Susman Godfrey has been named a ‘Class Action Group Of The Year’ by Law360 due to its banner 2016 which was marked by over one billion dollars in settlements for a variety of plaintiffs across the U.S. The firm was one of just five law practices selected nationwide to this list, and one of just three law practices doing plaintiff-side class action work among over 600 submissions across all practice areas.
Susman Godfrey’s success in a series of complex — and wildly different — class actions secured its place on this prestigious list. To this point, Los Angeles Partner Marc Seltzer told Law360, “We do all different kinds of commercial civil litigation. I think that gives us a generalist experience and approach to practicing law. We really have a unique perspective on how these cases can be litigated efficiently.” That perspective led to over $1 billion in awards and settlements to plaintiffs who included auto part customers, rock stars, animators and packaged consumer goods companies.
This precedent-setting amount comes from the success the firm achieved for plaintiffs who include automobile owners in In re Autoparts, where so far approximately $673 million in partial settlements have been achieved to the consumer class; consumer packaged goods companies in Dial Corporation v. News Corporation who were awarded a $244 million to be paid out by News Corporation; rock stars The Turtles and other artists who own pre-1972 recordings who Sirius XM agreed to pay up to $99 million in both retroactive and future royalties in Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc.; and nearly $$170 million in In re Animation Workers for a class of animators and visual effects employees who sued several of Hollywood’s biggest movie studios over claims the studios had a “gentleman’s agreement” not to poach each other’s employees or get into bidding wars to hire them. A $100 million settlement with The Walt Disney Co., Pixar and Lucasfilm Ltd. was reached in late 2016 and publicly announced on January 31, 2017.
Los Angeles Partner Steven Sklaver told Law360 that the firm’s history in class actions — and its ability to adapt quickly to serving clients in varying industries — comes down to a single specific skill, “[The firm has] an ability to take a complex, thorny problem, analyze it and present it in a clean, simple manner.” While the firm uses it in all the work that it does, “that skill set applies in class actions. The stakes get bigger.”