SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California Lawyer has just named Randall J. Baron and A. Rick Atwood, Jr. as 2012 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (“CLAY”). The award recognizes lawyers who made the greatest impact in their practice area in the past year.
In honoring the two Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) partners, the magazine wrote: “BARON and ATWOOD secured an $89 million settlement for shareholders of Del Monte Corporation in one of the largest shareholder lawsuit settlements in recent years.” Del Monte shareholders challenged the buyout of the food company, “charging that Del Monte adviser Barclays Capital was also financing the buyers — a practice known as ‘staple financing,’ where the seller’s bank steers the acquisition by lending money to a favored buyer to obtain buy-side financing fees. Barclays admitted no wrongdoing but will contribute $24 million to the settlement while Del Monte pays shareholders $65 million,” the magazine reported.
Noting that plaintiffs’ counsel “have an established track record of generating meaningful results in this Court,” the Delaware Court of Chancery held that “it was only through the effective use of discovery that the plaintiffs were able to ‘disturb[ ] the patina of normalcy surrounding the transaction.’” The court elaborated: “Lead Counsel engaged in hard-nosed discovery to penetrate and expose problems with practices that Wall Street considered ‘typical.’” As one Wall Street banker noted in The Wall Street Journal, “‘Everybody does it, but Barclays is the one that got caught with their hand in the cookie jar …. Now everybody has to rethink how we conduct ourselves in financing situations.’”
This is the second time in the last three years that Robbins Geller has won the honor in the Securities practice area. Michael J. Dowd was named the 2010 CLAY award winner. Dowd led the Robbins Geller team that obtained a jury verdict in the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of shareholders of Household International in Lawrence E. Jaffe Pension Plan v. Household International, Inc., Lead Case No. 02-C-5893. The verdict is believed to be the largest jury verdict ever returned in a securities class action.
Specializing in mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), Baron has recovered billions of dollars for shareholders, including overseeing nine of the largest M&A settlements in history. He was named “Litigator of the Week” by American Lawyer for the Del Monte recovery. Baron also negotiated a record $200 million common fund recovery for former Kinder Morgan shareholders In re Kinder Morgan, Inc. S'holders Litig., Case No. 06-C-801 (Kan. Dist. Ct., Shawnee County), in 2010.
Atwood has successfully represented shareholders in securities class actions, M&A class actions, and shareholder derivative suits in federal and state courts in jurisdictions across the country. Through his litigation efforts at the trial and appellate levels, he has helped recover billions of dollars for shareholders, including landmark recoveries in the Del Monte and Kinder Morgan cases.
“I’m proud of my partners,” said the firm’s founding partner Darren J. Robbins. “The skill and tenacity of our lawyers is why more institutional investors turn to us than to any other plaintiffs’ firm in the world.”
Baron’s and Atwood’s CLAY awards come on the heels of Cornerstone Research’s 2011 Year in Review, which found Robbins Geller was ranked first in securities class action recoveries. For each year studied in the report – 2009 and 2010 – Cornerstone concluded, “Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd was named lead or co-lead counsel more often than any other firm in each year” and shows the firm is the clear leader in Cornerstone Research’s assessment of lead counsel appointments based on both the Maximum Dollar Loss and the Disclosure Dollar Loss of recoveries.
About Robbins Geller:
Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international investors and consumers in contingency-based complex litigation. With nearly 200 attorneys in nine offices, the firm represents more institutional investors and pension funds in securities and corporate litigation than any other law firm in the world. The firm obtained six of the largest recoveries in history and has been ranked first in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top SCAS 50 every year since the firm’s inception. According to results published by Cornerstone Research, the firm’s recoveries have averaged 35% above the median for all firms over the past seven years (2004-2010). Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.