December 7, 2018
As part of its “Legal MVPs” series, Law360 profiled BLB&G partner John Browne as a 2018 “Class Action MVP” in recognition of his “hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals.” According to Law360, Mr. Browne earned this recognition for bringing in “hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements this past year for investors through securities class actions against companies like Clovis Oncology Inc., Amedisys Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.”
Among other matters, the profile highlights the creativity Mr. Browne and his team employed in prosecuting its litigations against Clovis Oncology Inc. and comScore, which settled for $142 million and $110 million, respectively. He and his team negotiated significant recoveries in both actions by including insurance proceeds and stock prices to compensate investors as part of the settlement deal. This strategy proved particularly successful in the case against comScore, which despite its poor financial condition at the time the settlement was made, later experienced a significant rebound in its stock value. According to Mr. Browne, “The stock actually went up in price,” Browne said. “We took a situation where it looked like there wasn’t much juice to squeeze from the orange, [and] it resulted in a truly enormous and good settlement for the class.” Mr. Browne is currently focused on the action involving Facebook, arising from its connection to the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Growing up on a farm in Maryland, Mr. Browne was drawn to the practice of securities litigation with the ambition to represent “regular people who are just trying to get by.” According to Mr. Browne, “Investors who lose relatively small amounts of money through fraud should be empowered to hold the companies accountable, and that’s done through class actions.”
Mr. Browne goes on to advise junior attorneys pursuing securities litigation to focus on “learning and growth, rather than compensation” early on, and to “offer themselves up for every deposition and every court appearance.” He explains, “They need to remember that the judges are going to require the plaintiffs to be better than the defendants. We have to know the law inside and out, and [it’s] the only way that you’re going to get to a position where you can do that.”
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