Quinn Emanuel has the most formidable plaintiffs’-side practice in the world. The caliber of our legal talent, the resources we can bring to all aspects of the case, and our proven track record on the plaintiffs’-side are second to none.
When representing plaintiffs, our lawyers have won approximately $70 billion for our clients through judgments and settlements. We have obtained five 9-figure jury verdicts, more than forty 9-figure settlements, and nineteen 10-figure settlements. We have achieved success for our plaintiff clients in virtually every type of setting imaginable—including as part of class actions, as plaintiffs opting out from class actions to pursue individual claims, in group actions, and in solo actions. We have achieved success for plaintiffs in federal and state courts, in bankruptcy courts, and on appeal.
Our proven ability to take high-stakes plaintiffs’ cases to trial—and to win at trial—presents our adversaries with a threat they must consider from day one. This ever-present threat often increases the settlement value of our plaintiffs’-side cases. We recently secured a 9-figure settlement for a pharmaceutical company in several contract disputes arising out of drug and device development collaboration and licensing agreements, without even having to file suit or request arbitration.
Law360 has repeatedly recognized Quinn Emanuel as one of the “Fearsome Foursome” of firms that in-house counsel least like to see on the other side. The award is based on approximately 300 interviews with general counsels and other legal department heads. We were the only firm in this foursome in any of those years that has a significant plaintiffs-side practice.
Of course, we are not a typical “plaintiffs’ firm.” Our lawyers routinely practice on both sides of the “v,” giving us deep insights into how to win cases against corporate defendants. Our experience defending Fortune 100 companies allows us to see the big picture when representing plaintiffs—a significant edge over firms who only represent plaintiffs. We also have the type of credibility with both defendants and defense counsel that comes uniquely from successfully practicing on the defense side. And this credibility brings great benefits to our clients that are plaintiffs.
We are far larger than any other firm that does a significant amount of plaintiffs’ work, a fact that makes us uniquely suited to go head-to-head against the biggest corporations in the world. We have the resources and experience to prosecute any case, from complex technical patent cases to the world’s most sophisticated financial frauds or conspiracies that violate the antitrust laws. In some cases, we have taken on a dozen of the largest Wall Street banks at once—and secured massive recoveries. With 875 lawyers, we are never outgunned. And with offices all over the world, we can go wherever necessary to vindicate our clients’ claims.
In addition to being trial lawyers, we also offer our clients one of the leading appellate practices in the nation. Our trial and appellate lawyers collaborate to make sure we are ready to defend our victories and to overturn any adverse decisions. And we also have a roster of bankruptcy litigators, who can pursue claims in bankruptcy or take necessary steps to collect on judgments won through litigation.
A Proven Track Record of Success
The following cases are examples of recent successes:
We were lead counsel in Health Republic Insurance Company v. United States, two parallel certified class action against the United States federal government for unpaid “risk corridor” amounts owed to Affordable Care Act insurers nationwide from 2014-2016. As part of the ACA, Congress established a “risk corridors program” whereby the government incentivized insurers to enter the newly-created, but very risky, ACA exchanges by agreeing to backstop outsized losses in the first three years of the exchanges’ existence. When the government did not pay them, it caused widespread chaos in the markets. Quinn Emanuel filed two first-of-their-kind class actions against the United States based on the government’s failure to pay health insurance companies pursuant to the ACA’s risk corridors and cost-sharing reduction programs. Unlike a typical class action, only opt-in classes are permitted in the Court of Federal Claims. Despite the efforts of other firms to steer health insurance companies away from the class action, hundreds opted-in, representing $2.2 billion, $1.75 billion, and $1.587 billion in claims, respectively. The firm achieved a major victory for the 2017-2018 cost-sharing reductions class when the Court of Federal Claims granted the class’ motion for summary judgment, finding the Government was required to pay cost-sharing reductions amounts that totaled more than $1.587 billion. The firm also prevailed for the risk corridors classes when it defeated the Government’s motion to dismiss. In subsequent appeals of parallel cases that utilized the case theories we pioneered, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of the plaintiffs, resulting in our clients receiving nearly $4 billion in final judgments.
We obtained for our clients Complete Genomics Institute (CGI) and Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) what is believed to be the largest verdict ever for a Chinese affiliated company, by securing a jury verdict of $333.8 million dollars for Illumina’s willful infringement of two CGI patents on an improved DNA sequencing method. We also invalidated three sequencing patents Illumina asserted against BGI. Illumina chose to satisfy the judgement rather than face the possibility of the damages being enhanced.
