Milberg LLP, founded in 1965, was one of the first law firms to prosecute class actions in federal courts on behalf of investors and consumers. The Firm pioneered this type of litigation and is widely recognized as a leader in defending the rights of victims of corporate and other large-scale wrongdoing. The Firm’s practice focuses on the prosecution of class and complex actions in many fields, including securities, corporate fiduciary, ERISA, consumer, insurance, antitrust, bankruptcy, mass tort, and human rights litigation. The Firm has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Detroit.
In its early years, the Firm built a new area of legal practice in representing shareholder interests under the then recently amended Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allowed securities fraud cases, among others, to proceed as class actions. In the following decades, the Firm obtained decisions establishing important legal precedents in many of its areas of practice and prosecuted cases that set benchmarks in terms of case theories, organization, discovery, trial results, methods of settlement, and amounts recovered and distributed to clients and class members.
Important milestones in the Firm’s early years include the Firm’s involvement in the U.S. Financial litigation in the early 1970s, one of the earliest large class actions, which resulted in a $50 million recovery for purchasers of the securities of a failed real estate development company; the Ninth Circuit decision in Blackie v. Barrack in 1975, which established the fraud-on-the-market doctrine for securities fraud actions; the Firm’s co-lead counsel position in the In re Washington Public Power Supply System Securities Litigation, a seminal securities fraud action in the 1980s in terms of complexity and amounts recovered; the representation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in a year-long trial to recover banking losses from a major accounting firm, leading to a precedent-setting global settlement; attacking the Drexel-Milken “daisy chain” of illicit junk-bond financing arrangements with numerous cases that resulted in substantial recoveries for investors; representing life insurance policyholders defrauded by “vanishing premium” and other improper sales tactics and obtaining large recoveries from industry participants; and ground-breaking roles in the multi-front attack on deception and other improper activities in the tobacco industry.
Milberg remains at the forefront in its areas of practice. Significant litigation results include: In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation (post-verdict proceedings pending with claims valued at over $1 billion); Tyco International Ltd. Securities Litigation ($3.2 billion settlement); Nortel Networks Litigation (settlement for cash and stock valued at $1.142 billion); Lucent Technologies Securities Litigation ($600 million recovery); Raytheon Co. Securities Litigation ($460 million recovery); Managed Care Litigation (recoveries over $1 billion and major changes in HMO practices); the WPPSS Securities Litigation (settlements totaling $775 million), and the NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation ($1 billion in recoveries). Milberg has been responsible for recoveries valued at approximately $55 billion during the life of the Firm.
The Firm’s lawyers come from many different professional backgrounds. They include prosecutors, private defense attorneys, and government lawyers. The Firm’s ability to pursue claims against defendants is augmented by its team of investigators, headed by a 27-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as in-house staff with expertise in forensic accounting and financial analysis. In addition, Milberg offers in-house e-discovery specialists and data hosting capabilities. The Firm is regularly recognized as one of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ law firms by the National Law Journal, Legal 500, Chambers USA, and Super Lawyers, among others.
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