About Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Hate the billable hour? No problem. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP takes all cases on a contingency fee basis. Founded in 1983, the firm handles class and private actions relating to complex commercial litigation for corporate, institutional, and private clients. Bernstein Litowitz has recovered more than $30 billion on behalf of its clients since its founding in 1983 and has obtained the 6 of the largest 12 securities recoveries in history. Amongst the firm’s wins are $730 million in bond action litigation against Citigroup, Inc., $735 million in equity/debt securities litigation against Lehman Brothers, and $6.19 billion in securities litigation against Worldcom, Inc.
Although Bernstein Litowitz’s history is laden with achievements, the firm is highly selective in matters it takes on and often chooses cases where the clients have significant holding. Bernstein Litowitz’s selectivity has not stopped it from achieving precedent-setting corporate governance reforms on behalf of its institutional investor clients and obtaining four of the ten largest securities fraud recoveries in history, earning the firm the title as the “most feared plaintiff firm.”
One of the firm’s biggest recent recoveries was in 2016 when it obtained a $1.06 billion settlement with pharma giant Merck & Co, Inc. The extremely hard-fought litigation was resolved after 12 years and arose from Merck’s withdrew its “blockbuster” COX-2 painkiller Vioxx from the market in 2004, after data concerning the life-threatening risks it posed came to light, stunning Merck investors as the value of the company’s shares plummeted. It and ranks as the eleventh largest securities class action in history.
Because Bernstein Litowitz aims to be a firm “on the right side of things and effecting positive change,” the firm takes only a small fraction of the cases their competitors take on. As a result, their focus is narrowed and allows them to focus and dig into the details. Nevertheless, the firm represents more public pension funds and other institutional investors than any other plaintiffs’ firm in the country.
An Army of Trailblazers
Bernstein Litowitz won the biggest securities class action recoveries in history – by far the largest arising from the financial crisis - when it recovered $2.4 billion from Bank of America in a case stemming from the bank’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch—a number that shocked even the firm’s senior founding partner Max Berger. He commented that “no one would've predicted a result that was even close to that number,” particularly since it came after a $20 million settlement resolving a recent shareholder derivative action and a $150 million penalty imposed in 2010. The trial team found damning evidence of highly material false statements and omissions by former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. Bank of America agreed to the huge settlement after the Bernstein Litowitz team filed for summary judgement and also agreed to make sweeping corporate governance changes.
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 554-1400
Managing Partners: Max Berger, Salvatore Graziano, Blair Nicholas, Gerald Silk
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
50 - 100
Salary not disclosed.
No. of U.S. Offices: 4
No. of International Offices: 0
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY (HQ)
San Diego, CA
Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Corporate Governance and Shareholder Rights
Derivatives and Specialty Investment Products
Distressed Debt and Bankruptcy
Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights
SEC Whistleblower Representation/False Claims-Qui Tam