SOURCE: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

June 12, 2006 06:00 ET

Chambers USA Guide Ranks Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP First Among Firms Prosecuting Securities Litigation Announces Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 12, 2006 -- The law firm of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP ("BLB&G") was given the top ranking in the field of plaintiff securities litigation in Chambers and Partners' ("Chambers") 2006 Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

This is the first time that Chambers, the publisher of several globally respected guides to law firms and lawyers, has included this practice area: "Litigation -- Securities Mainly Plaintiff." According to Chambers, "The inclusion of the table for the first time this year recognizes the importance of a select number of firms who do high-profile work in the area." Chambers' rankings assess the reputations and expertise of business lawyers in 175 countries across the world and are compiled based on thousands of in-depth interviews conducted with clients.

Chambers' profile of the firm includes the following passages: "Clients are unanimous in their opinion that Bernstein Litowitz gives 'the best advice in the field.' Wall Street, meanwhile, has been left shaken by the firm's decimation of its defenses in the WorldCom litigation... Deemed 'ethical, honorable and not just out to get a large fee' by market authorities, Bernstein Litowitz's role as the Robin Hood of New York law firms seems assured for years to come."

Since its founding in 1983, BLB&G, a firm of 50 attorneys with offices in New York, California, New Jersey and Louisiana, has built an international reputation for excellence and integrity. Specializing in securities fraud, corporate governance, shareholders' rights, employment discrimination and civil rights litigation, among other practice areas, BLB&G prosecutes class and private actions on behalf of institutional and individual clients worldwide.

Unique among its peers, BLB&G has obtained six of the ten largest and most significant securities recoveries in history, including recoveries arising from the corporate frauds at WorldCom, Inc. (Settlements totaling over $6.15 billion after three years of litigation and four weeks of trial), Cendant Corporation (A nearly $3.2 billion recovery), Nortel Networks, Inc. (A $1.3 billion recovery), and McKesson (Ongoing, to date a $960 million partial settlement).

Over the last several years, the firm has received substantial media recognition from the many high profile cases it has resolved and is currently prosecuting. Some other ongoing cases where the firm is serving as lead counsel include the class actions against HealthSouth Corporation (To date a partial settlement worth $445 million has been obtained), Refco, Inc. (To date a partial settlement worth $108 million has been obtained), Freddie Mac and The Williams Companies.

Perhaps best known for prosecuting such high-profile cases and for obtaining unprecedented monetary recoveries, many of the cases the firm has prosecuted have had a larger positive contribution to the world's capital markets. Settlement terms that the firm has obtained over the years have curtailed malignant business practices and implemented precedent-setting corporate governance reforms. From establishing an industry-accepted definition of director independence and altering the makeup and accountability of corporate boards of directors, to comprehensively upgrading the due diligence process of investment banks, or beginning the process of correcting stock options abuses, the firm's cases have yielded results which have served as models for public companies going forward.


Founding Partner Max Berger, in a recent media interview, was asked which of his firm's achievements he was most proud of. He cited Roberts, et al v. Texaco, the celebrated race discrimination class action, in which the firm not only negotiated a significant settlement for the African-American employees of Texaco, but also forced Texaco to create a tolerance and equality taskforce to act as a watchdog for discrimination at the company.

Berger said he is also proud of the WorldCom case, not just because of the dollar amount recovered for investors, but for the positive changes it brought to corporate America and Wall Street.

"I think we were able to do more in that case to reform dysfunctional corporate culture in general than we did in any other case," Berger said. "We got personal contributions from the outside directors -- 20% of their collective net worth, as well as toughening the due diligence requirements of investment banks."

ISS Ranks BLB&G #1 Among Securities Firms

Independent proxy and research firm Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") tracks securities class actions settlements. Beginning in 2003, its Securities Class Action Services ("SCAS") subsidiary began its "SCAS 50" -- a ranking of the law firms obtaining these settlements. Since 2003, BLB&G has recovered over $10 billion on behalf of its institutional investor clients and has consistently been at the top of ISS' rankings (#1 in total recoveries in 2004 and 2005, #2 in 2003; #1 in highest average settlement amounts in 2003 and 2004; #2 in 2005).

In ISS' announcement of this year's SCAS 50, Bruce Carton, Vice President of ISS, stated, "We've pretty consistently seen the same firms at or near the top... We've seen the same pattern in terms of some firms having big-dollar, high impact but a low number of cases... The firms on our 'SCAS 50' list were the leaders in obtaining these recoveries. For the second year in a row Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann led the way, with over $3.7 billion in 2005."

For more on ISS' rankings of securities firm go to http://www.issproxy.com/.

For the full text of Chambers' profile of BLB&G go to http://www.chambersandpartners.co.uk/usa/.

More information about Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP can be found online at www.blbglaw.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    New York, N.Y.
    Alexander Coxe
    Marketing Director
    (212) 554-1423
    alex@blbglaw.com