Securities Fraud Class Actions

Bernstein Liebhard has over 25 years of experience fighting for individual and institutional investors who have been victimized by securities fraud.  Our attorneys represent classes of investors who purchase securities in the open market at prices that are artificially inflated by materially false and misleading public statements, and in securities offerings that are registered and sold by using a materially false and misleading registration statement and prospectus.

The Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 require that companies, whose stocks trade on national exchanges, as well as their officers and directors, provide the investing public with complete and accurate information regarding their companies, in a timely manner. When these entities and individuals fail to do so, their individual and institutional shareholders suffer financial harm.  Our securities fraud class action litigation group has succeeded in recovering over $3.5 billion on behalf of investors.  We are among a select group of law firms recognized for our track record in fighting securities fraud through class action litigation. Indeed, Bernstein Liebhard has represented institutional and individual investors in some of the largest and most significant securities fraud actions in history, including:

  • In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation ($586 million recovery). Partner Stanley D. Bernstein served as Chairman of the Executive Committee, leading all plaintiffs’ counsel in litigating this enormously complex case consisting of more than 300 coordinated actions involving corporate issuers that were brought public between 1998 and 2000. These enormously complex lawsuits alleged that the initial public offerings were manipulated by the issuers, their officers and directors, and investment banks to artificially inflate the market price of those securities and to reap excessive compensation, and that their conduct was concealed from the public, in violation of the federal securities laws.
  • In re Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. Securities Litigation ($400 million recovery). The firm represented a large institutional investor in this securities class action against the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. (“MMC”) which, after five years of challenging litigation, recently received court approval of a $400 million settlement. The case arises from Marsh Inc.’s (a subsidiary of MMC) now notorious practice of steering its clients to insurance companies that agreed to pay it billions of dollars in contingent commissions.
  • In re Royal Dutch/Shell Transport Securities Litigation ($166 million recovery). The firm represented a large institutional investor in this securities fraud case that arose from Royal Dutch/Shell’s announcements in 2004 that it had overstated its proved oil and gas reserves – a key performance indicator in the hydrocarbon industry – by 5.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or one-third of its proved reserves. The firm recovered $166 million for U.S. shareholders, in addition to a $350 million European settlement for which the court recognized the firm as a “substantial factor” in bringing about.
  • In re Fannie Mae Securities Litigation ($153 million recovery). The firm served as co-lead counsel, representing lead plaintiffs the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.  The complaint alleged that Fannie Mae and its three most senior corporate officers intentionally and pervasively misapplied U.S. accounting rules and engaged in other misconduct over a four-year period.  The $153 million settlement is the largest in D.C. District Court since the passing of the PSLRA.
  • In re Tremont Securities Law, State Law and Insurance Litigation ($100 million recovery). The firm serves as lead counsel in the securities action and co-lead counsel in the consolidated securities law and state law action, representing Madoff investors who invested in Madoff through the Rye Select and Tremont investment funds – “feeder funds” into the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.  Plaintiffs alleged that defendants issued false and misleading statements in the funds’ offering documents and other materials concerning Tremont’s due diligence of Madoff.
  • Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico v. Clearlend Securities f/k/a Wachovia Securities Lending, LLC, Wachovia Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ($50 million recovery). The firm represented the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico (“PERA”) in an individual securities action against its former securities lending manager Wachovia Global Securities Lending. PERA alleged that Wachovia breached its contractual and fiduciary duties under New Mexico law when it invested cash collateral related to PERA’s securities lending program in notes issued by two foreign structured investment vehicles, or “SIVs” that became insolvent.  Eight weeks before trial, Bernstein Liebhard secured a $50 million settlement, representing approximately 65% of PERA’s actual damages.

For more information about our recoveries for investors, click here.  For more information about our Securities Class Action Litigation Practice Group, please contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson.