New York-based Kirby McInerney can punch above its weight in securities litigation for plaintiffs. Since January 2012, the 22-lawyer firm has helped secure settlements of more than $750 million for plaintiffs against Citigroup Inc. and National City Corp.
“We’re constantly involved in some important and significant cases,” said Kirby McInerney partner Ira Press, one of the lead lawyers against the financial institutions. In In re Citigroup Inc. Securities Litigation, the firm helped secure $590 million for shareholders, resolving claims that the financial-services firm misled them about its subprime mortgage exposure. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in the Southern District of New York approved the settlement in August.
Kirby McInerney didn’t get everything it wanted from the judge — it sought $100 million in fees but Stein approved only $70.8 million. “These things happen,” said Press, who handled the case with Kirby McInerney partner Peter Linden.
In In re National City Corp. Securities, Derivative & ERISA Litigation, the firm helped National City shareholders secure a $168 million deal with the bank, settling claims that the financial institution misrepresented loans that actually were subprime. Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. in the U.S. District of Court for the Northern District of Ohio approved the settlement in March 2012.
The deal came after U.S. Magistrate Judge Greg White recommended that Oliver dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint, saying he was unable to ascertain whether it was sufficiently pled. White said the plaintiffs could file an amended complaint, but the parties entered settlement talks through a mediator. “Under the circumstances…I think the settlement was a fantastic result,” said Press, who led the firm’s work on the case with Kirby McInerney partner Andrew McNeela.
Press finds securities litigation a “never-ending challenge” for him. “We constantly have to work harder and harder,” he said.