Our Class and Derivative Actions Group represents industry leading companies and institutions in high-stakes cases nationwide. In fact, defense of class actions has been at the heart of Bryan Cave’s litigation practice for more than 25 years, including defending class claims in antitrust, securities and derivative actions, as well as class consumer fraud, breach of warranty, contract, environmental tort and other regulatory claims against manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions and insurance carriers. Our approach is to team class action litigators with lawyers versed in the particular subject matter of the action. We also team with lawyers who practice before regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice or local law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.
We have handled more than 915 class action lawsuits in the last five years, and we are currently handling more than 240 class actions. In 2014 alone, approximately 260 of our lawyers worked on class action defense matters in 80 venues in 33 states. We offer depth of talent in every U.S. office, as well as the U.K. and Continental Europe (where class claims are just beginning). We have defended hundreds of class claims, in all areas of substantive law, in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States and Canada. We plan a defense most suitable for the goals and budget of each client. We have tried class claims to judgment before judges and juries, and we believe anticipating that possibility is the most effective defense.
Bryan Cave class action and derivative action clients have included H&R Block, Inc., Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, George K. Baum & Company, Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., Monsanto Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Emerson Electric Co., The Boeing Company, McDonnell Douglas Corp., UnitedHealth Group, Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz USA, Union Pacific Railroad, Evenflo Company, Inc., Michelin North America, Inc., Ferrellgas, BJC HealthCare and Enterprise Holdings, among others including leading national bank entities.
Members of our Class and Derivative Actions group regularly speak at leading industry conferences, including the Sedona Conference on Complex Litigation and Class Actions and the American Conference Institute’s Annual Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation.
Bryan Cave staffs cases cost-effectively, using the most efficient mix of resources around the firm. With experienced trial lawyers throughout our offices, we can leverage our lower cost locations to provide clients with the best service at the best possible rates. To align our interests with our clients’ interests and give our clients more certainty with respect to cost, we embrace a variety of alternative fee arrangements. We can price discrete stages of litigation, propose risk-sharing arrangements or develop other non-hourly pricing structures to meet our clients’ objectives.
We have also invested time, thought and resources in seeking out non-traditional solutions to lowering legal costs associated with class claims. These include a variety of case management tools, from client-specific extranet sites, linked to an ongoing matter and designed to keep attorneys and clients informed of important case developments, to risk assessment and management applications that can weigh the benefits of early settlement versus going to trial.
To address the rising costs of eDiscovery, we maximize savings for clients through strategies like alternative fee arrangements, internal data processing, preferred pricing relationships with vendors and internal hosting of document review and case management platforms. Our powerful concept-searching software exponentially speeds review time by organizing documents by "concept" or "issue" instead of a traditional linear, custodian-by-custodian basis. We have a dedicated eDiscovery Services and Accelerated Review Team, a core group of trained Bryan Cave eDiscovery lawyers, and when needed can bring on teams of 50 or more contract lawyers in our secure, state-of-the-art discovery annex in St. Louis.
Areas of Experience
Lawyers in this group have handled hundreds of class and derivative actions, in federal and state courts throughout the United States, involving: