Our 360° approach to global class action defense
We are one of the largest class action defense practices in the world. Our team of 200+ litigators globally defend market leading companies against multi-jurisdictional class action and collective redress claims involving millions and even billions of dollars in alleged damages and injunctive relief; we do so in a coordinated, streamlined manner that safeguards business integrity and maximizes efficiency.
We leverage our global platform to provide comprehensive solutions to domestic and multi-national class and collective redress actions while keeping an eye on emerging threats to protect your business from reputational harm. We are skilled in defending claims involving consumer protection, unfair competition, false advertising, privacy, antitrust, RICO, securities, and employment claims. Our clients include many of the world’s leading companies, including technology, consumer goods and retail, life sciences, insurance, banking and financial services, transportation, and energy companies.
We are deeply experienced in defending class actions and collective redress matters in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, and the EU. We’ll guide you through the challenges of local jurisdictions and regulations and the complexities of multi-jurisdictional problems.
“Our team is recognized worldwide by respected legal directories.”
We seek to defeat claims at an early stage to control costs and contain discovery. We have also been successful at preventing class certification through pre-emptive motions and thoughtful attacks on certification combined with challenges to the plaintiffs’ experts.
These logistically demanding cases benefit from outstanding project management and discovery professionals based in our innovation hubs in the USA, UK, Germany, and Australia.
Because class actions require multi-faceted defense strategies, we draw upon the knowledge of our former government lawyers, regulators, and subject matter experts to navigate concurrent regulatory inquiries and enforcement proceedings.
Awards and recognition
- Bayer as lead strategic and global coordination counsel in mass tort litigation involving Essure, a discontinued implantable contraceptive device for women, Bayer resolved approximately 90 percent of the Essure claims and for an amount significantly less than what may have resulted from receiving adverse verdicts at trial. Our role has expanded into global coordinating counsel across 12 countries, resulting in a 100% success rate with more than 80 favorable outcomes from trial and appellate courts in France, Brazil, Spain, and Canada, and illustrates how we are on the cutting edge of global product liability and class action defense.
- Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb in proposed class actions in Canada and the US 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.
- 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.
- Global automobile manufacturers defending class actions in the US, UK and Europe for warranty and damage claims relating to the specified exhaust gas values for diesel vehicles.
- Uber in relation to its UK Supreme Court appeal concerning worker rights and follow-on contentious issues.
- Unilever in the defense of a class action brought in the English High Court in respect of alleged liability arising from an armed invasion of the property of an African subsidiary company. This landmark class action in English law has helped establish the parameters of parent company liability in the United Kingdom.
- Christo Wiese, majority shareholder of the Steinhoff Group, and his investment vehicles in several high-profile multijurisdictional cases in the Netherlands, UK and South Africa relating to the Steinhoff’s group 2017 accounting scandal.
Consumer Class Actions/Product Liability
- Won dismissal for New York University as lead counsel in the defense of five putative nationwide class actions filed in the SDNY seeking the refund of tuition and fees after Covid-19 forced the University to pivot to remote learning and defeated class certification and obtained dismissal in a sixth. These cases assert claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, money had and received, conversion, and violations of New York’s consumer protection laws, GBL 349. In denying class certification, the Court found that the plaintiff failed to establish commonality, typicality, adequacy, that her counsel was inadequate, and individualized issues predominated.
- Won dismissal for a global consumer products manufacturer defending a putative nationwide class action in the EDNY against allegations that Selsun Blue Naturals Shampoo is allegedly not natural. The complaint alleged claims under New York’s consumer protection act, GBL 349 and 350, for alleged violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, for breach of express warranty; and unjust enrichment. In response to our argument at a pre-motion conference, the Court advised the plaintiff that it could file an amended complaint. The Court granted the motion to dismiss the amended complaint in its entirety.
- Won dismissal for a California almond grower cooperative in the defense of a putative class action in the EDNY. The plaintiff purported to state five claims regarding an alleged improper labeling of crackers: violations of New York’s consumer protection law, GBL 349 and 350, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty and implied warranty of merchantability, fraud, and unjust enrichment. We filed a pre-motion letter, after which the plaintiffs sought leave to amend. We filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, which the Court granted.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal for a dating service in the defense of a putative class action complaint in the SDNY alleging fraud, breach of contract, violations of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, consumer protection claims, and unjust enrichment.
- Won dismissal for a global airline as lead counsel in the defense of a putative class action filed in the Northern District of Illinois regarding an alleged failure to provide refunds in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- Obtained favorable settlement for a global airline as lead counsel in the defense of a putative nationwide class action in the EDNY. The complaint was brought purportedly on behalf of a nationwide class of members of the airline's frequent flyer program and alleged that the Company breached its contract when it levied a fuel surcharge on reward tickets.
- Won dismissal of a putative class action in the EDNY against British Airways as lead counsel arising from a criminal attack on their computer systems. The named plaintiff initially asserted four claims for (1) New York’s consumer protection law, GBL 349, (2) negligence, (3) implied contract, and (4) violations of the NY data breach statute. We filed a pre-motion letter demonstrating the plaintiff lacked standing, that his claims were pre-empted by the Airline Deregulation Act, and that he failed to state a claim. At the pre-motion conference on our motion to dismiss, the Court found that the plaintiff lacked standing, his claims were pre-empted, and questioned his ability to state a claim under the NY data breach statute. The plaintiff subsequently filed an amended complaint, which we again moved to dismiss. The Court granted our motion to dismiss in its entirety and the Second Circuit affirmed.
