Darren Robbins, partner at San Diego's Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.
Darren Robbins, partner at San Diego’s Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. ()

Darren Robbins

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd

In institutional investors, notably public pension funds, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd has found perfect partners to extract meaningful recoveries in securities cases and ensure that related governance reforms are instituted. “[Institutional investors] are in the market day in and day out,” said Darren Robbins, a founding partner. “They want to bring a claim once and then change the way the markets operate so the wrongdoing isn’t repeated.”

With dozens of ex-government prosecutors in its ranks, Robbins Geller has worked to right wrongs in headline-grabbing business disasters from Enron to the fraudulent lending practices that crippled the U.S. economy in 2008. Among its recent successes: a $2.46 billion judgment in 2013 in a 12-year case against Household International for predatory lending practices.

One of Robbins’ proudest moments: a suit brought by CalPERS against United Healthcare for backdating options. Settled for four times more than previous backdating cases, the suit also “changed the way corporate America did business.”

“We’re typically fighting against the most talented lawyers in America,” Robbins said. “But we make the commitment. For the Psychiatric Solutions lawsuit, we moved 19 people down to Nashville. It wasn’t a coincidence that we settled a few days later.” — Pat Wechsler

KEY TO WINNING: “Juries have a really good nose for what is fraud and what isn’t. … The job is to lay the story out there and boil down what often are very complex activities that are just as often driven by very simple, easy to understand motives.” —Darren Robbins