Our first runner-up spot goes to a team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who got cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global and its CEO Brian Armstrong out from under federal securities claims in a proposed class action. Plaintiffs claimed that certain assets that Coinbase allows users to buy and sell qualify as securities and that the company is not registered as an exchange or broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But Manhattan U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer this week found Coinbase is not a statutory seller of securities under the relevant precedent since under its user agreement it neither holds nor passes title for the underlying assets. The judge, however, declined to exercise jurisdiction over certain state law claims, dismissing them without prejudice. The Skadden team includes Jay Kasner, Lara Flath, Alexander Drylewski, Abigail Davis, Kyle Schwartz and Shireen Lankarani.

With all apologies to the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan team that won LOTW honors for recovering $3.7 billion in Affordable Care Act risk corridor funds for insurers a couple of years back, a team at Sheppard Mullin lands a runner-up spot this week for sending the Quinn team back to the drawing board on their request for $185 million in attorney fees in the case. The Federal Circuit this week found the U.S. Court of Federal Claims abused its discretion and hadn’t adequately justified the “extraordinarily high award,” which amounted to 5% of recoveries, and ordered the lower court to perform a lodestar crosscheck on remand. The Sheppard Mullin team, which represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare, and related entities in objecting to the fee award, includes partner Moe Keshavarzi and associates Jack Burns and Matthew Halgren.

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