Securities litigation: plaintiff in United States

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is 'like the SEC on steroids with a profit motive', according to one source. Acting for a large institutional investor client base, the firm has a reputation for finding creative or unorthodox solutions in large and high-profile securities, corporate governance and shareholder rights cases. The New York office is home to practice heads Salvatore Graziano and Gerald Silk, as well as other notable practitioners such as Jeroen van Kwawegen, who is one of America’s top shareholder litigators and serves as the co-head of the firm’s department of governance, and founding partner Max Berger, whose cases have frequently resulted in sweeping corporate governance overhauls. Also among the firm's standout practitioners are John Browne, who specializes in securities fraud class actions, and Hannah Ross, who focuses on cases concerning securities fraud and shareholder rights. In 2020, John Rizio-Hamilton and Rebecca Boon finalized a $240m settlement in In re Signet Jewelers Limited Securities Litigation, which was the first successful prosecution of a securities class action arising from misstatements and omissions concerning sexual harassment. Up-and-coming partner Katherine Sinderson was a key figure in In re SunEdison, Inc. Securities Litigation, helping to secure a $74m settlement following allegations that the company misled investors concerning its financial condition.

Practice head(s):

Salvatore Graziano; Gerald Silk

Other key lawyers:

Jeroen van Kwawegen; Max Berger; John Browne; Hannah Ross; John Rizio-Hamilton; Rebecca Boon

Work highlights

  • Representing St. Lucie County Fire District Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund and Fire & Police Retiree Health Care Fund, San Antonio in action alleging that Cobalt misled investors by portraying itself as having legitimate claims to wells in the Republic of Angola when in truth, it obtained access by partnering with shell companies partially owned by Angolan officials, putting it at risk of enforcement actions by the SEC and DOJ for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and federal securities laws.
  • Representing Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi in action alleging that Signet and its senior officers made a series of materially misleading statements and omissions about the strength of its in-house customer financing credit portfolio, and an alleged culture of severe sexual harassment at the Company.
  • Represented Blue Sky Group in action alleging that while SCANA was touting its progress, the Company and its senior executives knew the project suffered from fundamental problems, having received an independent report in 2015 that detailed massive cost overruns and imprudent management which they concealed the report from public view by claiming that it was privileged while continuing to falsely state that construction was proceeding well.

Labaton Sucharow LLP

Labaton Sucharow LLP in New York has a deep bench of securities litigators who are 'enormously experienced and do exceptionally good work'. The firm has taken the lead or co-lead counsel role in 15 of the 100 largest securities class action recoveries in history, and clients note that in that role 'the lawyers know how to be leaders yet work togetherand collaborativelyin order to get a positive result'. Jointly led by firm chair Christopher Keller and head of litigation Jonathan Gardner, the practice group currently represents more than 300 institutional investors with more than $2tn under management. Standout partner Thomas Dubbs handles both domestic and multinational securities cases. He is the lead lawyer in an an on-going securities class action against Uber Technologies, which alleges that the company, in its $8.1bn IPO, premised its growth on an undisclosed, unsustainable, and often illegal growth-at-any-cost business model. Additionally, Gardner and Carol Villegas secured a $27.5m settlement from DeVry Education Group in a case alleging that it had issued false statements to investors about employment and salary statistics for DeVry University graduates.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Keller; Jonathan Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Dubbs; Carol Villegas; Christine Fox; Michael Canty


‘They have a deep group of litigators who are enormously experienced in securities litigation. They do exceptionally good work.’

‘They are team players. I am a full time mediator and often work with Labaton in cases where there are a number of plaintiff law firms involved. They know how to be leaders yet work together – and collaboratively – in order to get a positive result.’

‘Jonathan Gardner, one of the senior partners, is an exceptional attorney. He has both considerable expertise and litigation skill and practical experience that helps achieve terrific results for clients.’

‘I have worked extensively with Carol Villegas, Christine Fox and Michael Canty, all of whom have great skill and tenacity and at all times act with great professionalism.’

‘Our system has retained four Securities Litigation Monitoring Firms, but Labaton is the only one which provides in-depth analysis and litigation opportunities for non-U.S. securities cases.’

