for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Alphabet Inc.
Cohen Milstein’s Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice is dedicated to recovering assets for investors. Throughout our years of practice, we have developed innovative strategies to hold defendants accountable for misrepresenting important information to investors and to obtain favorable rulings for our clients, which include many of the largest public and Taft-Hartley pension funds. We have a track record of maximizing recoveries for clients and of being prepared to go the distance, including taking cases to trial. Beyond litigation, we provide extensive portfolio monitoring and case evaluation services to some 150 institutional investor clients and work closely with them to customize our services to their needs.
For more than 45 years, our practice has prevailed against corporate defendants, returning billions of dollars to defrauded shareholders. We have been involved as Lead or Co-lead Counsel in litigating eight mortgage-backed securities (MBS) class action cases, and have battled such financial giants as Bank of America, JPMorgan and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Our results speak for themselves: In a three-year period alone, we recovered nearly $2 billion for MBS investors, including landmark settlements of $500 million in the Countrywide and Bear Stearns MBS class actions; in both of those actions, our clients, the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System and Oregon Public Employees Retirement System represented the interests of the class. We have proven our ability to achieve results even when the target company has resorted to bankruptcy, as in Rubin v. MF Global, Ltd. Our attorneys are known for being powerful advocates with trial experience: Managing Partner and Co-Chair of the Securities Group, Steven Toll litigated In re Globalstar Securities Litigation, a securities fraud class action that went to trial. We also bring deep expertise in helping our clients determine their best approach in pursuing foreign securities cases. In the Converium litigation, we were able to use the Dutch courts to create a settlement fund under the Dutch Act on the Collective Settlement of Mass Claims.
These and other courtroom victories have earned us accolades, including Law 360’s Practice Group of the Year, for both Securities and Class Actions, and the Most Feared Plaintiffs Law Firm honors for 2015. Our exceptional work on behalf of investors also has won thanks from our pension fund clients, respect from opposing counsel and praise from judges. In naming Cohen Milstein to its 2016 Plaintiffs’ Hot List, the National Law Journal highlighted our success in the RALI MBS Securities Litigation, quoting Judge Katherine Failla of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who said: “Plaintiffs’ counsel took on an enormous amount of risk and stuck with it for nearly seven years.” In 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain granted final approval to the $500 million recovery in In re Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation, and stated: "I want to thank and congratulate counsel and their respective clients...[T]his hard fought settlement which is very beneficial to the members of the classes, [is] impressive."
Facing big banks and other deep-pocketed opponents has inspired our attorneys to develop groundbreaking legal theories, pioneer efficient and effective case-management techniques and display a steady resolve to take cases to trial if necessary.
- Our partners have regularly been named to such prestigious lists as Law360’s MVPs/Leading Attorneys, LawDragon 500 and Benchmark Plaintiff’s Litigation Stars.
- Our attorneys have prevailed in major securities cases in the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeals.
- Our partners are thought leaders in the area of securities litigation and corporate governance issues, and frequently are invited to address institutional investors and others on these topics.
- Members of the practice hold leadership positions in legal organizations and publications, and teach and lecture at law schools.
- Our practice attracts talented attorneys from the federal and state governments, and major law firms across the country.
We represent investors in many high-profile matters, including:
- Alkermes Public Limited Company Securities Litigation (E.D.N.Y.): We are Lead Counsel and represent Midwest Operating Engineers Pension Trust Fund as lead plaintiff in this putative federal securities class action against Alkermes Public Limited Company and certain directors and officers for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- In re Alphabet Shareholder Derivative Litigation (Sup. Crt. Cal., Santa Clara Cnty.): We were Co-Lead Counsel and represented Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund in this shareholder derivative action seeking to hold Alphabet’s leadership accountable for a “culture of concealment,” which involved covering up pervasive gender discrimination and sexual harassment and approving secretive, multi-million dollar payouts to high-level executives credibly accused of serious sexual misconduct against junior employees. In November 2020, the Court granted final approval of a historic settlement, which includes a $310 million funding commitment and sweeping reforms to eliminate practices that silence victims and implement new measures to improve workplace equity and board oversight.
