Shareholder & Securities

Susman Godfrey ranks among the country’s preeminent firms for prosecuting and trying complex securities cases.

Susman Godfrey has handled numerous securities cases that resulted in substantial judgments for the plaintiff, including:

  • Susman Godfrey served as co-lead counsel for a class of derivative securities investors who alleged that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. provided non-public information to Pershing Square Capital Management about its impending hostile takeover of Allergan, Inc. so that Pershing Square could secretly buy Allergan stock and commit that stake in support of Valeant’s bid. Plaintiffs claimed that Pershing Square then secretly acquired a massive 10 percent stake in Allergan and gleaned millions of dollars in profits by selling on the news of the takeover bid.  In 2018, a California federal judge granted final approval of two settlements totaling $290 million to resolve these insider-trading claims shortly before trial was set to commence in the first of the two actions.  The class represented by Susman Godfrey recovered $40 million (before fees and expenses), which is believed to be the largest recovery ever obtained on behalf of derivative securities investors in an insider trading case.
  • In 2015, Susman Godfrey and co-counsel obtained final approval for a $37.5 million class action settlement in Jeffrey Schulein et al. v. Petroleum Development Corp. et al. ($23 million after fees and expenses). The case was brought on behalf of a class of more than 7000 limited partners who invested in 12 oil and gas limited partnerships sponsored by PDC Energy, Inc.  The plaintiffs alleged they were not paid fair value for their limited partnership’s interests when they were cashed out of their investments as a result of a series of mergers. After nearly three years of hard fought litigation, the parties reached the settlement approved in 2015.
  • After a landmark trial at the end of 2012, in April 2013 Susman Godfrey secured a $106.5 million judgment for Assured Guaranty Ltd. against Flagstar Bank, which was then settled prior to appeal for $105 million. As the first case brought by a bond insurer against an issuer of residential mortgage backed securities to go to trial, Assured’s suit against Flagstar was watched closely for its potential to set a precedent affecting more than 30 lawsuits brought by other monoline insurers against MBS issuers involving tens of billions of dollars in damages. In February 2013, when U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff issued a 103-page opinion ordering Flagstar to pay Assured virtually all the damages Assured had sought in the bench trial, the victory was hailed as a “game changer” and a “turning point in the MBS wars.”