Founded in 1982, Berman Tabacco is a national law firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. The firm has devoted its practice to complex litigation, primarily under the securities and antitrust laws, as well as related services requested by and provided to its institutional clients. The firm also has an active whistleblower practice, among others.
Berman Tabacco has more than 35 years of securities-litigation experience and has represented public pension funds and other institutional investors in that area since 1998. The Firm has prosecuted some of the largest securities cases and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of investors. Indeed, Berman Tabacco appears as one of the firms with the most settlements on the list of the top 100 largest securities class actions in ISS Securities Class Action Services' published report, Top 100 U.S. Class Action Settlements of All Time (as of 12/31/2018). The firm has successfully prosecuted and recovered billions of dollars for defrauded investors in some of the most significant shareholder lawsuits of the last 20 years, having been appointed as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 100 actions. Recent successes include:
- In re BP plc Sec. Litigation, No. 4:10-md-02185 (S.D. Tex.) The firm recovered $175 million on behalf of the class—one of just four mega securities class action settlements in 2017 (settlements of $100 million or more), according to Cornerstone Research in this hard-fought litigation on behalf of shareholders of BP American Depository Shares arising out of BP's Deepwater Horizon explosion, one of the worst oil spills in history. Class members who submitted claims will receive over 100% of their recoverable losses.
- California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody's Corp., No. CGC-09-490241 (Cal. Super. Ct. San Francisco Cty.) As sole counsel, the firm recovered $255 million from Moody's and Standard and Poor's entities in this landmark individual action on behalf of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, which alleged negligent misrepresentations in connection with rating three structured investment vehicles.
- In re Fannie Mae 2008 Sec. Litigation, No. 08-cv-07831 (PAC) (S.D.N.Y.) Representing co-lead plaintiff Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the firm resolved claims for $170 million alleging that Fannie Mae failed to disclose (i) growing exposure to high-risk mortgages as well as (ii) problems with the company's risk controls, both of which led to federal conservatorship in 2008.
- In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Sec. Litigation, No. 1:09-cv-04583 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y.) As lead counsel, the firm recovered $346 million on behalf of the class from investment-bank underwriters and officers—one of the largest mortgage-backed-securities class action settlements to date and the largest paid by underwriter defendants.
Berman Tabacco's dismissal rate for cases brought under the federal securities laws is less than half the overall dismissal rate for such cases (based on the reported dismissal rate by one authoritative study). The firm serves as monitoring, evaluation, and/or litigation counsel to over 100 institutional investors, which includes 17 statewide public employee retirement systems with more than $50 billion in assets.
Berman Tabacco's antitrust practice has a national reputation for prosecuting class actions that involve anticompetitive conduct and conspiracies to fix or maintain prices. Over the years, the firm has played a major role in the prosecution of numerous landmark antitrust cases and has been at the forefront of some of the largest antitrust settlements—recovering over a billion dollars for class members and changing business practices of defendant companies. The following are examples of the antitrust group's recent efforts:
- In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, No. 13-md-02420-YGR (N.D. Cal.) Berman Tabacco was co-lead counsel for the class of direct purchasers of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in a class action alleging that defendant manufacturers participated in a conspiracy in violation of federal antitrust laws to fix the prices of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (which are commonly used in devices such as notebook computers, cell phones, and digital cameras). The firm successfully negotiated settlements totaling $139.3 million, which were approved in May 2018.
- Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., No. 1:12-cv-03419 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.) & Sonterra Capital Master Fund, Ltd. v. UBS AG, No. 1:15-cv-05844 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.) Berman Tabacco is counsel for plaintiffs representing two large public pension funds in actions alleging that bank traders and their affiliates colluded in violation of antitrust laws to manipulate the Euroyen TIBOR and Yen LIBOR rates—benchmark rates used to determine interest rates and to price Japanese Yen-based financial instruments. As of September 2019, partial settlements totaling $307 million have been achieved, of which $236 million have been finally approved.
- Sullivan v. Barclays PLC, et al., No. 13-cv-02811 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y.) Berman Tabacco represents a public pension fund in a class action that it joined as named plaintiff, which alleges that over a dozen major banks colluded in violation of the antitrust laws to manipulate the EURIBOR, a global reference rate used to benchmark and price over $200 trillion of financial products. As of September 2019, partial settlements total $309 million.
Berman Tabacco's whistleblower practice group assists individuals wishing to expose fraud perpetrated against the federal government, states, and corporations, working to obtain the compensation and protections afforded by the False Claims Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program, and the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. Berman Tabacco helps whistleblowers engage appropriate government entities to right wrongs—enforced either by those agencies or through separate litigation.
Last Updated Sep 2019