Securities Class Action Litigation
Since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, state and local pension funds, asset managers, and other fiduciaries have been favored as lead plaintiffs in securities class actions, allowing them to assume a vital role in the litigation by controlling strategic decisions such as who to sue, what claims to bring, what relief to seek, and whether to settle the case and on what terms.
We monitor our clients’ portfolios and advise those funds on their strategies and options for maximizing recoveries in securities litigation, and to achieve significant shareholder benefits in connection with corporate transactions and governance claims. In addition to complimentary portfolio monitoring services, we provide each institutional client with tailored quarterly reports detailing the status of all class actions filed during that quarter in which the client has a financial interest.
Deciding to initiate a securities class action requires a high degree of internal consensus. We recognize that lead plaintiff status in a securities fraud class action also requires time and resources and may not be suitable or desirable for every client. We are mindful of our clients’ needs, and recommend litigation only when a client has suffered a material loss and their involvement will make a meaningful difference for their beneficiaries.
Anticipated burdens of supervising counsel and responding to discovery as lead plaintiff may not be reasonable in relation to a potential recovery. We also consider whether participating in class or opt-out litigation may implicate actual or perceived conflicts of interest and possibly open a client to potential criticism, either publicly or by the court.
Girard Gibbs believes in a measured, focused approach to litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Our strategic recommendations take into consideration all of the possible costs and benefits to our clients.
Girard Gibbs employs a multi-tiered analysis when advising a client on whether to seek lead plaintiff status in a securities class action. We first determine if a particular case is meritorious and viable, and we retain industry experts, as necessary, to undertake this analysis. We then perform preliminary loss calculations to determine the impact upon each of our portfolio monitoring clients.
Next we analyze whether defendants have the resources to pay a substantial settlement or judgment either alone or in combination with other sources, such as insurance carriers and other third-parties, and also whether participation as a lead plaintiff can have a positive impact on an issuer’s corporate governance.
The most direct route to achieving a favorable settlement is to prepare each case as if it were going to trial. At the outset, we focus on the key issues, witnesses, and documents to assess strengths and weaknesses early on. If the matter does not settle, this early planning leaves us well positioned to present the case to a judge or jury.
Our team has participated in a number of the largest, precedent-setting securities cases in the United States, recovering billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors.
Attorneys in the Securities Litigation Practice Group have also appeared in the following class and direct actions filed in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
- In re Lehman Brothers Equity/Debt Securities Litigation
Girard Gibbs served as lead counsel and on the plaintiffs’ executive committee in this class action brought against UBS Financial Services, Inc. and former Lehman Brothers’ officers and directors. Read More »
- In re American Express Financial Advisors Securities Litigation
Girard Gibbs served as co-lead counsel in this class action, brought on behalf of individuals who bought financial plans and invested in mutual funds from American Express Financial Advisors. Read More »
- Scheiner v. i2 Technologies, Inc., et al.
Girard Gibbs represented lead plaintiff, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), and served as co-lead counsel in this securities fraud class action on behalf of investors in i2 Technologies. Read More »
- In re Prison Realty Securities Litigation
Girard Gibbs served as co-lead counsel in this securities class action brought on behalf of investors against a real estate investment trust and its officers and directors. Read More »
- In re SLM Corp. Securities Litigation
Girard Gibbs served as lead counsel representing investors of SLM Corporation (“Sallie Mae”) in litigation alleging that Sallie Mae, the leading provider of student loans in the U.S., misled the public about its financial performance in order to inflate the company’s stock price. Read More »
- In re Digex, Inc. Shareholder Litigation
Girard Gibbs represented the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), one of two institutional lead plaintiffs in this lawsuit whereby minority shareholders of Digex, Inc. sued to enjoin MCI WorldCom’s planned acquisition of a controlling interest in Digex through a merger with Intermedia Communications, Inc., the majority shareholder. Read More »