‘The team members strike the correct balance, in my mind, between aggressiveness litigation on behalf of clients and reasonableness when it comes to making necessary accommodations. Jonathan Gardner and Ned Weinberger are the key partners.’

Key clients

Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds

Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System

Rhode Island State Investment Commission

West Virginia Investment Management Board

Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico

Utah Retirement Systems

City of Dearborn Retirement Systems

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Retirement System

Firefighters’ Pension System of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Trust

LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada

Work highlights

  • Acting as co-lead counsel in a securities class action against SCANA Corp, obtained a $192.5m settlement for investors.
  • Represent Dell’s minority investors in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit challenging the conduct of Michael Dell in connection with a $14bn share exchange transaction.
  • Represent investors in a securities class action against Uber Technologies, Inc., in connection with Uber’s $8.1bn IPO, which premised the company’s growth on an undisclosed, unsustainable, and often illegal “growth at any cost” business model.

Pomerantz LLP

'The qualities of diligence and resourcefulness stand out, along with an excellent understanding of the client's requirements', remarks a client of Pomerantz LLP. The firm, which is the oldest securities litigation practice in the US, frequently competes for the lead plaintiff role in major cases, often involving innovative areas of law. One example is a case against Perrigo in which practice head Jeremy Lieberman successfully argued for supplemental jurisdiction to apply Israeli law. Lieberman and emerging talent Austin Van recently defeated motions to dismiss in In re Mylan N.V. Securities Litigation, which alleges that the company misclassified its market-leading EpiPen as a generic drug in order to obtain a higher rebate under a federal drug rebate program, and then made misrepresentations relating to that misclassification. Michael Wernke is a standout practitioner whose highlights include securing a $110m settlement in class action Pirnik v. Fiat Chrysler, and an $18m settlement in Rao v. Quorum Health Corp., et al. Moreover, the firm has a deep bench of talent, from experienced litigators such as Matthew Tuccillo, who handled cases arising from BP's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, to up-and-coming partners such as Jennifer Pafiti in Los Angeles, who is heavily involved in the CVS Health Corporation securities class action. Emma Gilmore is blazing a trail in big cases with innovative points of law, having recently secured a record-breaking settlement from Petrobras.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Lieberman

Other key lawyers:

Michael Wernke; Austin Van; Matthew Tuccillo; ; Emma Gilmore; Tamar Weinrib


‘The qualities of diligence and resourcefulness stand out, along with an excellent understanding of the client’s requirements.’

‘Jennifer Pafiti and Jeremy Lieberman understand client differences and do not take a “one size fits all approach”. It is that understanding that makes them a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Atudot Pension Fund for Employees and Independent Workers

City of Miami Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Retirement Trust

Clal Insurance Company Ltd., Clal Pension and Provident Ltd.

Hallandale Beach Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement Fund – Pom

International Union of Operating Engineers Pension Fund of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware

Local 295 IBT Employer Group Pension Fund

Meitav DS Provident Funds and Pension Ltd – Pomerantz

Steamfitters Local 449 Pension Plan

Yhav Rofim Chevra Leniol Kupot Gemel Ltd.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association

Allianz Global Investors France S.A.

City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions & Retirement

Electricity Pensions Trustee Ltd

Employees’ Retirement System of the City of Providence

Hadrian Trustees, as trustee of Shipbuilding Indus. Pension Scheme

HESTA Super Fund

IBM United Kingdom Pensions Trust Limited

Iron Workers Local 580 Joint Funds

Iron Workers Locals 40, 361

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented global investors in a securities litigation against global pharmaceutical company Perrigo Co. plc; the District Court certified parallel classes of investors that purchased Perrigo shares on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
  • Won a major victory for investors when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, in part, the district court’s dismissal of the BofI Holding, Inc. securities fraud class action on loss causation grounds.
  • Acting as lead counsel succeeded in both defeating the defendants’ third motion to dismiss the complaint against Mylan Pharmaceuticals and in getting the class certified.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC's securities litigation and investor protection practice is led from Washington DC by the vastly experienced Steven Toll and 'excellent lawyer and terrific negotiatorJulie Reiser, whom clients describe as 'exceptionally ethical'. Reiser stands out for her role in precedent-setting corporate governance disputes, notably claims arising from allegations of sexual harassment. She recently secured a $310m settlement from Google's parent company in In re Alphabet Shareholder Derivative Litigation. New York-based Michael Eisenkraft, along with Reiser and Chicago-based Carol Gilden, is spearheading hybrid securities and anti-competition class actions against investment banks, alleging that they conspired to maintain anti-competitive strangleholds over trading in financial markets, among them interest rate swaps. Daniel Sommers, the immediate past chairman of the Markets Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors, also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Steven Toll; Julie Reiser