In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation. In the largest mass tort multi-district litigation (MDL) ever brought in federal court, we serve on the Plaintiff Executive Committee that works for the common benefit of over 200,000 U.S. veterans injured as a result of using a defective earplug sold by 3M to the U.S. Military for over a decade. Over the course of 2021 and 2022, we led and won three separate bellwether trials in the tort, including two “defense picks” (i.e., plaintiffs the defendants picked for trial, because they thought they were defense-friendly cases). We also assisted on every other major bellwether trial, which resulted in over $300 million of verdicts for 13 different military veterans.
In In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Matter, we served as lead counsel for a class of investors and funds that alleged that twelve major Wall Street banks, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan, as well as Markit, a financial services firm, and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, secretly conspired to block competition and transparency in the CDS market. We rapidly achieved an historic settlement of over $1.86 billion plus injunctive relief, one of the largest private antitrust settlements in history. The settlement is particularly noteworthy because two separate governmental investigations—by the Department of Justice and the European Commission—failed to result in any penalties for any of the defendants. At the final approval hearing, the district court explained the settlement “particularly its size, is attributable in no small measure to the skill of class counsel and the litigation strategy it employed.” In his declaration supporting the terms of the settlement, the mediator, the Honorable Daniel Weinstein (Ret.), stated:
“I would go so far as to say that, in 30-plus years of mediating high-stakes disputes, this was one of the finest examples of efficient and effective lawyering by plaintiffs’ counsel that I have ever witnessed. I have rarely, if ever, observed a Plaintiff in a case of this complexity and size, achieve a result of this magnitude with the speed that Plaintiffs achieved here.”
Stock Loan Antitrust. We are co-lead counsel for a proposed class of those who entered into stock loan transactions with six major banks that serve as prime brokers of stock loans. Plaintiffs allege the defendants conspired to underpay stock lending institutions and to overcharge investors who borrow stock to execute short positions, by maintaining the power they hold as intermediaries in the over-the-counter, $1.7 trillion annual stock loan market and obstructing the development of electronic exchanges that would result in a more transparent and competitive market. After defeating the defendants’ motions to dismiss in their entirety in 2018 and the completion of discovery in fall of 2020, we moved for class certification based on reports from three world-renowned experts and a fully developed evidentiary record. Following extensive briefing and oral argument, we won another major victory on June 30, 2022, when Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave (SDNY) issued a report and recommendation advising that the class be certified. The decision is currently pending review by District Judge Katherine Failla. We have already recovered $81 on behalf of the class through a pre-certification settlement with one defendant, Credit Suisse.
Proofpoint, Inc. and Cloudmark LLC. We represented Proofpoint, Inc. and its subsidiary, Cloudmark LLC, in a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets and infringement of copyrights by Vade Secure and its CTO, Olivier Lemarie. After a three-week jury trial, and one week of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in Proofpoint’s favor, finding that Vade Secure had willfully misappropriated Proofpoint’s trade secrets, and infringed Proofpoint’s copyrights. The jury awarded approximately $14M in compensatory damages. A bench determination of punitive damages for Vade Secure’s willful misappropriation is forthcoming. Earlier in the case, we defeated counterclaims raised by Vade Secure asserting antitrust, monopolization, and unfair competition claims against Proofpoint. The Court granted our motion dismissing these counterclaims from the case, in response to which Vade Secure filed amended counterclaims. After we filed a second motion to dismiss the amended counterclaims, Vade Secure dropped them from the case.
Songkick v. Ticketmaster. We represented Songkick, an artist presale ticketing service company, in an antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Before that lawsuit, no other plaintiff had ever proceeded past summary judgment against either company on antitrust claims. Nevertheless, we not only defeated their summary judgment motion, but also proceeded to within two weeks of trial, at which time they paid $110 million and also acquired Songkick’s assets for a confidential amount. The claims we brought threatened the core of Ticketmaster’s highly-lucrative business model and were the first—and, to our understanding, still the only—such claims to proceed so close to a jury.
Cassini SAS v Emerald Pasture DAC and ors. We represent lenders to a large events company, Comexposium, that was subject to a restructuring process in France. We obtained declarations in the English High Court, and successfully defended that decision in the Court of Appeal, confirming that the Senior Facilities Agreement (SFA) remains valid and enforceable, that clauses relating to access to information for the Lenders remain valid, and that the Comexposium’s parent was in breach of those clauses for failing to provide information requested. It demonstrates another defeat to Comexposium’s attempt to disregard the clear terms of the SFA and the rights afforded to our clients.
