Securities Class Action Settlements Dramatically Increase as Result
of Financial Crisis
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
RiskMetrics Group (NYSE:RISK), a leading provider of risk management and
corporate governance services to the global financial community, today
announced it has released its Securities Class Action Services (SCAS)
annual list of the top 50 plaintiffs law firms. The law firms on the
SCAS 50 list are ranked by the total dollar amount of final securities
class action settlements occurring in 2009 in which the firms served as
lead or co-lead counsel.
RiskMetrics has published its 'SCAS 50' list for the past seven years.
The list is intended to help institutional investors maximize
shareholder value by highlighting those firms playing the most active
role in U.S. class action cases and bringing in the most settlement
dollars. SCAS maintains the industry’s most comprehensive database on
securities class action litigation and provides professional monitoring
and claims filing services to investment managers whose clients have a
stake in class action suits.
The top five law firms on this year’s ‘SCAS 50’ list were Coughlin Stoia
Geller Rudman & Robbins, Milberg, Bernstein Liebhard, Barroway Topaz
Kessler Metlzer & Check and Barrack, Rodod & Bacine.
"Coughlin Stoia led in our overall rankings with $1.5 billion in total
settlements," said Adam Savett, Head of RiskMetrics Group’s Securities
Class Action Services. "As expected, securities litigation settlements
have dramatically increased over the past year. Seventeen firms broke
the $100 million barrier, and last year's leading firm would have just
barely broken into the top ten this year."
"This year marks the return of the 'mega-settlement'," added Savett. "In
2009, we tracked 15 settlements of more than $100 million, up from 5
Bernstein Liebhard achieved the highest average settlement amount among
law firms, averaging $254 million in its four settlements. The average
settlement amount is an important indicator of which law firms are
consistently bringing and settling high-impact cases. The most active
firm regarding the number of settlements was Coughlin Stoia Geller
Rudman & Robbins with 34 settlements, leading all firms with respect to
the total number of final settlements.
*Firms had to have a minimum of 3 settlements.
Nearly 500 financial institutions utilize the SCAS database or complete
claims filing solution to fulfill their fiduciary duty to file claims in
class action settlements on behalf of their investment clients. With
over 19 years of history and more than 6,000 cases tracked, the SCAS
database also serves as an important compliance tool for asset managers
to perform this critical fiduciary responsibility. Additionally, many of
the law firms included in the SCAS 50 utilize the database to monitor
class action suits and gain access to important claims and settlement
For a copy of the full SCAS 50 report for 2009, including a description
of the methodology used to prepare the report, please visit: www.riskmetrics.com/white_papers/scas50_2009.
About RiskMetrics Group
RiskMetrics Group is a leading provider of risk management and corporate
governance products and services to participants in the global financial
markets. By bringing transparency, expertise and access to the financial
markets, RiskMetrics Group helps investors better understand and manage
the risks associated with their financial holdings. Our solutions
address a broad spectrum of risk across our clients' financial assets.
Headquartered in New York with 20 global offices, RiskMetrics Group
services some of the most prestigious institutions and corporations
worldwide. To learn more about RiskMetrics Group, please visit: www.riskmetrics.com.
RiskMetrics Group ContactsGary Hewitt, +1.301.556.0354[email protected]orSarah
Ball, +44.20.7063.5834[email protected]
Source: RiskMetrics Group