September 29, 2014
In its inaugural feature profiling firms “that are doing the most creative and substantial work on the plaintiffs side,” The National Law Journal (“NLJ”) has named Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP one of the top litigation firms in the nation. According to the NLJ, its list of “Elite Trial Lawyers” is composed of firms who “pulled in big victories in complex cases that have a wide impact on the law and legal business.”
The NLJ made its selections after a rigorous review of each firm’s performance. Among the qualification criteria required for inclusion in this list, firms had to devote at least 50 percent of their litigation resources to plaintiffs work and had a “significant win” in a bench or jury trial or in a major settlement where the stakes were high.”
NLJ praises BLB&G for “nail[ing] the biggest class action resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis,” highlighting the firm’s role in obtaining $2.43 billion from Bank of America for claims arising from its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. In the case against Citigroup, regarding losses on the bank’s portfolio of toxic mortgage assets, BLB&G is credited for obtaining $730 million for its bondholder clients, a group that was excluded from the class in an initial litigation filed against Citigroup by investment groups.
BLB&G partners Max Berger and Gerald Silk understand that clients are “not in the business of litigation, they’re in the business of managing money.” Under Mr. Silk’s supervision, BLB&G is meticulous about “carefully analyzing potential cases, using lawyers, private investigators and financial advisers to choose cases.” Praising the firm’s approach, BLB&G client Lorraine Briganti, general counsel of Bayerische Landesbank, remarks: “They quickly understood the economics of the litigation.”
According to NLJ, BLB&G partner Mark Lebovitch credits the firm’s focus on identifying and bringing only meritorious claims to litigation as the key to the firm’s success. “Frivolous litigation settles for a pittance,” explains Mr. Lebovitch. “You have to be able to go toe-to0toe, and you have to show you’re not going to be pushed around.”