Other key lawyers:

Michael Eisenkraft; Daniel Sommers; Carol Gilden


‘Julie Reiser is the lead partner. She is an excellent lawyer and a terrific negotiator. She is exceptionally ethical, a very important quality for public pension funds.’

Key clients

Arkansas Public Employees Retirement Systems

Chicago Public School Teachers Pension and Retirement Fund

Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund

The Fund Group

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 710 Pension Plan

Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System

New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund

New York City Retirement Systems

New York City Pension Funds

New York State Common Retirement Fund

Norfolk County Retirement System

Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System

Pavers and Road Builders Pension, Annuity, and Welfare

Funds No

Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma No

Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund No

Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma

Work highlights

  • Represented Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund in In re Alphabet Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 19CV341522 (Sup. Crt. Cal., Santa Clara Cnty.)
  • Representing The New York State Common Retirement Fund and The New York City Pension Funds in Thomas P. DiNapoli. v. Stephen A. Wynn, et al., No. A-18-770013-B (Dist. Crt., Clark County, Nev.).
  • Representing New York City Retirement Systems in In re American Realty Capital Properties Inc. Litigation, No. 1:15-mc-00040 (S.D.N.Y.).

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. in New York has built a reputation for its innovative approach to cutting-edge cases, backed up by a proven ability to litigate claims to conclusion. Its past track record includes roles as lead counsel in some of the largest securities class action recoveries in US history, as well as prominent roles in opt-out and individual cases. Jay Eisenhofer, whose previous successes include the recovery of $1.5bn from Fortis in the Netherlands, is currently representing Employees Retirement System of the State of Hawaii as lead plaintiff in a putative securities class action alleging that Synchronoss Technologies implemented a fraudulent scheme to conceal its deteriorating financial condition. Daniel Berger, whose experience includes trying three 10b5 cases to jury verdicts, also plays a key role in that case.

Practice head(s):

Jay Eisenhofer; Daniel Berger

Work highlights

  • Represents the lead plaintiff in a securities class action alleging that Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. implemented a fraudulent scheme to conceal the company’s deteriorating financial condition and falsify its true revenues.
  • Reached a $55m settlement in Santander Consumer USA securities class action.
  • Serves a co-lead counsel representing the co-lead plaintiffs in a case against Weight Watchers International, Inc., alleging that Weight Watchers artificially inflated the prices of Weight Watchers common stock, among other claims.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP in New York built a substantial presence in the securities litigation market with a string of victories against banks such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and RBS Securities in cases concerning complex financial assets including mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed securities. It remains a leading firm for securities fraud and opt-out cases on behalf of prominent hedge funds, mutual funds and pension funds. The ‘responsive, knowledgeable and creativeStephen Tountas, who leads the practice along with Sheron Korpus and Michael Hanin, is handling on-going cases against Valeant Pharmaceuticals concerning allegations that the company misled shareholders regarding its core business model. Up-and-coming partner Uri Itkin has a growing amount of first-chair experience in cases for asset managers and funds.

Practice head(s):

Sheron Korpus; Michael Hanin; Stephen Tountas

Other key lawyers:

Uri Itkin


‘Steve Tountas is responsive, knowledgeable and creative in the litigation approaches he employs. He is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

U.S. Bank

MBIA Insurance

Astra Asset Management

Gotham Asset Management

Royal Bank of Canada

Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”)

Comcast Corporation

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi

Federal Housing Finance Agency

MF Global

Davidson Kempner Asset Management

Loreley Financing

Eros International

Waterfall Asset Management

Angelo Gordon & Co.

