Grant & Eisenhofer takes on all kinds of fights for plaintiffs against corporate defendants, and its major wins this past year helped shareholders get their fair share.
The Wilmington, Del.-based firm drew from a deep well of shareholder case experience to prevail with a Delaware Court of Chancery claim that News Corp.’s board had been asleep at the switch. Grant & Eisenhofer was co-lead counsel securing a $139 million settlement of a shareholders’ derivative suit in April. The suit followed a steep stock price drop after revelations of phone hacking by the company’s British reporters. The suit also challenged a $615 million payment for a company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter. Absent evidence of outright fraud, “most [of these cases] don’t get the corporate-governance [changes] or the money, let alone both,” said co-founder and managing partner Jay Eisenhofer.
Grant & Eisenhofer fought In re News Corp. Shareholder Derivative Litigation “completely together” with co-lead counsel Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, he said. That included shared responsibility for arguing against a dismissal motion and negotiating the settlement. The firms “really worked seamlessly in a partnership to prosecute the case together,” Bernstein Litowitz partner Mark Lebovitch said.
The firm again shared the co-lead role with Bernstein Litowitz on a New Jersey securities class action involving Merck & Co. Inc.’s cholesterol medicine Vytorin. Merck contributed $215 million toward a $688 million global settlement in February of two combined class actions. Both firms collaborated on strategy and arguments, while Grant & Eisenhofer shouldered more of deposition and mock jury work. Four additional firms played smaller roles, according to court papers.
The defendants “knew that we were serious about trying the case if we weren’t able to get a settlement at an acceptable level,” Eisenhofer said.