Zdenek Bakala v. Pavol Krupa, Adam Swart, and Crowds on Demand, LLC. We achieved a victory for client Zdenek Bakala, who was the victim of a coordinated harassment campaign consisting of extortion and defamation. The Quinn Emanuel team led by Andrew Schapiro and Stephen Swedlow filed a complaint for civil RICO against the business and political rival perpetrating the harassment. Despite the notorious difficulty of succeeding on these types of claims, Quinn Emanuel was able to secure a $32.4 million judgment for Mr. Bakala (including all of QE’s attorney fees) and, perhaps more importantly to our client, stop the harassment for good.
In TRC Operating Company, Inc. and TRC Cypress Group, LLC v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Quinn Emanuel represents TRC, which owns and operates an oil-producing property in California’s Midway-Sunset Oil Field. TRC brought suit against Chevron U.S.A. Inc., which operates an adjoining oil-producing property, and Chevron later brought cross claims. At issue in the lawsuit, among other things, is whether Chevron’s negligent oil-production operations on its property caused damage to TRC and its property as a result of surface and subsurface fluid trespass and movement between the parties’ properties. Quinn Emanuel is lead counsel for TRC and has handled all aspects of the litigation, which involves substantial lost profits by TRC that resulted from Chevron’s misconduct. At trial in 2021, a jury found for TRC on all of its claims and rejected all of Chevron’s cross-claims, resulting in a $120-million judgment against Chevron.
In In re Commodity Exchange Inc., Gold Futures and Options Trading Litigation, Case No. 14-md-2548 (S.D.N.Y.), Quinn Emanuel was selected as co-lead class counsel by Judge Valerie E. Caproni of the S.D.N.Y. on behalf of investors harmed when a group of banks conspired to manipulate the market for gold and gold-related investments. Defendants include the panel banks that make up the “London Gold Fixing,” a daily process that was supposed to involve a competitive auction among the panel members. Instead, the complaint alleges the panel banks and their co-conspirators used a secretive, daily conference call as a platform for price-fixing, and asserts claims for violations of the Sherman and Commodity Exchange Acts on behalf of those who transacted in certain gold-related investments, including gold futures contracts traded on COMEX and other exchanges. Judge Caproni largely rejected Defendants’ motions to dismiss the complaint, which was primarily built upon an extensive economic analysis of prices around the Fixing. The decision is notable not only because of the Court’s determination that allegations based primarily on economic analysis rendered the claims plausible, but also because the Court rejected the attempts by the banks to have the factual allegations about price movements discarded under a Daubert-like level of scrutiny, and to posit innocent counter-explanations for the anomalies. Fact discovery concluded in 2021, and proposed settlements totaling $152 million have now been reached with all defendants.
In a truly historic partnership between a regulator and a private firm, we represent the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as Conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in connection with its investigation and litigation of residential mortgage-backed securities. We filed fourteen complaints, asserting billions in damages, against most major investment banks asserting federal and state “strict liability” statutory claims arising out of misrepresentations about the securities, and certain complaints assert common law fraud claims. As widely reported, this is one of the most significant court actions taken by any federal regulator since the advent of the mortgage crisis, and the single largest set of actions ever filed by a governmental entity.
- In 2012, the Honorable Denise L. Cote denied a motion to dismiss the claims in what was designated the “lead case” brought by FHFA, and in 2013 entered a series of rulings to streamline the cases for trial, including orders as to statistical sampling, loan file collection and reunderwriting, the scope of the so-called “actual knowledge” defense, the lack of any loss causation defense to FHFA’s Blue Sky claims, and other significant issues.
- In 2013, we obtained a unanimous affirmance by the Second Circuit of Judge Cote's decision as to the timeliness of FHFA’s claims and its standing to sue, as well as a unanimous rejection of defendants’ joint mandamus petition seeking to overturn a number of Judge Cote’s key discovery rulings.
- In 2015, after a four-week trial, we won an $806 million judgment against Nomura and RBS for these banks’ violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Blue Sky laws of Virginia and the District of Columbia. In a sweeping 361-page decision, Judge Cote held that the banks had issued securities to the GSEs based upon false and misleading representations in the offering documents and that “[t]he magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous.”
