seafood industry. Miriam Vishio joined the Washington DC office from the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. Named individuals are based in San Francisco except where otherwise specified.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP’s team head Steve Berman, who practices in Seattle, ‘has been a significant player in the plaintiffs’ bar for a long time’. Also recommended are ‘charismatic’ Jeff Friedman and ‘very strong young partner’ Shana Scarlett; both are located in San Francisco. The group’s recent work includes acting for indirect purchaser plaintiffs in class action litigation against big-brand manufacturers of optical disc drives over alleged price-fixing. It is also representing consumers (as co-lead counsel) in a class action lawsuit against Qualcomm over an alleged abuse of monopoly power, leading consumers to pay more for cell phones and tablet devices.

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP, acting as co-lead counsel for a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs, assisted with the negotiation of a $30m settlement with several manufacturers of cast iron soil pipes and fittings; the matter had concerned an alleged price-fixing conspiracy among the manufacturers. The firm is also representing more than 20 purchasers of packaged seafood in opt-out litigation against a number of major sellers in the US, such as Starkist and Bumble Bee (and their foreign parent companies) over an alleged price-fixing cartel and other anti-competitive practices. Robert Kaplan in New York is a key contact.

Labaton Sucharow LLP is ‘definitely a player in the plaintiffs’ bar’. Gregory Asciolla, who has more than 20 years of antitrust litigation experience, is ‘easy to deal with’. Jay Himes is ‘an excellent, versatile antitrust lawyer’. Christopher McDonald and of counsel Karin Garvey are other notable practitioners in the team. In 2017, the firm was appointed as co-lead counsel in Re Treasury Securities Auction Antitrust Litigation, having filed the first nationwide class action in 2015. It also serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in Re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation. Named individuals are based in New York.

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