Sharon Robertson is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the Antitrust practice group. Ms. Robertson is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Ms. Robertson is a nationally recognized leader in complex, multi-district antitrust litigation, particularly in pharmaceutical antitrust class actions. Since 2020, Chambers USA has named Ms. Robertson a “Top Ranked” lawyer in “Antitrust: Plaintiff – New York and USA – Nationwide,” while Lawdragon has included her on its “500 Leading Lawyers in America” list annually since 2019. In 2019, The National Law Journal named her as one of nine “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar,” an award that recognizes female lawyers who “have consistently excelled in high-stakes matters on behalf of plaintiffs over the course of their careers.” In the same year, Law360 named Ms. Robertson a “Life Sciences-MVP” for her “hard-earned successes” and “record-breaking deals.” In 2018, the American Antitrust Institute honored her with its prestigious “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer” award for her role in securing one of the largest recoveries on behalf of end-payors in a federal generic suppression case in over a decade. Similarly, for five consecutive years, The Legal 500 has selected her as a “Next Generation Lawyer” (2017-2021), an honor bestowed upon only 10 lawyers under 40 years old across the country, who are positioned to become leaders in their respective fields. Likewise, The New York Law Journal recognized her as a Rising Star (2018) – one of only twenty individuals selected to receive this honor. In addition, Benchmark Litigation selected Ms. Robertson for inclusion on its “40 & Under Hot List” for four consecutive years (2018-2021) and Law360 named her as one of five “Rising Stars” (2018) in the field of competition law whose “professional accomplishments belie their age,” as did Super Lawyers (2014-2016). Ms. Robertson has also been recognized by Law360 as one of a few female litigators to secure leadership roles in high-profile MDLs, such as In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation (March 16, 2017).
Ms. Robertson is spearheading Cohen Milstein’s efforts in pay-for-delay pharmaceutical antitrust lawsuits, a cutting-edge and industry-defining area of law, which allege that the defendant brand manufacturer entered into non-competition agreements with generic manufacturers in order to delay entry of lower-priced generic products. Ms. Robertson also heads up the firm’s generic price-fixing cases, which allege that certain generic drug manufacturers conspired to inflate the prices of generic drug products.
These cases come on the heels of a government investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging similar conduct, which, while ongoing, has already resulted in indictments and guilty pleas.
In addition to leading complex MDLs, Ms. Robertson is an accomplished trial lawyer. She served as a trial team member in two of the largest antitrust cases tried to verdict, including In re Urethanes Antitrust Litigation, where the jury returned a $400 million verdict, which was trebled by the Court, as required by antitrust law, resulting in the largest price-fixing verdict in U.S. history, as well as In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, the first pharmaceutical antitrust case to go to trial following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013).
Ms. Robertson represents End-Payor Plaintiffs in the following pharmaceutical antitrust cases in which the firm serves as Co-Lead Counsel:
- In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J.): Plaintiffs allege that Pfizer, the manufacturer of the cholesterol drug Lipitor, the best-selling drug in pharmaceutical history, conspired with Ranbaxy, the generic manufacturer, to delay its introduction of a generic Lipitor product. On August 21, 2017, the Third Circuit handed a sweeping victory to Plaintiffs, reviving their antitrust claims. This case was ranked by Law360 as “The Biggest Competition Cases Of 2017 So Far” (July 7, 2017).
- In re Tracleer Antitrust Litigation (D. Md.): Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Actelion engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to withhold samples of its life-saving pulmonary arterial hypertension medication from would-be rivals, under the guise of the REMs program, which conduct ultimately delayed generic competition.
- In re Bystolic Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Plaintiffs allege that Forest Laboratories Inc., now a part of AbbVie, engaged in an illegal scheme with pharmaceutical generic manufacturers not to make generic versions of Bystolic®, a hypertension prescription medication containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient nebivolol hydrochloride.
- In re Seroquel Antitrust Litigation (D. Del.): Plaintiffs allege that Defendant AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP struck deals with generic drug manufacturers Handa Pharmaceuticals LLC, Par Pharmaceutical Inc. and Accord Pharmaceuticals Inc., inducing the generics to delay launching generic versions of Seroquel XR, AstraZeneca's prescription drug treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, for five years in exchange for AstraZeneca committing to delay the launch of its own authorized generic.
In addition, Ms. Robertson co-chairs the executive committee in In re Humira Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ill.) and serves as a member of the executive committee in similar cases in which Cohen Milstein plays a significant role, including: In re Niaspan Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.), In re Suboxone Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.) and In re ACTOS Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).
