Benchmark Names Eight BLB&G Partners as Litigation Stars

October 2018

Leading industry observer Benchmark Litigation has named BLB&G partners Max Berger, Salvatore Graziano, Jim Harrod, Mark Lebovitch, Hannah Ross, Jerry Silk, David Stickney and Jonathan Uslaner as Litigation Stars in New York and California in its updated “definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys.”

In its analysis, Benchmark cites peers who acknowledge BLB&G’s senior managing partner Mr. Berger as “larger than life – no one is like him and everyone loves him…He is very hands-on and is very active in getting up and settling cases, getting big money back for his clients.” 

Mr. Lebovitch, noted for being “the most frequent recipient of peer acknowledgement,” is also praised for his “high level of creativity, especially in the activist space, where he is very prominent.” Among other matters, the profile highlights his success in obtaining the historic $153 million settlement in In re Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Derivative Litigation – the second largest shareholder derivative settlements in Delaware Court of Chancery history; and his success in obtaining a 26% premium for investor over the merger price in Merion Capital LP v. Safeway Inc., netting $127 million for the settling funds. 

Highly revered by his peers, Mr. Graziano is referred to as “Bernstein Litowitz’ dangerous new breed,” and is described as “someone who has successfully merged old-school trial lawyer panache with new-school comprehensive understanding of financial instruments.”  Mr. Graziano is lauded for achieving a $1.062 billion settlement in the case against Merck arising from allegations that it misrepresented and omitted information to investors concerning life-threatening risks posed by its painkiller, Vioxx.  The settlement is considered the second largest recovery to be obtained in the Third Circuit, one of the top 10 securities recoveries of all time, and the largest recovery ever achieved against a pharmaceutical company.

Mr. Silk is credited as “a great organizer and a great thinker. [He is] never one of these ‘let’s just throw spaghetti against the wall and see if it sticks' types that inhabit too many plaintiff shops (and bring frivolous cases.) He is very business-minded and never wastes anyone's time."  One client testifies on behalf of the partners that, “each provide their own strengths, but Jerry is a prime litigator, with a mind that can retain information like no other; Max is the respected leader in the field, able to argue and negotiate difficult, complex, and large matters; and Sal is tenacious, artful in court, and has a respected presence.”

For the fifth year in a row, Ms. Ross has been named one of Benchmark’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation,” and Mr. Harrod, who makes his inaugural appearance in the guide, is recognized for his work in securities litigation as a local litigation star in New York.

In addition, Benchmark also recognizes Mr. Stickney and Mr. Uslaner, who work out of the firm’s San Diego office.  Mr. Stickney is praised for his role in obtaining over $500 million for investors in the Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Litigation, while Mr. Uslaner, recognized as a future star, is referred to by a peer as “the next in line” for his work in managing client relationships in California.

The rankings are published in the 2019 Benchmark Litigation Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, which is compiled by the publishers of leading financial news magazines Institutional Investor and Euromoney and identifies the leading U.S. trial attorneys and firms at the local and national levels. Focused exclusively on the U.S. litigation market, the publication's rankings and editorials are the result of extensive interviews with private practice lawyers and in-house counsel.

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