Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann led the top 50 ranking of plaintiffs' law firms for class-action securities litigation settlements in 2005, having a hand in obtaining 49%, or $3.745 billion, of the record total $7.6 billion in settlements reached for the year, according to Securities Class Action Services, a unit of Institutional Shareholder Services.
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine ranked second with $3.671 billion. After that were Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins with a settlement total of $1.797 billion; Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, $637 million; and Grant & Eisenhofer, $322 million. In 2004, $5.98 billion was reached in securities class action settlements, according to SCAS.
SCAS gives full credit for the settlement to both lead and co-lead plaintiff counsels in the rankings.
Barrack, Rodos achieved the highest average settlement amount among law firms that reached at least three settlements, averaging $734 million in its five settlements. Bernstein Litowitz averaged $416 million in its nine settlements.
"We consider the average settlement amount to be important because it is an indicator of which law firms are consistently bringing and settling high-impact cases," Bruce Carton, SCAS vice president, said in a statement.
Lerach Coughlin was the most active of the plaintiff law firms in 2005, with 47 settlements, followed by Milberg Weiss with 34 settlements.