ACA Financial Guaranty

UniCredit Bank

Axon Capital

Serengeti Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of holders of $1.4bn+ in notes issued by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, the largest student loan securitizations ever, achieved three wins in groundbreaking litigation against the Trusts’ equity owners concerning the management and control of the Trusts.
  • Handled high-profile direct securities fraud actions against pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals arising from allegations that Valeant misled shareholders, improperly accounted for sales due to “improper conduct” of certain former officers; and had materially defective internal controls.
  • Representing US Bank in an important decision affecting hundreds of millions of dollars in RMBS losses arising out of the 2008 financial crisis.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP

Based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP has a deep bench of litigators handling securities class actions and has a track record of large recoveries for institutional investors. The firm continues to feature in high-profile cases, having recently secured a $55m settlement from Seaworld Entertainment Group and Blackstone in a purported class that alleged Seaworld failed to disclose in its IPO documents that it had improperly cared for and mistreated its Orca population which adversely impacted trainer and audience safety. Partners Darren Check, David Kessler and Andrew Zivitz are among the key partners involved in that matter. Gregory Castaldo and Sharan Nirmul are on a team appointed as lead counsel in a case alleging that General Electric and numerous former officers propped up the company's financial performance by misleading investors concerning the financial performance of GE Capital and GE Power. Naumon Amjed focuses on new matter development and the analysis of securities class action, opt-out and non-US securities and shareholder litigation.

Practice head(s):

David Kessler; Gregory Castaldo; Andrew Zivitz; Sharan Nirmul

Other key lawyers:

Darren Check; Joshua Materese; Emily Christiansen


‘KTMC has a very strong team that manages to keep strong client relationships. They do this by frequent updates and, in normal years, travel to meet with clients. Their litigation efforts are impressive and as a client you always feel that your interests are being looked after.’

‘KTMC has a diverse and strong team and they are also using the right kind of technology to keep clients updated.’

‘Darren Check is an amazing partner to work with – he is on top of any matters that may require attention and his efforts for building a strong European client list really cannot be overestimated. Josh Materese also stands out as a strong litigator.’

‘The firm is highly competent, very experienced and has broad knowledge. All personnel are very dedicated to their clients.’

‘KTMC has its Securities Tracker, a very useful tool for us, where we can extract memos describing relevant information of each class action case. We can see the loss suffered for each fund. Also “foreign” class actions are well-described in memos.’

‘Darren Check stands out specifically since he is very dedicated and engaged in his clients. He is always available and we feel we can contact him for all sorts of questions (both high and low). Not only is he very knowledgeable but he is very pedagogic and can describe and explain for us complex issues so it becomes clear and understandable. He is passionate about his work which is very inspirational.’

‘Emily Christiansen stands out with her high competence and engagement to her clients.’

Key clients

AP7 – Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund

SEB Investment Management AB

Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S

Principal Global Financial Group

Franklin Templeton Investments

Nationwide Investment Funds

Nordea Investment Funds (Luxembourg)

Arkansas Teacher Retirement System

Equity-League Pension & Health Trust Funds

United Food & Commercial Workers 464(a) Benefit Funds

Lebanon County Employees’ Retirement Fund

Teamsters Local Union No. 142 Pension Fund

Laborers Joint Pension Trust for Southern Nevada

MoloLamken LLP

MoloLamken LLP is a national boutique firm focused on complex litigation, for which securities litigation is a key focus. Its track record is built on securing large settlements in high-profile cases, such as the $250m to resolve claims arising from the Alibaba IPO. Clients note that the firm has 'a small and dedicated team of super smart and practical lawyers' that is capable of handling cutting-edge securities cases for hedge funds, private equity firms and other investors. Practice head Steven Molo in New York is 'a smart and aggressive litigator'. Justin Ellis and Washington DC-based Robert Kry work closely with Molo on key matters, with Ellis recently involved in representing hedge fund Tilden Park in contested proceedings concerning the distribution of the proceeds of the $2.38bn settlement between holders of RMBS and the estate of Lehman Brothers.

Practice head(s):

Steven Molo

Other key lawyers:

Justin Ellis; Robert Kry


‘Steve Molo is a great smart and aggressive litigator. A good strategic thinker. Justin Ellis is a smart and thoughtful lawyer who knows the law like the back of his hand and is a very hard worker.’