- Altogether, we settled settled actions against Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC, Citigroup, Barclays, and First Horizon, and recovered over $23 billion in settlements and trial judgments in these actions, including most recently in the RBS action, where we settled FHFA’s claims for $5.5 billion, one of the largest recoveries ever in a securities action. In these actions, Quinn Emanuel has faced some of New York’s most formidable defense firms including Sullivan & Cromwell (representing Nomura, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, First Horizon, and Barclays), Simpson Thacher (representing RBS and Deutsche Bank), Skadden Arps (representing UBS), Paul Weiss (representing Citigroup), and others. We did not lose a single one of these cases.
We represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (“LBHI”) as lead counsel litigating LBHI’s objections to claims by Citibank, N.A. and affiliates (“Citibank”) related to the close-out and valuation of tens of thousands of derivatives following Lehman’s bankruptcy in September 2008. Under governing ISDA Master Agreements, Lehman’s trading counterparties were directed to determine the value of their derivatives trades following Lehman’s bankruptcy. LBHI’s objections sought a significant reduction to the amounts claimed by Citibank, which totaled more than $2 billion, relating to approximately thirty thousand derivatives trades on a variety of grounds including that Citibank failed to act in a commercially reasonable manner when valuing the derivatives in question. Quinn Emanuel engaged in almost five years of fact and expert discovery involving more than 1.4 million documents, thirty expert witnesses, and approximately 170 fact and expert depositions in addition to briefing summary judgment and pre-trial motions. After 42 days of trial over the course of four months, at around the expected halfway point in trial, LBHI announced that it had reached a settlement with Citibank that will return $1.74 billion to Lehman’s creditors. On October 13, 2017, the Bankruptcy Court approved the settlement.
We have represented one of the United States’ largest manufacturers in recovering almost $500 million to date on claims related to a worldwide bid-rigging and customer allocation conspiracy. In achieving these results, we utilized attorneys in both the U.S. and abroad to ensure the most comprehensive recovery for our client. We worked with experts to develop a compelling framework for resolving claims without litigations. Attorneys in QE offices around the world operated seamlessly to maximize results in different venues.
- We achieved a victory for client Zdenek Bakala, who was the victim of a coordinated harassment campaign consisting of extortion and defamation. The Quinn Emanuel team filed a complaint for civil RICO against the business and political rival perpetrating the harassment. Despite the notorious difficulty of succeeding on these types of claims, Quinn Emanuel was able to secure a $32.4 million judgment for Mr. Bakala (including all of QE’s attorney fees) and, perhaps more importantly to our client, stop the harassment for good.
- We represented lenders to a large events company, Comexposium, that was subject to a restructuring process in France. We obtained declarations in the English High Court, and successfully defended that decision in the Court of Appeal, confirming that the Senior Facilities Agreement (SFA) remains valid and enforceable, that clauses relating to access to information for the Lenders remain valid, and that the Comexposium’s parent was in breach of those clauses for failing to provide information requested. It demonstrates another defeat to Comexposium’s attempt to disregard the clear terms of the SFA and the rights afforded to our clients.
- We represented Werfen, a global developer and manufacturer of diagnostic technology, to file emergency actions for injunctive relief in the U.S. and U.K. to prevent the Swedish counterparty to a licensing and distribution agreement from announcing—at one of the largest annual industry conferences attended by numerous competitors and current and potential vendors—its development of a product that uses Werfen’s intellectual property and confidential and proprietary material in the field of diagnostics and testing reserved to Werfen under the agreement. Werfen has invested nearly a decade and tens of millions of dollars in the research and development of its technology, all of which were threatened by the counterparty’s intended detailed presentation on its product and applications in the field. The case promptly settled after the verdict.
- In what may be the final act of a saga in which QE has recovered $1.4b on behalf of the ResCap Liquidating Trust, the court awarded our client $22m including attorneys fees on a $5m claim, noting that “[t]he results obtained here were exceptional…. [and an] undeniable ” This largely brings to an end a 7-year effort in nearly 100 cases across multiple jurisdictions concerning claims arising out of the 2008 financial crisis.
