In the 15 years since Stuart Grant and Jay Eisenhofer started their own law firm, Grant & Eisenhofer has grown from four attorneys to almost 75 in three offices. But the firm never lost focus on its goal, Grant said — to serve the needs of institutional investors. “We had seen at the time that the corporate defense bar was well represented,” he said. “Institutional investors had a lot of money invested and yet nobody was representing them.”
During the past year the Wilmington, Del.-based firm represented the lead whistleblower in the government’s False Claims Act case against Abbott Laboratories. That $1.6 billion settlement, announced in May, involved alleged illegal marketing of the anti-seizure drug Depakote to children and geriatric patients.
The client, Meredith McCoyd, was a former Abbott sales representative. She alleged that reps were promoting the drug for conditions for which it was unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Grant & Eisenhofer director Reuben Guttman and senior counsel Traci Buschner spent six months building their case.
“The wrongful conduct is so sophisticated that it is no longer a question for us to find a single document, but rather it’s putting the totality of the conduct or documents together, which paints the picture of a smoking gun,” Guttman said.
The firm secured an $89 million settlement for shareholders in the 2011 buyout of Del Monte Corp. by private-equity firms. The complaint alleged that Barclays Capital, which advised Del Monte, had discouraged competing offers while simultaneously helping the buyers secure financing — a fact not disclosed to Del Monte officers. The Delaware Court of Chancery blocked a shareholder vote on the deal in February 2011, and by March the settlement had been approved. Del Monte and Barclays contributed $65.7 million and $23.7 million, respectively.
“That was an important case, not only because of the $90 million for shareholders, but because it put investment banks and boards on notice about the potential conflicts investment bankers have,” Grant said. “The idea is to take cases that will not only get the recovery for the shareholders, but change the institution portfolio-wide.” In addition to Grant, the firm’s managing director, director Michael Barry and associate Christine Mackintosh assisted on the case. Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd served as co-counsel.