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Our 360° approach to worldwide class action defense

Class actions and collective redress litigation are increasing. With more than 150 litigators experienced in global markets, we regularly defend leading organizations against such actions and related regulatory proceedings. Our team will help you to navigate the different procedures and issues in each local jurisdiction, across borders, and globally.

We combine multijurisdictional reach with legal experience and local knowledge. Our clients depend on us to help them anticipate emerging threats, develop effective strategies that respond to the nuances of a particular suit, and to always keep their overall business objectives in mind. Our team is recognized worldwide by respected legal directories.

With class actions and collective redress litigation filed with increasing frequency, such proceedings allow plaintiffs’ lawyers to file complaints that claim to remedy a supposed wrong on behalf of groups of aggrieved investors, shareholders, or consumers. Cases may involve thousands or even millions of putative plaintiffs in numerous jurisdictions across the world, seeking millions or billions in damages or injunctive relief that can strike at the heart of your operations.

Our experience is diverse, covering matters and sectors including antitrust, automotive, banking and financial services, consumer, employment, insurance, privacy, securities, technology, and telecommunications.

“Our team is recognized worldwide by respected legal directories.”

The strategies we advise can include defeating claims at an early stage through motions to dismiss, crafting a narrow focus for discovery where possible to control costs and contain international discovery issues, and acting to prevent class certification by pre-emptive motions to deny class certification or otherwise. We can also look to employ motions to block or limit testimony, craft economical settlements when necessary, or defeat the case at trial.

We can also advise you on identifying and mitigating potential class action risks. This may include drafting arbitration or class action waiver provisions where they are enforceable, and advising on emerging business issues before litigation occurs.

Leveraging a global platform, our integrated team works across multiple jurisdictions where class actions and collective redress litigation exist or are expanding, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many countries in Europe and Asia.

