Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a provider of corporate governance and proxy voting services, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Securities Class Action Services (SCAS), has released its annual list of the top 50 plaintiffs law firms ranked by the total dollar amount of final securities class action settlements occurring in 2005 in which the law firms served as lead or co-lead counsel.
SCAS maintains the industry’s most comprehensive database on securities class action litigation and provides professional monitoring and claims filing services to investment managers whose clients have a stake in class action suits.
The top five law firms on this year’s “SCAS 50” list were Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann; Barrack, Rodos & Bacine; Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins; Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman; and Grant & Eisenhofer.
Securities class action settlement amounts again reached record highs in 2005, at more than $7.6 billion,” said Bruce Carton, vice president of ISS’ Securities Class Action Services. “The firms on our ‘SCAS 50’ list were the leaders in obtaining these recoveries. For the second year in a row, the law firms Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Barrack, Rodos & Bacine led the way, with over $3.7 billion and $3.6 billion in 2005, respectively. Most notably, the firms were co-lead counsel in the massive WorldCom securities class action.”
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine also achieved the highest average settlement amount among law firms with at least three settlements, averaging $734 million in its five 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,” said Carton. Carton further noted that the law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins was the most active firm in 2005, leading all firms with respect to the total number of final settlements, with 47 settlements.