- In re GreenSky Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): We are Co-Lead Counsel this consolidated putative securities class action against GreenSky, its directors and officers, as well as its underwriters, including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities, for allegedly making false and misleading statements in GreenSky's Initial Public Offering documents, in violation of the Securities Act of 1933.
- L Brands, Inc. Derivative Litigation: Cohen Milstein, in partnership with the State of Oregon, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, and other shareholders, helped resolve allegations that officers and directors of L Brands, Inc., previous owners of Victoria’s Secret, breached their fiduciary duties by maintaining ties with alleged sex offender and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and fostering a culture of discrimination and misogyny at the company. Following a Delaware General Corporate Law Section 220 books and records demand and an extensive, proprietary investigation, L Brands and the now-standalone company, Victoria’s Secret, agreed to stop enforcing non-disclosure agreements that prohibit the discussion of a sexual harassment claim’s underlying facts; stop using forced arbitration agreements; implement sweeping reforms to their codes of conduct, policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct and retaliation; and to invest $45 million each, for a total of $90 million, in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and DEI Advisory Councils.
- MoneyGram International, Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Ill.): We are Co-Lead Counsel in this putative securities class action, in which plaintiffs allege that, despite years of assurances that MoneyGram was building a successful anti-fraud compliance program, it failed to meet its obligations with a 2009 Federal Trade Commission order or a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice deferred prosecution agreement, in which it admitted to criminally aiding and abetting wire fraud and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
NovaStar Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein was Lead Counsel in this certified MBS class action filed on behalf of unionized workers and other individual and institutional investors in connection with losses incurred from securities issued by NovaStar Mortgage Inc., a major subprime lender that specialized in authorizing risky residential mortgage loans. In March 2019, the Court granted final approval of a $165 million all-cash settlement, bringing this lawsuit, the last of 11 MBS class actions Cohen Milstein successfully handled, to conclusion.
- In re Pinterest Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein, as Interim Lead Counsel, represents the Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island and other Pinterest shareholders in a consolidated shareholder derivative complaint against certain current officers and directors of Pinterest, including its Board Chairman and CEO, for breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act, relating to their alleged personal engagement in and facilitation of a systematic practice of illegal discrimination of employees on the basis of race and sex, from at least February 2018 through the present. As a result of this illegal misconduct, the Company’s financial position, goodwill, and reputation among users has been harmed.
- Stock Lending Litigation (S.D.N.Y): We represent Iowa PERS, Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, Orange County Employees Retirement System and Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association in this ground-breaking lawsuit, in which plaintiffs allege collusion among six of the world’s largest investment banks to prevent modernization of the securities lending market, a critical component of a strong economy that enables trading activities like short selling and hedging while also ensuring that financial systems operate efficiently.
- In re Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Third-Party Payor Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): We represent a putative class of third-party payors arising from an alleged Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act scheme perpetrated by Valeant, its top executives, and co-conspirators at affiliated specialty pharmacies to shield the company’s drugs from competition, fraudulently inflate the prices of its products, and artificially boost sales at the expense of third-party payors.
- Wynn Resorts, Ltd. Derivative Litigation (Eighth Jud. Dist. Crt., Clark Cnty., Nev.): Cohen Milstein represented New York State Common Retirement Fund and the New York City Pension Funds as Lead Counsel in a derivative shareholder lawsuit against certain officers and directors of Wynn Resorts, Ltd., arising out of their failure to hold Mr. Wynn, the former CEO and Chairman of the Board, accountable for his longstanding pattern of sexual abuse and harassment of company employees. In March 2020, the Court granted final approval of a $90 million settlement in the form of cash payments and landmark corporate governance reforms, placing it among the largest, most comprehensive derivative settlements in history.
Bayer Securities Litigation
On October 19, 2021, the Honorable Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied in...