The fallout from the financial system collapse features prominently in this year’s edition of The National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List. We highlight Labaton Sucharow’s role in $1 billion in securities fraud settlements involving American International Group Inc., but there are multiple additional examples—including a potential $9 billion recovery from Vivendi Universal S.A. We looked for cases that produced substantial verdicts or settlements between the summer of 2009 and 2010. Our conclusions are subjective, but show the plaintiffs’ bar at its best.

The firms selected for this year’s honors are: Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check; Berger & Montague; Bernstein Liebhard; Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann; Grant & Eisenhofer; Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro; Hausfeld; Labaton Sucharow; Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Milberg; Phillips & Cohen; and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Read on for the winning cases that earned these firms their place on the list.

Firms didn’t let financial catastrophe get in their way
Four years into the case against AIG, the insurer collapsed along with the rest of the finance sector. Despite that monumental obstacle, plaintiffs’ co-counsel at Labaton Sucharow and Hahn Loeser & Parks secured settlements surpassing $1 billion.

Qui tam case looked like a winner — and was it ever
Phillips & Cohen secured more than $51 million for the former salesman who blew the whistle on Pfizer, resulting in $1.8 billion in civil and criminal penalties for the pharmaceutical giant.

Firm fought ‘sham’ deal to the death
When JPMorgan Chase & Co. tried to sell a longtime client’s loan to a major telecommunications rival in Mexico, Quinn Emmanuel lawyers intervened and quashed the deal.