Awards and recognition

Experience

  • BDO USA LLP in a proposed class action commenced in Ontario alleging violations of securities laws with respect to purchases and sales of shares of a publicly traded international company in the secondary market. The plaintiffs agreed to dismiss this class action against BDO
  • Sino-Forest Corporation in a secondary market class action brought by shareholders in relation to allegations against senior officers of fraud in the company’s business activities in China
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb in a proposed class action that the Province of British Columbia filed in August 2018 in the provincial Supreme Court against 40 defendants− international pharmaceutical companies, distributors and retailers who are alleged to have manufactured, distributed, marketed, promoted or sold opioids in British Columbia. The province is seeking to recover all healthcare, pharmaceutical and treatment costs in Canada related to opioids during the period from 1996 to the present and is seeking disgorgement of all of the defendants’ gains resulting from the alleged wrongful conduct
  • Pfizer in a proposed proton-pump inhibiter class action filed in Ontario; we are acting for Pfizer on the PPI matters in the US
  • Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb in a proposed class action commenced in Manitoba which asserts a variety of common law claims and statutory breaches (including breach of the Competition Act) with respect to Eliquis, an anti-coagulant drug approved for use in Canada. We are acting in parallel litigation brought in the US
  • Air Canada, Lufthansa and Delta Airlines, Inc. in three separate class actions commenced in British Columbia with respect to international fuel surcharges levied on international air travel tickets over a 10-year period. The certification application before the Supreme Court of British Columbia was dismissed and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision
  • Porsche AG in class actions commenced in Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia involving consumer claims relating to diesel engine emissions. These actions were settled in 2018
  • Nongshim Co. Ltd. in class actions commenced in both Ontario and British Columbia alleging criminal conspiracy/price fixing with respect to Korean noodles
  • Air Canada in a proposed class action commenced in Saskatchewan in which alleging a conspiracy with respect to first bag fees for domestic flights
  • Intellipharmaceutics International Inc. in a proposed secondary market class action in Ontario brought by shareholders regarding alleged misrepresentations in public statements. This action is ongoing
  • An international computer and electronic device manufacturer in a proposed class action brought in British Columbia related to breach of privacy allegations involving Facebook
  • Timminco Secondary in a market class action brought by shareholders in relation to alleged misrepresentations in Timminco's financial statements. The case was effectively dismissed on limitation periods, with the Court of Appeal decision becoming the leading case on the issue
  • Groups of institutional investors in relation to claims and other contentious issues arising from the collapse of Abraaj Private Equity
  • Unilever in successfully resisting the imposition of liability for mass claims arising out of an attached by armed invaders on the plantation operated by an indirect subsidiary in Kenya
  • Miller Argent (an open cast mining company) in successfully resisting an application for a group litigation order made on behalf of 500 residents of Merthyr Tydfil who sought to bring claims of private nuisance in relation to a land reclamation site
  • A global bank in resisting an attempt to join it into a group litigation order involving claims for breach of contract and misrepresentation arising from allegedly faulty silicone breast implant surgeries. Our work includes advising the bank on, and managing, a bespoke settlement process
  • A global bank, defending discrimination claims brought under the Equality Act 2010 (UK) by Iranian and Pakistani nationals in relation to the termination of banking facilities
  • A global bank, defending mass claims alleging the unenforceability of credit agreements
  • A UK card acceptance service provider on a data compromise involving an American retail chain, which affected over 50 million cards. Our work focused on potential tortious and contractual liability, including monitoring US class actions, reputational issues and advising on fraud liability
  • Financial institutions in relation to mass mis-selling claims involving allegations of unfair relationship and/or fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Multiple financial institutions and global companies, defending mass claims brought under the EU General Data Protection Regulation for data breaches
  • Defeated class certification for Porsche Cars North America, Inc. in a case arising from alleged defects in certain Porsche 911 vehicles under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition laws. The court denied class certification on predominance grounds because: (1) the plaintiff failed to prove the alleged defect on a class-wide basis; (2) even if the defect was pervasive, due to warranty replacements and multiple sales of the same vehicles, some putative class members necessarily bought cars with "non-defective" replacement cables, thus individual analysis was necessarily required; (3) reliance could not be presumed on a class-wide basis; and (4) exposure to and reliance upon PCNA's supposed omission required individual inquiry
  • Won dismissal for J. Crew Group, Inc. of a putative class action under federal privacy litigation, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). The plaintiff alleged J. Crew violated FACTA by printing the first six digits and last four digits of his credit card number and sought statutory damages of USD100 to USD1,000 per violation. The plaintiff did not allege that he suffered any actual damages. The court granted J. Crew's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Spokeo v. Robins, holding the plaintiff had not suffered a "concrete" injury. This was the first district court decision within the Third Circuit to address standing under FACTA post-Spokeo and the first to make it to the Third Circuit for review, where it is pending
  • Won summary judgment for a technology company in a putative class action alleging violations of federal privacy litigation, the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). The DPPA provides for statutory damages of USD2,500 per violation, so if the plaintiffs had been able to show that the DPPA applied, and that there was a violation, damages could have reached into the billions. Initially, we bifurcated discovery so that the court resolved the named plaintiffs' claims before any class discovery. After limited discovery, the court agreed the named plaintiffs' driver's licenses were not protected by the DPPA and dismissed the case in its entirety
  • Won dismissal of two putative class actions against Quik Park and Icon Parking that alleged certain parking fees were actionable under New York's deceptive practices act and a theory of unjust enrichment. After we filed our motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their claims with prejudice for the payment of a nominal amount
  • Won dismissal for The WhiteWave Foods Company, maker of Silk dairy-substitute beverages, in a putative class action alleging use of the term "almond milk" was deceptive; and that products using that term should have nutritional qualities equivalent to dairy milk or else the product must be called "imitation milk." The court dismissed the action on federal preemption grounds
