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 Inc. that tracks securities class action litigation and settlements and related information.
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine ranked second with $3.671 billion. Following it were Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, whose settlement total was $1.797 billion; Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, $637 million; and Grant & Eisenhofer, $322 million.
SCAS gives full credit for the settlement to both lead and co-lead plaintiff counsels in the rankings.
By contrast, in 2004, $5.98 billion was reached in securities class action settlements, according to SCAS.
The average settlement amount is an important indicator of which law firms are consistently bringing and settling high-impact cases, said Bruce T. Carton, SCAS vice president. But a top ranking isn't necessarily a criterion for hiring a firm, he added.
According to the report, Barrack, Rodos & Bacine achieved the highest average settlement amount among law firms that reached at least three settlements, averaging $734 million in its five settlements. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann averaged $416 million in its nine settlements.