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Professional Services

Susman Godfrey has extensive experience in a broad range of cases involving professional services firms, including cases involving major accounting, actuarial, consulting, and law firms, among others. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in these cases, which often have tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

  • City of Houston v. Towers Watson. Obtained $40 million settlement ($26.6 million net of fees and expenses) for the City of Houston in an actuarial malpractice case against Towers Watson & Co. related to its actuarial advice on pension benefit changes for the Houston Firefighters Retirement Fund.
  • Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee County Pension Fund Litigation. Secured a $45 million settlement after two weeks of jury trial in Milwaukee federal district court. The recovery was paid by defendant Mercer, Inc., the largest employee-benefits company in the US. The suit involved allegations of actuarial malpractice in connection with the passage of a new employee benefits package by Milwaukee County.
  • Confidential Accounting Malpractice Case. Settled a multi-hundred-million-dollar accounting malpractice case against one of the world’s largest accounting firms. Susman Godfrey represented a foreign industrial conglomerate that had acquired a United States company based in large part on the accounting firm’s certification of the company’s misleading (as it turns out) financial statements. After defeating multiple motions for summary judgment and to strike our experts, we settled the case shortly before jury trial in New Jersey state court for a confidential amount.
  • Services v. Ernst & Young. Settled a $25 million accounting malpractice lawsuit brought by our client, the former owner of world-wide travel agency LifeCo. Services Corp., against Ernst & Young. LifeCo. alleged that Ernst & Young negligently advised it on a major corporate restructuring and tried to conceal the effects of its negligent work. The amount of the settlement is confidential.
  • Devaney II et al. v. Quanta Services. Secured complete summary judgment for Quanta Services and Quanta’s founder and former CEO and Chairman of the Board, John Colson, in a $30 million lawsuit filed by Patrick Devaney and his consulting company, Trident Ventures. Devaney, a former Navy Seal, provided consulting services through Trident for Quanta from 2004 until 2012. Over the course of litigation, plaintiffs filed seven petitions asserting 18 causes of action against Quanta and Colson, most of which centered on their claim that plaintiffs were entitled to a partnership or joint venture interest worth millions in Quanta’s international and government business. Quanta and Colson won summary judgment on all of plaintiffs’ claims, and plaintiffs were ordered to pay costs.
  • Uniloc v. Bitdefender. Defended Bitdefender, a Romanian cybersecurity and anti-virus company, against claims of patent infringement by Uniloc. The firm was retained to substitute as Bitdefender’s counsel after the litigation has been ongoing for several years, and on the eve of the Markman hearing and weeks before the fact discovery cut-off. Getting quickly up to speed, the team re-engineered Bitdefender’s defense strategy, culminating in Bitdefender obtaining a judgment in its favor, when the district court found the two asserted patents invalid as drawn to ineligible subject matter. The Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s decision, finding the patents asserted against Bitdefender ineligible.
  • Confidential Employment Breach of Separation Agreement Arbitration. Represented an attorney in Hartford, Connecticut against his former law firm for breach of the separation agreement he signed when he left the partnership. The arbitrators rejected all of the firm’s defenses and counterclaims and awarded our client millions of dollars in legal fees earned by the firm as well as a percentage of certain fees earned in the future.