- We represented Agility to obtain an important precedential opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. At the trial level, the Court of Federal Claims had ruled that the United States could validly invoke the Debt Collection Act to withhold more than $17.5 million that it concededly owed Agility on a government contract, by asserting it had overpaid Agility for work performed on behalf of the Government of Iraq (during the reconstruction of Iraq), even without establishing any actual overpayment. The Federal Circuit has now laid down an important precedent by reversing the Court of Federal Claims and holding that the United States’ invocation of the Debt Collection Act “is subject to judicial review,” which “logically encompasses whether the government correctly assessed an overpayment.” The Court also agreed with Agility’s argument that the Court of Federal Claims had overlooked potential procedural defects surrounding the United States’ purported use of the Debt Collection Act. The result is a remand enabling Agility to continue pursuing its claim for the full amount of money withheld by the United States. On remand, Agility should finally have a meaningful day in court – something had not been able to obtain through prior proceedings and prior counsel (until QE took over in 2018).
- We represented the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”) in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom. After a two-and-a half-week trial, the jury awarded Caltech over $1.1 billion in damages. The patents protected Caltech’s invention of a novel advancement in error correction coding that is now used in WiFi.
- We represented the secured creditor, landlord, and management companies of two critical access hospitals located in Oklahoma that had filed for bankruptcy. We had previously obtained an order in Oklahoma state court granting the secured creditor’s and landlord’s application for the appointment of a receiver for both hospitals, which were insolvent. In October, 2020, following entry of that order, and before the state court had entered the order appointing the receiver, the hospitals filed for bankruptcy. Less than two weeks later, we moved to dismiss, arguing that the cases were really a two party dispute and that the debtors were administratively insolvent, could not confirm a plan of reorganization, and had commenced the cases in bad faith to avoid the appointment of a receiver in the state court action. Following a three-day trial, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued an order granting our motion in its entirety and dismissing both cases.
- We represented Stripe and PayPal in a case involving claims under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and obtained dismissal on the pleadings. Plaintiff Blair Gladwin is a federally licensed firearms dealer. He sued Stripe and PayPal (along with Square in a companion case) alleging that these payment processing companies were violating his civil rights because they have restrictions against using their services to process payments for weapons and ammunition. Gladwin alleged that under the Unruh Act, his occupation as a firearms dealer was a protected personal characteristic and that the defendant companies were discriminating against him and other firearms dealers on the basis of that occupation by preventing them from using the defendants’ services to process payments for firearms. On demurrer, Quinn Emanuel scored a major victory for Stripe and PayPal by convincing the court that facially neutral restrictions like those of the defendant companies -- which apply equally to all people -- are encouraged by the Unruh Act, not prohibited by it, and that the companies’ policies were supported by reasonable business decisions and were therefore not arbitrary. After allowing the plaintiff multiple opportunities to amend his pleading to attempt to cure it, the superior court dismissed the case with prejudice.
- We represent the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in a claim commenced before the English Court to recover losses suffered by a number of closed US banks and thrifts as a result of the alleged suppression of USD LIBOR by a number of UK and European LIBOR Panel Banks. The Court dismissed an application by one of the Defendants, UBS, to strike out the FDIC’s claim on limitation grounds.
- We obtained a complete victory following a three-week trial for our client the Rescap Liquidating Trust, on whose behalf we asserted contractual indemnification claims relating to hundreds of mortgage loans that the defendant sold to ResCap in breach of its representations and warranties, and which ResCap then securitized into RMBS trusts. The Court’s 202-page decision awarded ResCap its entire damages request, This victory is the capstone of QE’s 6.5 year engagement for ResCap, on whose behalf the firm has recovered nearly $1.3 billion.
- Quinn Emanuel successfully obtained a preliminary injunction for its client, Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. (“FBN”), in South Dakota state court after filing the complaint in May 2020 and conducting an in-person, 2-day bench trial only six weeks later (at the height of the COVID pandemic in the United States). The South Dakota court adopted all of Quinn Emanuel’s arguments and evidence, and issued a preliminary injunction to enforce a non-compete agreement against FBN’s former employee, thereby prohibiting him from working for his new employer, an FBN competitor.
- Our client, the autonomous driving company WeRide, asserted trade secret misappropriation and related claims against its former CEO, former lead engineer, and the new company they formed. The case settled on favorable confidential terms after the Court issued two preliminary injunctions and then terminating sanctions against the defendants, and awarded WeRide its attorneys’ fees. The court’s various rulings in this case have been widely cited in trade secret and spoliation matters in recent years.
