Jacob Buchdahl of Susman Godfrey.
Jacob Buchdahl of Susman Godfrey. ()

As if helping to secure a historic billion-dollar settlement against Toyota Motor Corp. didn’t keep Susman Godfrey busy enough last year, the firm’s performance was key in other landmark cases as well.

In April, it secured a $106.5 million judgment for bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd. against Flagstar Bancorp Inc. for misrepresenting the risk of its mortgage-backed securities. Prior to appeal, Assured and Flagstar settled for $105 million. “Once that judgment was made, every other case in that whole area settled very quickly thereafter,” said Susman Godfrey partner Jacob Buchdahl. Opposing counsel at Arnold & Porter did not respond to requests for comment.

In March, partner James Southwick helped resolve an eight-year antitrust case involving Chinese companies. Animal Science Products Inc. and The Ranis Co., Susman Godfrey’s clients, sued HeBei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and North China Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. for colluding to raise the price of vitamin C to the United States. The result: a $54.1 million verdict, which was tripled under the Clayton Antitrust Act. Co-counsel was Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Hausfeld. An appeal is ongoing.

To clients, Susman Godfrey’s success lies in litigation strategy. “They don’t get distracted by things that aren’t important, and they focus on what is critical to the case,” said Ed Newman, deputy general counsel at Assured Guaranty Ltd.

FIRM FACTS

Founded: 1980
Based: Houston
Total No. of Attorneys: 106
Partners: 60
Associates: 39

TRIAL TIPS

► Our firm promotes trial by agreements. You can get more by playing nice with opposing counsel and produce better results for your client. —Stephen Susman, partner
► The most successful trial lawyers tell the best stories, grab the jury early on, and never let go. —Jacob Buchdahl, partner