  • Won dismissal for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company of a putative class action before even responding to the complaint by demonstrating, through declarations and negotiations with plaintiff's counsel, that there was no certifiable class. The complaint alleged a national class of purchasers of whole life insurance policies with waiver of premium riders that were not refunded premium payments under the waiver when they became disabled. The plaintiff initially sought refunds of thousands of dollars in premium payments for each putative class member, but eventually conceded that there was no circumstance in which he could certify a class
  • Won a victory for Pool Corporation, the largest US distributor of swimming pool construction and maintenance products, in an antitrust class action. In January 2016, we won summary judgment on a claim of horizontal conspiracy under the Sherman Act; in April 2016, we won summary judgment on three claims of vertical conspiracy; in October 2016, the direct purchaser plaintiffs dismissed their appeal voluntarily without any money changing hands after the court granted our motion for summary judgment on the remaining federal and state law claims
  • Won dismissal of a putative shareholder class action brought against Ray Berry and Brett Berry, the founder and chairman of the board and the former CEO of The Fresh Market. After a tender offer of USD1.4 billion for the company, a stockholder challenged the transaction, claiming the directors had breached their fiduciary duties and that Brett Berry had aided and abetted the breach. We moved to dismiss on the ground that the decision by a majority of the stockholders to tender their shares was not coerced and had been fully informed. The matter is now on appeal
  • Defeated certification for Hilton of a putative class action seeking damages ranging from USD18 billion to USD54 billion on allegations it had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by using an automated telephone dialing system to call customers' cell phones. The lawsuit sought statutory damages ranging from USD18 to USD54 billion. We defeated class certification, the plaintiffs appealed, and the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument and dismissed Plaintiffs' appeal in July 2017
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for Groupon, Inc. in 15 putative nationwide class action lawsuits and two state actions coordinated into an MDL. The plaintiffs alleged inclusion of an expiration date on Groupon's "daily deal" vouchers violated national and state laws prohibiting the expiration of gift cards. At the time, the applicability of gift card laws to Groupon's innovative Internet-based business model was not clear, and the challenged "daily deals" made up the majority of Groupon's rapidly growing business. Groupon settled the matter for USD8.5 million. The Ninth Circuit overturned an initial settlement, and the district court approved an amended settlement in 2016. Implementation of the settlement took place during 2016 and 2017
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a boutique fitness company in a putative class action alleging the company's sale of classes violated federal and California gift certificate laws, the CLRA and UCL. In response to our first motion to dismiss, the plaintiff dropped claims under the laws of Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois and Maryland. In response to our second motion to dismiss, the court dismissed the CLRA claim. After discovery, the parties briefed class certification, which was pending when the parties went to mediation. In October 2017, the court granted final approval of a settlement in which the company agreed to provide replacement classes and a cash option capped at USD50 each and USD500,000 overall
  • Obtained a settlement and dismissals for The WhiteWave Foods Company in MDL class actions alleging Horizon Organic Milk fortified with DHA Omega-3 fatty acids did not "Support Brain Health," as advertised, and seeking damages in the hundreds of millions. We excluded plaintiffs' sole expert on the merits, then negotiated a novel settlement that included a nominal monetary payment but preserved the client's ability to continue making its "brain health" label claims and included protocols for a third-party monitoring process. In August 2017, a new putative class action was filed challenging the same label claims for Horizon milk; we won dismissal of that action
  • Settled thousands of putative class actions against Omni Hotels under California's Invasion of Privacy Act ("CIPA"). As the CIPA provides USD5,000 in statutory damages per alleged violation, the exposure was approximately USD65 million. The court approved a settlement which entailed no payment of attorneys' fees and class relief of less than USD10,000 in gift cards
  • Currently acting for a global medical device company in a Federal Court class action involving the insertion of pelvic mesh devices: Weedon v Covidien Pty Ltd & Ors
  • Currently acting for a global food brand in a Federal Court class action relating to alleged erroneous wage payments made to in-store workers and delivery drivers: Gall v Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited
  • Acted for a global pharmaceutical company in a Federal Court class action concerning a failure to warn group members who alleged side-effects from the consumption of two drugs used to treat symptoms for Parkinson's Disease and restless leg syndrome. Claim settled with Court approval: Winterford v Pfizer
  • Recently advised an interested party on the Ruby Princess COVID-19 class action: Karpik v Carnival PLC & Anor
  • Acting for electricity network operator in a bushfire class action started by the collapse of a privately owned power pole connected to the network. Appealed to the High Court of Australia (decision pending): Herridge Parties v Electricity Networks Corporation t/as Western Power
  • Recently acted for a Victorian Council in a Supreme Court of Victoria class action relating to the Mickleham bushfires in February 2014. Claim settled with Court approval: Williams v Hume City Council & Ors
  • Acting for the respondent in Federal Court representative proceedings arising from allegations that it violated consumer laws regarding the employment of numerous workers. Claim settled with Court approval: Jack v CoreStaff NT Pty Ltd
  • Successfully acted both at trial and on appeal for the plaintiff in a Supreme Court of Victoria group proceeding involving in excess of 200 claims for equitable contribution as a result of a product liability partnership dispute between two asbestos manufacturers in the 1960s-1970s dealing with exposure at SECV sites: Amaca Pty Ltd v CSR Ltd & Anor
  • Recently acted for the AFL in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings relating to the alleged administration of prohibited substances to Essendon Football Club players, along with a mass tort bundle of claims brought by players
  • A FTSE 100 Company on High Court class action with respect to supply chain issues, including human rights and modern slavery claims, and associated investigation and remediation in Asia
  • Global technology companies to manage class action claims relating to product liability, employment, privacy, consumer protection and online harm. We are currently handling multiple data breach class actions for some of the largest businesses in the world
  • Uber in relation to worker status class actions in the UK
  • A global pharmaceutical company in relation to multiple ‘pay to delay’ competition class actions
  • The defendant Christo Weise entities in the landmark USD1.5 billion Steinhoff class action, spanning the Netherlands, South Africa and England
  • Volvo in relation to alleged emissions litigation issues in Europe and the UK

 

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