The following article appeared in the May 2005 SCAS Alert:
Presenting the SCAS 50 for 2004
By Bruce T. Carton, Vice President, ISS' Securities Class Action Services
This month's Securities Class Action Services Alert includes ISS' annual "SCAS 50" report. The SCAS 50 for 2004 lists the top 50 plaintiffs' law firms ranked by the total dollar amount of final securities class-action settlements occurring in 2004 in which the law firm served as lead or co-lead counsel.
Topping our list for 2004 in more ways than one was Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, which served as lead or co-lead counsel in final settlements totaling $3.466 billion. Notably, Bernstein Litowitz had a hand in well over one half of the record $5.98 billion in securities class-action settlement dollars obtained in 2004. Rounding out the Top 5 in our SCAS 50 were Barrack, Rodos & Bacine ($2.888 billion), Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman ($900 million), Chitwood & Harley ($583 million), and Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo ($578 million).
Bernstein Litowitz also led the way in terms of average settlement amount for firms that served as lead or co-lead counsel in at least five settlements in 2004. Its average settlement of over $288 million was quadruple that of Chitwood & Harley, the second- ranked firm in this category with an average settlement amount of over $72 million.
With respect to the total number of final settlements, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman led with 43 settlements. This was more than double the number of settlements obtained by the next firm in this category-- Schiffrin & Barroway, which was lead or co-lead counsel in 21 settlements. Other law firms with at least 10 settlements in 2004 included Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins (14), Berger & Montague (13), Bernstein Litowitz (12), Stull, Stull & Brody (11), and Berman DeValerio (10).
A printable copy of the SCAS 50, including details on our methodology, is available in PDF format here.
The SCAS 50 is published on an annual basis, and we welcome your feedback.