Shareholder & Securities

Financial Institutions

11/28/2016

The economic turmoil of recent years has led to an unprecedented number of calls to Susman Godfrey attorneys from clients throughout the country seeking advice on potential claims. Whether the cases involve sophisticated financial products, fraudulent behavior by money managers, or M&A and insurance contracts upended by market upheaval, Susman Godfrey has the expertise and track record of success that clients can rely upon in pursuing legal remedies against or defending financial institutions.

Because we have a reputation for trying cases, we are also effective at settling them. We are often hired to sue or represent investment banks, accounting and auditing firms, private equity and hedge funds, commercial banks, large companies, and other financial institutions. We handle cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. Whether representing plaintiffs or defendants, we prefer to work on a contingent fee or other alternative fee basis so that we get paid for results, not effort, and so our financial interests are completely aligned with our clients' interests.

Representative Cases:

  • In Re: Libor-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation - In November 2015, Susman Godfrey secured a $120 million settlement from Barclays Plc and a breakthrough agreement by the bank to cooperate with plaintiffs in their ongoing LIBOR litigation. This agreement represented the first-ever private settlement resolving claims by investors that transacted directly with banks comprising a panel to determine LIBOR, the London Interbank Offering Rate. The 16 plaintiffs, which include cities, pension funds and others known as the “OTC” investors, sued Barclays for conspiring with rivals to rig LIBOR. The OTC investors still have outstanding claims against banks including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America and UBS AG.  The litigation began following reports in 2011 that banks involved in setting LIBOR were manipulating it to their advantage. Since that time, a multitude of lawsuits have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation proceeding.
  • Michael B. Coady, et al. v. IndyMac Bancorp, Inc., et al., - In a 2013 class action lawsuit, Susman Godfrey represented investors who were allegedly defrauded into purchasing securities issued by the parent of mortgage lender IndyMac Bank. The complaint alleged that IndyMac had misrepresented its financial health and the quality of its lending practices: Plaintiffs contended that IndyMac’s misrepresentations caused the value of its stock to be overinflated, resulting in substantial financial losses to plaintiffs when the institution’s true financial health was later revealed and the value of the securities plummeted. In January 2013, after more than five years of intense, hard-fought litigation, the court granted final approval of a $6.5 million recovery for the class
  • ORIX v. UBS (Paine Webber) Susman Godfrey represented ORIX, the trustee of two Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities pools, in two lawsuits against UBS, which had acquired Paine Webber. The suits alleged that Paine Webber had improperly placed in the trusts properties that were likely to default. The cases both went to trial, and both were favorably settled after jury selection. 
  • Univision Communications Inc. v. The Reserve Fund, et al. — Susman Godfrey represented Univision Communications Inc. in a New York state court action and a Minnesota federal court action for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and negligence involving the Primary Fund, a money market mutual fund managed by The Reserve Fund that "broke the buck" when its net asset value (NAV) per share fell below $1.00. The Reserve Fund is still in liquidation and the SEC is pursuing federal securities law claims while private lawsuits are on hold.
  • Argent Classic Convertible Arbitrage Fund L.P. v. Countrywide Financial Corporation - Susman Godfrey is serving as co-counsel for a group of absent class members who were allegedly defrauded into purchasing securities issued by Countrywide, a leading originator of subprime mortgage loans. The complaint alleges that Countrywide misrepresented the quality of its lending practices and internal controls, and that the value of the securities it issued dropped substantially when the truth about Countrywide's actual practices and financial condition emerged. The federal court recently denied defendants' motions to dismiss.
  • Accredited Home Lenders v. Wachovia — Susman Godfrey represented Accredited Home Lenders in a TRO and breach of contract action filed in California state court over a wrongful default declared by Wachovia in a credit re-purchase agreement. The case was resolved favorably, following the entry of an agreed TRO. 
  • Toronto Dominion (Texas), Inc., et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP — Susman Godfrey represented a syndicate of lenders asserting accounting malpractice claims against PricewaterhouseCoopers, which audited a waste-services company that defaulted on a multi-billion dollar credit facility after declaring bankruptcy and withdrawing its financial statements. Among many improprieties, the company was alleged to have speculated in interest rate swaps that it improperly characterized as hedges. The case was settled shortly before trial for $87.5 million.