Ms. Robertson represents direct purchaser plaintiffs in a number of cases as well, including In re Zetia Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Va.), In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.), In re Sensipar (Cinacalcet Hydrochloride Tablets) Antitrust Litigation (D. Del.), and In re Intuniv Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.).
Ms. Robertson has successfully litigated the following notable matters:
- Urethanes (Polyether Polyols) Antitrust Litigation (D. Kan.): We served as Co-Lead Counsel in an antitrust class action alleging a nationwide conspiracy to fix the prices of polyether polyols. Ms. Robertson played a leading role in helping obtain settlements with several defendants for $139 million and was a member of the trial team that obtained a $400 million jury verdict (trebled to more than $1 billion), which was affirmed on appeal by the Tenth Circuit. The case against Dow ultimately settled for $835 million while Dow’s petition for certiorari was pending before the Supreme Court, bringing the total recovery to $974 million – nearly 250% of the damages found by the jury.
- In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.): We served as Co-Lead Counsel for the End-Payor Class in a suit alleging that Endo and Teikoku, manufacturers of the Lidoderm patch, paid Watson Pharmaceuticals to delay its generic launch. The case settled on the eve of trial and on September 20, 2018, Plaintiffs obtained final approval of a $104.75 million settlement – more than 40% of Plaintiffs’ best-case damages estimate. This case was ranked by Law360 as “The Biggest Competition Cases Of 2017 So Far” (July 7, 2017).
- In re Loestrin Antitrust Litigation (D.R.I.): We served as Co-Lead Counsel for the End-Payor Plaintiffs in a case alleging that Warner Chilcott PLC entered into agreements to delay the introduction of a generic version of the contraceptive drug Loestrin and thereafter engaged in a “product hop” to further impede generic entry. The case settled on the last business day before trial for $63.5 million – representing one of the largest settlements in a federal generic suppression case in over a decade. On September 1, 2020, the settlements received final approval.
- In re Ranbaxy Fraud Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.): We represent the Direct Purchaser Class in this antitrust, federal RICO, and state consumer protection MDL, alleging Ranbaxy manipulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s generic drug approval process to block competitors from coming to market and forcing purchasers to pay supracompetitive prices for its valganciclovir hydrochloride and valsartan products. On the eve of trial, Ranbaxy settled with the Direct Purchaser Class for $340 million.
- In re Aggrenox Antitrust Litigation (D. Conn.): We served as an executive committee member on behalf of the End-Payor Plaintiffs and alleged that Defendants Boehringer Ingelheim and Teva Pharmaceutical engaged in anticompetitive conduct that delayed the availability of a less-expensive generic versions of Aggrenox. The case settled for $54 million.
- In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.): We served as a member of the executive committee and Ms. Robertson played a significant role in coordinating discovery on behalf of the End-Payor Plaintiffs. The case, which settled mid-trial, resulted in a $43 million recovery for the Class.
- In re Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.): Plaintiffs alleged that the two leading producers of blood reagents, Ortho–Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. and Immucor, Inc., conspired to raise prices on traditional blood reagents. In September 2012, Immucor reached a settlement with Plaintiffs. On July 19, 2017, the Court denied in part Ortho’s Motion for Summary Judgement. Ms. Robertson was slated to serve as one of four lead trial counsel in the case, which was set for trial in June of 2018 but ultimately settled for a total recovery of $41.5 million.
- In re Wellbutrin SR Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.): We represented the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs in this case alleging that Defendant GSK filed and then continued “sham” patent infringement lawsuits against two manufacturers of generic drugs, Eon and Impax, to delay competition to GSK’s blockbuster antidepressant, Wellbutrin SR. The case settled before trial for $49 million.
- Albany and Detroit Nurses Litigation (N.D.N.Y.; E.D. Mich.): We represented registered nurses employed by hospitals in Albany and Detroit in class actions alleging a wage-fixing conspiracy. Ms. Robertson obtained settlements with five Albany Defendants totaling over $14 million. In the Detroit case, Ms. Robertson helped obtain $98 million in settlements with eight Defendants.
- Indonesian Villagers Litigation (D.D.C.): Ms. Robertson represented Indonesian villagers in a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil over torture and extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by the Defendant’s security forces (a unit of the Indonesian military).
Ms. Robertson is a member of the Professional Development and Mentoring Committee, which she co-chaired for almost a decade, and serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is also an active member of the Executive Committee for the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association.
While attending law school, Ms. Robertson was an intern in the Litigation Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Additionally, while in law school, Ms. Robertson was selected as an Alexander Fellow and spent a semester serving as a full-time Judicial Intern to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Robertson graduated from State University of New York at Binghamton, magna cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law. She earned her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as Notes Editor of the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Robertson worked on the campaign committee of Councilman John Liu, the first Asian American to be elected to New York City’s City Council.