Key clients

Contrarian Capital Management LLC

Tilden Park Capital Management LP


Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as Trustee for the MSAC 2007-NC4 Trust

U.S. Bank, solely in its capacity as Trustee

The Silverfern Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Contrarian Capital Management in its high-stakes suit against Venezuela over defaulted sovereign debt – obtaining summary judgment on over $280m.
  • Represent Tilden Park Capital Management in a trust-instruction proceeding involving the distribution of more than $2.3bn from the Lehman Brothers RMBS global settlement.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has deep bench of securities litigators on both US coasts, many of whom handle both plaintiff and defense work. Chair of the firm’s national banking and financial institutions practice Peter Calamari, seasoned trial lawyer Andrew Rossman and co-chair of the structured finance litigation practice Jonathan Pickhardt are among the key partners in New York. In Los Angeles, head of complex litigation Richard Schirtzer represents both institutional clients as plaintiffs and large corporates as defendants. The firm is acting as co-lead counsel in a class action against major banks serving as re-marketing agents of variable rate, tax-exempt bonds, alleging that they kept rates artificially high; New York-based Daniel Brockett and Jeremy Andersen in Los Angeles played key roles in that matter. Also in Los Angeles, practice co-chair Harry Olivar has a strong track record of victories against banks in cases concerning structured finance instruments.

Practice head(s):

Harry Olivar; Richard Schirtzer; Daniel Brockett; Peter Calamari; Andrew Rossman; Jonathan Pickhardt

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Andersen

Key clients

Compañía Minera Dayton (“CMD”) and class of investors in gold and gold-related instruments


The City of Philadelphia

Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association

Allianz GI, Anchorage Capital, the AP funds, BlackRock, BlueCrest, Brevan Howard, CalSTRS, Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, Norges Bank, PFA, PIMCO, Portigon AG, Mass PRIM, and SEI Trust Company

Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund; Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund; MASTERINVEST Kapitalanlage GmbH; Uniqa Capital Markets GMBH; Torus Capital, LLC

Rescap Liquidating Trust

KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC (“KKR”), Kearny Investors S.à r.l., Powell Investors L.P., Powell Investors II Limited Partnership

CWCapital Cobalt Vr, Ltd.

Torus Capital LLC; Iowa Pu

Work highlights

  • Represent a large group consisting of some of the world’s largest funds in a case involving allegations that a dozen Wall Street banks conspired for a decade to manipulate prices on a wide range of foreign exchange instruments.
  • Won a complete victory for the Rescap Liquidating trust in a three-week bench trial concerning indemnification for the sale of defective mortgage loans that were later securitized into RMBS trusts prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Acting as co-lead plaintiff’s counsel in a class action that alleges the major banks that act as the re-marketing agents of variable rate, tax-exempt bonds have acted jointly to keep the rates artificially high rather than re-market the bonds at the lowest possible rate.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is a large firm with more than 200 lawyers spread across nine offices, a presence that enables it to file a large number of cases. The firm has a long history of achieving record-breaking recoveries and precedent-setting decisions. Among the firm's key practitioners are founding partner Darren Robbins in San Diego, who has served as lead counsel in more than 100 securities class actions in the last 20 years, and managing partner Paul Geller in Boca Raton, who recently led high-profile cases arising from the prescription opioid epidemic. In San Diego, Danielle Myers oversees the firm's portfolio monitoring program and assists institutional investors in maximizing recoveries. Among the firm's up-and-coming partners are Brian Cochran in San Diego, who was part of the team that achieved a $1.21bn settlement in the Valeant Pharmaceuticals securities litigation, and Maureen Mueller in Boca Raton.

