Securities class-action settlements in 2007 totaled $9.96 billion, down from $19.27 billion in 2006, although the 243 settlements set a record last year, up from 180 in 2006, according to RiskMetrics Groups Securities Class Action Services report.
Tyco International Ltd. represented the biggest settlement in 2007 at $3.2 billion, accounting for almost one-third of the total, the report said. Cardinal Health Inc. ranked second with its $600 million settlement.
Milberg Weiss led the list of the top-ranking plaintiff law firms for settlements in 2007, generating a total of $3.804 billion in 17 settlements, the report said. Grant & Eisenhofer ranked second, with $3.451 billion in five settlements, followed by Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, $3.302 billion in 19 settlements; Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, $1.853 billion in 49 settlements; and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, $1.338 billion in 10 settlements.
RiskMetrics gives full credit for the settlement to both lead and co-lead plaintiff counsels in the rankings. Milberg Weiss, Grant & Eisenhofer and Schiffrin Barroway all received credit for the Tyco settlement, the report said.
The firm hopes the rankings will help institutional investors maximize shareholder value by highlighting those firms bringing in the most settlement dollars and playing the most active role in U.S. class-action cases, the report said.