Clockwise, from top left, Javier Bleichmar, Joseph Fonti, Dominic Auld and Steven Tountas ()
Four partners from prominent plaintiff’s firm Labaton Sucharow have formed their own boutique focusing on representing large investors in class actions and other litigation.
Dominic Auld, Javier Bleichmar, Joseph Fonti and Stephen Tountas formed Bleichmar Fonti Tountas & Auld in early August, working out of 1501 Broadway with two associates. The four partners have worked together for about a dozen years at Labaton and their previous firm, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann.
At Labaton, Fonti said the four represented large institutional investors, including domestic and Canadian pension plans. He said that practice has transferred to the boutique and clients from Labaton have retained them, including Alberta Investment Management Corp. and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. On Wednesday, the firm was named as co-lead counsel in In re MF Global Holdings Limited, 11 CV. 7866, a securities class action in the Southern District.
He said the four left to create a nimble and efficient law firm. “One of the things we have envisioned is being a very efficient and results-driven practice,” he said. In the short term, the partners want to increase head count, but “we are not looking to become another of the large multi-faceted plaintiff’s firms,” Fonti said.
Fonti and Labaton’s chairman, Lawrence Sucharow, said the move was amicable.
In an interview, Sucharow said the departure “is not going to affect us at all” and the firm has re-assigned their cases to other partners. He said the 60-attorney firm has about 30 securities class-action litigators.
“We have a lot of work, we’re very busy,” Sucharow said. “We like them, they were good lawyers, we wish them well.”