- Obtained favorable resolution for British Airways as lead counsel in the defense of a putative class action complaint in state court in California on behalf of all California residents who called its customer service line while in California. The complaint asserted one cause of action for violation of California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, and in particular California penal code section 632.7, unlawful recording or monitoring of calls. We convinced the plaintiff’s counsel to dismiss the complaint without the necessity of filing a motion to dismiss.
- 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 $100 to $1,000 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.
- Settled thousands of putative class actions against Omni Hotels under California's Invasion of Privacy Act ("CIPA"). As the CIPA provides $5,000 in statutory damages per alleged violation, the exposure was approximately $65 million. The court approved a settlement which entailed no payment of attorneys' fees and class relief of less tha$10,000 in gift cards.
- Current representation of a global financial services company in defense of claims arising from what the plaintiff characterizes as a data breach. The plaintiff initially tried to state 12 claims on behalf of a nationwide putative class: negligence, breach of contract, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, bailment, and violations of Cal. Const., art. I, § 1 (“California Constitution”), Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq. (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. Prof. Code § 17200, et seq. (“CRA”), N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 349 (Section 349), and N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 899-aa. After we filed our first motion to dismiss, the plaintiff abandoned five of the claims, and we have moved to dismiss once again. Our motion to dismiss is pending.
- Won dismissal of a putative class action against a global computer company in federal court in Massachusetts. The plaintiff alleged that he attempted to buy content via an online platform, but never paid for it, and complains that he was unable to stream his content going forward. He attempted to state claims for breach of contract, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for the same global computer company as lead counsel in the defense of a putative class action in the EDNY. The complaint alleges violations of New York's consumer protection act, GBL 349 and 350, and a consumer fraud claim under N.J.S.A. §§ 56:8-1, et seq. We obtained a favorable settlement, which the Court has preliminarily approved.
Current representation of the same global computer company in a multidistrict litigation consisting of multiple statewide and nationwide class actions alleging that the company promotes and makes available apps that constitute illegal gambling. Claims alleged in the various class actions include, civil RICO, unfair business practices, unjust enrichment, and state loss recovery statutes. We have filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted in large part.
- Current representation of the same global computer company in a putative class action in the WDNY alleging that users pay a “price premium” to “Buy” movies, TV shows, music, and other media believing that “Purchased” content will “be available for viewing and/or listening indefinitely” when allegedly the content may be removed. The plaintiffs attempt to assert claims for violations of New York’s consumer protection act, GBL 349 and 350, and unjust enrichment. We have moved to dismiss the case in its entirety, and that motion is pending.
- A global technology company defending claims brought in England relating to alleged psychological impact of online use.
- An international computer and electronic device manufacturer in a proposed class action brought in British Columbia related to breach of privacy allegations involving Facebook.
- Groups of institutional investors in relation to claims and other contentious issues arising from the collapse of Abraaj Private Equity in the UK, US, UAE and Cayman Islands.
- BDO USA LLP in a proposed class action 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A global bank in resisting an attempt to join it into a group litigation order in England involving claims for breach of contract and misrepresentation arising from allegedly faulty silicone breast implant surgeries. Our work included advising the bank on, and managing, a bespoke settlement process.
- 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.
- A global bank, defending mass claims alleging the unenforceability of credit agreements
- Representing Christo Wiese, majority shareholder of the Steinhoff Group, and his investment vehicles in several high-profile multijurisdictional cases in the Netherlands, UK and South Africa relating to the Steinhoff’s group 2017 accounting scandal.
- Advising an automobile manufacturer in relation to collective claims being brought by its UK dealer network in relation to financial liabilities arising from Covid-19.
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”)
- Current representation of a global food and beverage company in the defense of a putative class action in the SDNY. The complaint challenges the “carbon neutral” certification of a line of bottled waters and attempts to state claims for violation of California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750, et seq. (“CLRA”), violations of New York’s consumer protection act, GBL 349 and 350, breach of express and implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and fraud.
- Current representation of a global airline as lead counsel against putative class action claims in the SDNY that its statement “fly responsibly” and carbon offset program violate the New York consumer protection act, GBL 349 and 350, various other state consumer protection statutes, and attempt to state claims for breach of express warranty/implied warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and for alleged violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
- Porsche AG in class actions commenced in Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia involving consumer claims relating to diesel engine emissions.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb in a proposed class action 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 of British Columbia sought to recover all healthcare, pharmaceutical and treatment costs in Canada related to opioids from 1996 to the present and disgorgement of all gains resulting from the alleged wrongful conduct.
- Miller Argent (an open cast mining company) in successfully resisting an application for a group litigation order in the English High Court made on behalf of 500 residents of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales who sought to bring claims of private nuisance in relation to a land reclamation site.
- A FTSE100 company defending English High Court claims with respect to supply chain issues for a FTSE100 retail group, including human rights and modern slavery claims, and associated investigation and remediation in relevant countries in Asia.
- Advising indigenous miners in Tanzania in relation to modern human slavery and environmental contamination and liability issues and acting in associated legal proceedings in Tanzania and the UK.
- A global pharmaceutical company defending class actions in the UK relating to allegations of prohibited competition conduct.
- Advising a transportation group in relation to class action claims in the English High Court with respect to allegedly discriminatory ticket pricing practices in alleged breach of competition law.
- 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.
- 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.
News and insights
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