Morgan Lewis has a long track record of success in US class actions at the federal and state levels in addition to representing clients in ground-breaking, high-profile collective actions and group litigation in the United Kingdom. In Asia, where class actions are beginning to emerge—as well as in other jurisdictions where procedures for multiparty actions are developing or expanding—we are well positioned to leverage our global capabilities and on-the-ground resources to assist clients drawn into these actions.
We also advise clients on the multidimensional, cross-border government investigations and follow-on litigation that often accompany class actions and group litigation. We manage investigations from the outset with a view toward offering a unified solution to the multifaceted challenges clients face, whether arising locally or internationally.
Our clients include companies of all sizes conducting business across a range of sectors. We recognize that multidimensional, cross-border litigation can present a serious threat to relationships with key stakeholders such as customers, shareholders, employees, and regulators. Keeping our clients’ business objectives at the forefront, we optimize outcomes as we work alongside our clients to advance their business goals.
In the United States, Morgan Lewis in the last decade has been retained in more antitrust class actions than just about any other law firm. In the United Kingdom, our lawyers have acted on the majority of antitrust and competition–related group litigation in the last two decades, particularly in relation to follow-on claims arising from cartel investigations and enforcement in the UK, European Union, and other global jurisdictions. For example, we have represented clients in ground-breaking actions resulting from European Commission findings on interchange fees charged by global credit card companies. The advantage to our clients: Our wealth of experience in the United States and Europe results in sharpened strategies and heightened efficiencies, which often limit or eliminate cases in their early stages.
Our consumer class action lawyers handle high-profile, complex, and high-value matters, and they have been successful in securing dismissals of these actions and/or defeating class certification in the US jurisdictions where these cases are filed most often. We have represented clients in cases involving advertising, labeling, pricing, marketing, telemarketing (including alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act), data breach and privacy, truth in lending, warranties, and allegations of failure to disclose and off-label promotion.
Governments and transnational organizations such as the European Union are increasingly focused on privacy issues—particularly the confidentiality of personal data and theft of consumer and employee data. Morgan Lewis, a leader in representing clients in data privacy lawsuits, serves companies in the healthcare, retail, and financial services industries in privacy-related class actions and group litigation, including in relation to US Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act violations, data breaches and theft of data, and technology and software transfer issues, as well as in regulatory and code of conduct proceedings. Our team also works closely with our transaction privacy team to counsel clients involved in data privacy breach incidents and our employment specialists provide complementary skills in the context of employee data related claims, including determining whether notification is required, conducting the notification, containing exposure, and implementing remedial measures. In the UK, we are well placed to advise on potential collective actions and group litigation arising from a December 2017 court ruling that held for the first time that an employer could be vicariously liable for an employee’s misuse of data.
Bet-the-company employment-related class actions can erupt from a single employee dispute, charge, or internal complaint. Our lawyers proactively identify risk factors and strategies to help employers avoid multiplaintiff, class, collective, and legislation-related actions arising from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the UK’s Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. If a lawsuit is filed, we rapidly mobilize a team of skilled employment litigators who analyze data, manage discovery, interview experts, oppose class certification, file complex dispositive motions, develop creative approaches to settlement, and, when necessary, try cases.
Our approach is dictated by our clients’ business objectives—whether that means aggressively defending a matter to conclusion or negotiating an early resolution to avoid protracted litigation. A deep knowledge of the theories and issues advanced in systemic litigation helps shape our strategy, and we have professional relationships with officials at the highest levels of the US government’s labor agencies, such as the EEOC, the US Department of Labor, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. This rapport and level of professional trust is invaluable in high-stakes matters. In the UK, we have advised on discrimination and unfair dismissal group claims, including in the context of regulatory investigation findings that can be both high-profile and involve novel or difficult issues of disclosure and privilege. We also represent clients in group claims arising from insolvencies and restructuring.
Our lawyers frequently litigate against prominent plaintiff-side employment class action lawyers, and we develop professional relationships with them that foster efficient solutions for our clients. Our systemic employment litigation team works with labor economists, statisticians, human resources experts, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other experts to support the defense of systemic matters, and clients benefit from our familiarity with the expert witnesses often used by plaintiffs in class actions.