- We represent Morgan Art Foundation, a longtime patron of the late artist Robert Indiana, and the holder of intellectual property rights for some of Indiana’s most famous works, including the LOVE image. Morgan brought claims against Michael McKenzie, American Image Art, and Jamie Thomas in connection with their unauthorized forgery of several Indiana works. Indiana’s Estate was also a defendant in this lawsuit. Indiana’s Estate asserted counterclaims against Morgan for, among other things, purportedly failing to provide Indiana with accountings and royalties required by certain agreements between the two parties. McKenzie and American Image Art likewise brought counterclaims against Morgan for purportedly interfering with agreements McKenzie and American Image Art allegedly had with Indiana. Morgan moved to dismiss the Indiana’s Estate’s counterclaims and certain of the counterclaims brought by McKenzie and American Image Art for failure to state a claim. The Court granted much of the relief Morgan requested, dismissing counterclaims brought by the Estate for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, and allowing the Estate’s remaining claims to go forward only on certain narrow grounds. The Court likewise dismissed McKenzie and American Image Art’s counterclaims for tortious interference and unfair competition. Using a highly creative strategy that Reuters called a “pièce de résistance” and “surprise move” that “completely blindsided” our opponents, we successfully resolved the case against the Estate. The litigation against McKenzie continues.
- We represented the PAH Litigation Trust, formed pursuant to the bankruptcy of Physiotherapy Associates, Inc. We represented the Trust in a variety of in- court and out-of-court investigation and recovery efforts against the company’s former advisors, underwriters, auditors, and private equity owners that sponsored the LBO that preceded the company’s collapse, recovering over $100 million for the Trust.
- The firm obtained a published decision from a unanimous panel of the DC Circuit, reversing a district court that had refused, on statute-of-limitations grounds, to enter a default judgment against Iran for its role in sponsoring Al Qaeda’s attack that killed the family member of our clients – alongside scores of others – working at the US Embassy in Kenya in 1998. This decision should clear the way for our clients now to recover fair compensation (from a fund Congress has established for this purpose) for Iran’s demonstrated state sponsorship of the terrorist attack that claimed the life of their loved one.
- Quinn Emanuel obtained over $500 million in settlements in the ISDAfix antitrust class action, which was brought on behalf of investors such as insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds, and other sophisticated actors. Quinn Emanuel built this case from scratch, after noticing anomalies in the data, before the government even acted. The successful settlement and then certification of the class was the result of years of dogged, groundbreaking work. Judge Furman said that this was the “the most complicated case” he ever faced, and that he could “not really imagine” how much more complicated “it would have been if I didn’t have counsel who had done as admirable a job in briefing it and arguing it as” the Quinn Emanuel team did.
- During the fall of 2018, we represented CA-based electric car start-up, Faraday Future, against its largest investor, The Evergrande Group, in a dispute over Evergrande’s commitment to provide $2 billion to Faraday. Evergrande had invested the first $800M in early 2018, but by the end of summer, Evergrande refused to provide any further funding unless Faraday made a number of management changes, restructured the board and gave Evergrande control, and granted Evergrande some further financial concessions. This culminated in a high stakes, David and Goliath dispute between the small California-based start-up and Evergrande, China’s second largest publicly traded company, with over $70 billion in annual revenue. This was a $ 2 billion, bet-the-company case. The matter was governed by Hong Kong law and was subject to arbitration in Hong Kong. Evergrande was represented by dozens of lawyers from Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Baker McKenzie, and a well-known team of barristers from Hong Kong. Faraday was represented primarily by a small team of QE lawyers from our LA, SF and Hong Kong offices. We sought an emergency preliminary injunction against Evergrande, a remedy rarely if ever granted by international arbitration tribunals. Evergrande had over 30 lawyers at the hearing compared to about 6 from QE. Against all odds, we prevailed. News of the victory sent Evergrande’s stock plummeting on the HK stock exchange—trading was suspended for several days.
- The firm won a major victory for two investment funds, Zohar II 2005-1, Ltd. and Zohar III, Ltd. (the “Zohar Funds”), in a dispute with their former collateral manager, Lynn Tilton. The immediate dispute concerned ownership and control over three Delaware corporations—FSAR Holdings, Inc., UI Acquisition Holding Co., and Glenoit Universal Ltd.—but has ramifications for dozens of other portfolio companies that are subject to the same dispute. The Zohar Funds claimed legal and beneficial ownership of the three subject companies, and elected new directors to their boards by written consent. Tilton refused to recognize the election, claiming that the Zohar Funds were merely record holders of equity in the companies, while she was the true beneficial owner entitled to all rights and privileges of ownership, including the right to elect their directors. Following a six day trial before the Delaware Court of Chancery, the Court issued a 95-page Memorandum Opinion finding for the Zohar Funds on all counts. The Court confirmed the Zohar Funds’ appointees as the rightful directors of the subject companies and rejected Tilton’s claim of beneficial ownership of the Defendant Companies as “not credible” and based upon “hindsight observations” the Court characterized as “revisionist.”
