For plaintiffs bar firms there’s a lot at stake when litigating cases given the contingency fee based business model. “We risk our own money every day,” said DiCello Levitt founding partner Adam Levitt in a recent conversation with NLJ. That makes competition fierce and unity, at times, lacking.

When litigating high-stakes mass torts or class-action cases, plaintiffs firms can be “competitors in any sense of the word,” said Napoli and Shkolnik partner Hunter Shkolnik. When it comes to landing a leadership role in a multidistrict litigation, it is likely for “the knives to come out, like ‘I’m the better leader,’” Shkolnik said.