Employee benefit plans are the largest sources of equity capital and undisclosed corporate liabilities in the world. Increasingly, plaintiffs’ class action lawyers are targeting these plans, their employer sponsors, and their fiduciaries in ambitious lawsuits. Our substantive understanding of ERISA and other employee benefits law—as well as the overlapping fields of labor, employment, securities, healthcare, and insurance law—is key to our clients’ defense. The companies we serve benefit from the talents and legal acumen of seasoned class action litigators and trial lawyers who practice extensively on behalf of plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers.
We have represented clients in significant class actions around the world involving consumer financial products and services, including mortgages, credit cards, retail banking, pensions and investments, and we represent banks and other financial institutions, including investment and asset managers, in class actions arising from regulatory enforcement. When protecting the interests of financial services clients, our litigators identify weaknesses in the plaintiffs’ cases and work to defeat class certification. We facilitate effective management and, where appropriate, settlement of class action and group litigation claims.
In the context of alleged violations of significant US federal and state consumer protection statutes, we advise on the following:
In the UK, we represent financial institutions in connection with high-profile, large-scale investigations involving the Financial Conduct Authority and Financial Ombudsman Service. We have reached ground-breaking, multi-million dollar settlements for our clients in cases involving schemes of arrangement alongside other financial institutions that arise from large-scale consumer claims. We also have undertaken large-scale consumer reviews and designed and implemented remediation programs, and have experience in the UK in challenging proceedings seeking a Group Litigation Order to draw claims together.
We also advise financial services companies facing labor and employment class actions. Our past representations include counseling securities firms confronting gender and age discrimination claims as well as major financial institutions facing allegations of employee misclassification.
Life sciences and healthcare companies—including pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, medical device companies, and health insurers—are increasingly the targets of global class actions. We are at the forefront of advocating for companies in these industries. We regularly represent clients in actions challenging promotional and marketing practices, and have secured successful outcomes for manufacturers. We also serve as counsel to some of the world’s largest health insurers in class actions involving emerging areas under the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
We have handled thousands of cases on behalf of retail clients, including in almost every US state. We represent companies in matters brought by both private parties and government lawyers, and we have had success in particularly challenging jurisdictions, including those in California. Our retail class action team concentrates on alleged false advertising matters, privacy claims, gift card litigation, and product liability cases. We were retained in one of the earliest cases brought under the US Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and we have successfully litigated or settled many of these matters. We have also successfully represented retailers in class actions alleging violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. In an area where the odds are against retailers prevailing in class actions that go to trial, we have achieved successful outcomes for our clients.
Our clients include issuers and their officers and directors, underwriters, and accountants, and our cases have included claims arising from restatements and other accounting issues, initial public offerings, earnings warnings, and failures to meet projections. Our experience includes acting for corporations in ground-breaking cross-border US/UK investigations resulting from alleged financial misstatements, and we have represented investor claimants in UK group litigation in first-of-a-kind litigation concerning financial misstatements made by a well-known public company. In the UK, our experience includes acting for a client in connection with the first shareholder claims under Section 90A of the UK Financial Services and Markets Act in relation to the admitted misleading accounting information published by a public company. We also have acted in some of the most significant corporate insolvency-related collective actions in the UK.
We frequently obtain victories on dispositive motions and attain favorable settlements for our clients. For instance, US courts have granted dismissal in whole or in part in more than three-quarters of the putative class actions where Morgan Lewis filed motions to dismiss, with about half granted dismissal in their entirety. In derivative class action lawsuits, our securities litigators have secured dismissal in more than half of the cases we argued.
Morgan Lewis has successfully represented clients in product liability and mass tort class actions and multidistrict matters for decades. We also frequently serve as US coordinating counsel and trial counsel in large-scale serial litigation. Our team also develops successful strategies to handle high-stakes mass toxic torts and citizen suits. Our experience includes matters involving asbestos, breast implants, building and construction products, chemicals, flavoring ingredients and additives, food and beverages, lead, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, safety equipment, silica, tobacco, and water contamination.