Practice head(s):

Darren Robbins

Other key lawyers:

Paul Geller; Danielle Myers; Brian Cochran; Maureen Mueller

Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC

Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC in New York has built up its presence in securities litigation since forming in 2018 around a core group of partners with an enviable track record of recoveries in mortgage-backed securities cases. Since then, the practice has diversified its caseload against banks, energy companies and major players in the pharmaceuticals market. An example of the firm’s work in cutting-edge work is the case for a proposed class of crypto-commodity investors in a case alleging a massive conspiracy to exploit the false representation that the purportedly stable crypto-asset Tether was backed by US dollars as part of an elaborate market-manipulation scheme. Philippe Selendy and Andrew Dunlap are leading that matter. Sean Baldwin, who was a driving force behind the two largest RMBS recoveries for trustees in US history, is currently involved in a $2bn damages claim against Countrywide Financial for contributing to the global financial crisis of 2008.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Selendy

Other key lawyers:

Sean Baldwin; Andrew Dunlap

Key clients

Cerberus Capital Management



U.S. Bank

Christofferson Robb & Co.

Trilantic Capital Partners

MBIA & National Public Finance Group

Classes of investors in multiple digital tokens and other crypto-assets

Matthew Script, Benjamin Leibowitz, Jason Leibowitz, Aaron Leibowitz, and Pinchas Goldshtein

Work highlights

  • Representing a proposed class of crypto-currency investors alleging that the controllers of the crypto-currency exchange Bitfinex falsely represented that their purportedly “stable” cryptocurrency Tether was backed by US dollars in order to control the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an elaborate market-manipulation scheme that cost investors hundreds-of-billions of dollars.
  • Representing National Public Finance Guarantee and MBIA Insurance Corporation, a monoline insurer, in a lawsuit to hold eight major Wall Street banks accountable for inequitable conduct that contributed to Puerto Rico’s economic collapse.
  • Represents Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a private equity firm with more than $40bn under management, as plaintiff in a $950m breach of contract action against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of Canada’s largest banks.

Berman Tabacco

Securities litigation is a key focus for Berman Tabacco, which handles a range of complex litigation for institutional clients. Nicole Lavallee, managing partner of the San Francisco office, along with highly experienced securities fraud and derivative claims specialist Leslie Stern in Boston, lead a small practice that punches above its weight and remains a key player in high-profile cases. Founding partner Joseph Tabacco in San Francisco also has a strong track record in securities and antitrust class actions. He is working with Lavallee to represent Utah Retirement Systems as sole lead counsel in In re Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc. Securities Litigation, a pending case alleging that the company’s financial results were manipulated by improperly booking approximately $200m in accounts receivables.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Lavallee; Leslie Stern

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Tabacco


‘The lawyers at Berman Tabacco prioritize client involvement in key decision making and work hard to ensure that the client understands the implications of each phase of litigation.’

‘Each of the lawyers I have worked with has made extra effort to know the client. It matters to them that they are working to achieve results for the benefit of each member of the pension fund, most of whom will never know about the litigation. This has been particularly true of my experience working with Nicole Lavallee, Pat Egan, Matt Pearson, Leslie Stern and Joe Tabacco.’

Key clients

California Public Employees’ Retirement System

California State Teachers’ Retirement System

Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System

Oklahoma Firefighters’ Pension & Retirement System

Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association

San Antonio Fire & Police Pension Fund

Plymouth County Retirement Association

Employees’ Retirement System of the City of Providence

Orange County Employees Retirement System

Norfolk County Retirement System

Employees Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island

Work highlights

  • Representing plaintiff Norfolk County Retirement System in Norfolk County Retirement System v. Smith (Sinclair Broadcast Group Derivative Action), No. 18-cv-03952 (D. Md.), a shareholder derivative action which recently settled and provides far-reaching benefits to Sinclair and its shareholders.
  • Lead counsel representing sole lead plaintiff Utah Retirement Systems in a securities fraud class action lawsuit, In re Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 18-cv-04993-NRB (S.D.N.Y.), in which the firm’s efforts in Aegean’s bankruptcy proceedings were crucial to preserving the securities fraud claims against the individual defendants and the auditors.
  • Representing plaintiff San Antonio Fire & Police Pension Fund in Teamsters Local 443 Health Services & Ins. Plan, et al. v. Chou (AmerisourceBergen Corp.), No. 2019-0816 (Del. Ch.), a shareholder derivative action that seeks to hold the company’s officers and directors liable for their serious misconduct in the sale of adulterated and mislabeled cancer and dialysis drugs.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP

Bernstein Liebhard LLP in New York has a track record of representing institutional and individual investors in securities fraud class actions that stretches back more than over 25 years. The firm currently monitors the investment portfolios of more than 30 public pension funds and the practice, led by Stanley Bernstein, has substantial litigation experience in complex and high-impact securities class actions, shareholder rights and derivative cases, as well as antitrust, consumer class action, mass tort and whistleblower matters. Bernstein, Michael Bigin and Stephanie Beige secured a $20m settlement for Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System in Avila v. LifeLock, Inc. et al., which  alleged that LifeLock, a provider of identity theft protection services, misrepresented its ability to provide near real-time alerts to its customers.

