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United States > Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: plaintiff > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. M&A litigation: plaintiff
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Kimberley Evans - Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Who Represents Who

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New York-based plaintiff firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is ‘a top-tier firm that is selective about its cases and makes defense firms take notice when it files a case’. It is regarded as a leading firm for securities class actions, antitrust, securities fraud, corporate governance matters and M&A litigation, in which it represents institutional shareholders in high-profile cases. Mark Lebovitch leads the firm’s corporate governance litigation practice and is a highly respected lawyer in shareholder derivative suits and transactional litigation. His highlights in 2017 included IAC/InterActiveCorp Derivative Action, in which he acted as co-lead counsel to challenge dual-class or multi-class stock structures that corporate founders had used to grant themselves ‘supervoting’ rights. The case was dismissed by the court once the defendants had withdrawn their proposal to issue a new class of non-voting stock. Lebovitch also acted as co-lead in a breach of fiduciary duty case against Intuitive Surgical in the Delaware Court of Chancery, which resulted in a $15m settlement. Jeroen van Kwawegen and David Wales are also recommended for securities- and M&A-related cases.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. has ‘great strength in litigation and is firmly focused on the client’s needs’. The firm has a leading practice for asset recovery and complex financial litigation, including securities- and M&A-related matters. In the last 10 years, the firm as recovered $28bn for its clients. Managing director and leading light Stuart Grant in the Wilmington office has a tremendous track record, which last year included making closing arguments in the Delaware Chancery Court case In re Appraisal of AOL, Inc, in which the firm represented AOL stockholders seeking the determination of fair value following the 2015 acquisition of Verizon for $50 per share. Grant, Michael Barry and Christine Mackintosh also advised stockholders in In re Appraisal of Solera Holdings, Inc, in a case before Chancellor Andre Bouchard in Delaware that sought fair value for shares after the company was taken private by affiliates of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Nathan Cook, whose cases included In re Appraisal of The Fresh Market, Inc and In re Appraisal of Diamond Resorts International, Inc is also recommended. Rising star Kimberley Evans is lead attorney in In re ExamWorks Group Inc Stockholder Appraisal Litigation, in which company shareholders challenged the $35.05 per share purchase price paid by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners. The case is being prepared for trial in early 2018.

The team in Labaton Sucharow LLP’s Wilmington office has ‘a very selective approach to cases, which the court appreciates’. The firm has a 50-year history pursuing M&A, derivative and other shareholder actions, including claims for excessive compensation, improper interested party transactions, misuse of corporate assets and breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as challenges to deal valuations. Ned Weinberger leads the corporate governance and shareholder rights litigation practice and is ‘an aggressive young lawyer who is very bright and really knows the law’. He recently acted as co-lead counsel in a class and derivative action for Haverhill Retirement System that alleged improper financing arrangements by Providence Service Corporation in its 2014 acquisition of CCHN Group Holdings for $400m. The resulting $10m settlement is currently awaiting court approval. He is acting for Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and Boston Retirement System in a derivative class action challenging the decision of directors of Tesla Motors, Inc to acquire solar panel manufacturer SolarCity. The case alleges that the deal was a self-interested bailout of the struggling company. A further highlight is his work for shareholders of Straight Path Communications in a case alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the controlling stockholder in the company’s proposed sale to Verizon Communications. Ira Schochet is also recommended.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLPdoes good due diligence and really knows its cases well’. It is recommended for developing ‘collaborative relationships with clients’. Lee Rudy leads the M&A litigation team from the Philadelphia office and is also joint chair of the firm’s qui tam and whistle-blower practices. Among his highlights in 2017 was his work in St Lucie County Fire Dist. Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund v Rosebrough, et al, which focused on claims arising from the merger between Steris and Synergy Health. He secured additional disclosures that included updated estimates of the make-whole payments each individual defendant would receive as payment. He also played a central role in In re Tesla Motors, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, CA, which alleged that the board of Tesla breached its fiduciary duty to its stockholders by agreeing to acquire SolarCity for an excessively high price. He also acted for Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in a case arising from the acquisition of Alon USA Energy by its controlling stockholder, alleging that the structure and timing of the transaction was unfair on Alon’s public stockholders.

Robbins Arroyo LLP in San Diego ‘is a firm that makes defense lawyers take notice when it brings a case’. The firm regularly acts for individual and institutional shareholders in securities class actions and M&A-related disputes. The firm continues to pursue a class action lawsuit against Outerwall Inc for violations of sections 14(e) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and the SEC’s Rule 14a, alleging that misleading statements were made to gain shareholder approval of the company’s acquisition by Apollo Global Management. Felipe Arroyo, newly promoted Jenny Dixon, Stephen Oddo and Ashley Rifkin are the key names.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLPis a firm that cannot be ignored on the plaintiff side; it has a big presence in the market’. The firm is known as one of the most active in filing M&A and securities litigation. Randall Baron has built an enviable track record in landmark cases such as In re Kinder Morgan, Inc S’holders Litig., in which he obtained a $200m common fund for former Kinder Morgan shareholders in what was the largest-ever M&A class action recovery in history; In re Dole Food Co, Inc Stockholder Litig., saw Baron and Rick Atwood try a breach of fiduciary case in the Delaware Court of Chancery against of Dole Food and secured the largest trial verdict in a class action challenging a merger transaction. David Knotts also has a stellar track record that includes a $30m award in In re Onyx S’holders Litig.

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