Practice head(s):

Stanley Bernstein

Other key lawyers:

Michael Bigin; Stephanie Beige

Key clients

Houston Municipal Employees Pension System

City of Atlanta Firefighters Pension Plan

City of Hialeah Employees’ Retirement system

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System

Gibbs & Bruns LLP

Based in Houston, Texas, Gibbs & Bruns LLP is a boutique litigation firm that has significant experience in securities cases, both for plaintiffs and defendants. It built its presence on a platform of cases involving residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and has represented large institutional investors in disputes with JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and ResCap, recovering more than $16bn. Since then, the firm has has broadened its scope. Key partners Kathy PatrickDavid Sheeren and Sam Cruse are currently representing Fannie Mae in a suit seeking $800m in damages from nine banks for alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and other financial benchmarks.

Practice head(s):

Kathy Patrick; David Sheeren

Other key lawyers:

Sam Cruse


‘Creative, resourceful, committed, responsive, talented across the board. A pleasure to work with.’

‘They are willing to be risk-takers along side of their client.’

‘Kathy Patrick is a unique talent. David Sheeren is a joy to work with.’

Key clients

Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO)

BlackRock Financial Management Inc. (Blackrock)

Trustmark National Bank

The TCW Group, Inc.

Fannie Mae

Kore Advisors LP

Carnegie Mellon University

Work highlights

  • Represent over 20 of the world’s largest institutional investors in disputes with JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and ResCap concerning thousands of RMBS trusts created prior to the financial crisis. These suits have resulted in over $16bn in recoveries to investors and have reformed mortgage servicing practices for hundreds of thousands of loans.
  • Representing Institutional Investors PIMCO, Blackrock & others in $266m RMBS IO Payment Dispute; acting as lead counsel for PIMCO, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, BlackRock, Kore Advisors, and FHLB Atlanta in dispute over payment waterfall terms in 278 legacy residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trusts, in which an opposing hedge fund seeks a change in interest calculations that would wrongfully divert over $266m in cash flows away from our clients and other investors in the trusts.
  • Handling multiple Matters for Trustmark National Bank, including three lawsuits related to the collapse of the Stanford Financial Group, headed by convicted financial fraudster R. Allen Stanford.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

The securities and financial fraud practice at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP frequently represents public and private institutional investors in direct action and, increasingly, opt-out cases. Led by experienced trial lawyer Richard Heimann in San Francisco and managing partner Steven Fineman in New York, the firm not only represents public and private pension funds in securities fraud 10b-5 class actions, but also handles less traditional, complex financial fraud class cases, including a shareholder derivative action against Wells Fargo board members for alleged fraud concerning the opening of millions of bogus accounts. In that case, Heimann secured the largest insurer-funded derivative settlement in history at $240m. Fineman's on-going work includes a case against Valeant Pharmaceuticals for an alleged illegal scheme to generate revenues through massive price increases for branded drugs.

Practice head(s):

Richard Heimann; Steven Fineman

Work highlights

  • Represented Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado and The City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System in consolidated shareholder derivative action against Wells Fargo board members and executives for alleged fraud around employees opening millions of bogus accounts for unknowing existing customers, illegally manufacturing financial success.
  • Represented New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado in shareholder derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duty against Boeing’s current and former officers and directors relating to development of the 737 MAX airplane and two 737 MAX airplane crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.
  • Represented institutional investors BlackRock and Senzar in litigation against Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, some senior officers, and directors for alleged illegal scheme to generate revenues through massive price increases for Valeant-branded drugs while concealing negative aspects of Company’s business operations.