- We represented Solus Alternative Asset Management LP against GSO Capital Partners (“GSO”) and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (“Hovnanian), in a suit arising from GSO’s agreement to lend money to Hovnanian in exchange for Hovnanian agreeing to default on a portion of its debt. The default would trigger a credit event on credit default swaps, which would require Solus to pay millions of dollars in payments and would yield GSO millions of dollars in CDS payments. In addition, certain aspects of the transaction between GSO and Hovnanian were explicitly designed to set the price of the payout required from Solus in the case of a credit event. Solus alleged that this agreement violated Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act and that GSO had tortiously interfered with Solus’s prospective economic advantage. The case settled at the end of May; as part of the settlement, Hovnanian cured the agreed-upon default, thereby avoiding the threatened credit event.
- We represented Douglas A. Kelley, as Trustee of the PCI Liquidating Trust, in an adversary proceeding arising from the bankruptcy of Petters Company Inc. (“PCI”) and related entities, through which Thomas Petters operated one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. The Trustee, who brought more than 200 adversary proceedings to recover funds from the Ponzi scheme’s net profiteers, retained Quinn Emanuel to pursue claims against the largest net winner, which with its affiliates earned more than $200 million in net profits.
- Quinn Emanuel and its co-counsel achieved a landmark civil rights settlement with The City of New York and the New York Police Department (NYPD). The City and the NYPD agreed to pay up to $75 million (the second largest civil rights settlement in the City’s history) to resolve claims that as a result of NYPD quotas, New York City police officers issued approximately 900,000 criminal summonses without probable cause in violation of the Constitution. The settlement agreement also sets forth a series of significant steps that the City has taken since the start of the litigation, or will be taking going forward, to address quota policy and other matters raised in the lawsuit.
- We obtained an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a plaintiff class of consumers challenging price-fixing of ATM access fees by Visa, MasterCard, and the big banks. The Supreme Court had previously granted the defendants’ petition for certiorari from a D.C. Circuit decision upholding the complaint on a motion to dismiss. After we filed our merits brief as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, the Supreme Court dismissed the defendants’ petition as improvidently granted, finding that the defendants’ arguments were inconsistent with the question on which the Court had originally granted certiorari. This effectively upholds the D.C. Circuit decision in our favor.
- As court-appointed co-lead counsel for direct purchaser plaintiffs in In re Flexible Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ohio), we achieved over $430 million in settlements for the class from nine different defendants accused of colluding to raise prices of polyurethane foam, used in bedding, furniture, automobiles and carpet underlay. On the path to these recoveries, we won certification of a national class of direct purchasers, defeated the defendants’ effort to have the certification decision reversed on appeal (including in the U.S. Supreme Court), and defeated those same defendants’ motions for summary judgment. We have also successfully pursued claims on behalf of bedding companies in the English courts against the polyurethane foam cartelists, successfully resolving the claims without needing to serve proceedings.
- Quinn Emanuel serves as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in a class action antitrust lawsuit to recover damages suffered by investors in interest rate swaps (“IRS”) due to a conspiracy between a dozen of the world’s largest banks to block more efficient, transparent trading of IRS. This action is a quintessential example of Quinn Emanuel acting as a “private attorney general.” Based on a months-long pre-filing investigation, we filed a complaint alleging that some of the world’s largest banks conspired to thwart competition and boycott innovative trading platforms in the IRS market. The lawsuit survived a motion to dismiss, and yielded extensive discovery, including millions of documents and over 100 depositions. Plaintiffs have moved to certify a proposed class of IRS investors, and their motion is backed by opinions from two world-renowned experts and hundreds of evidentiary exhibits. In early 2022, Plaintiffs announced that they had reached a $25 million “icebreaker” settlement with Defendant Credit Suisse. The deal reflects Quinn Emanuel’s six-plus years of litigation on behalf of the proposed class, and a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is currently pending.
- We achieved an important victory for our client Hudson Group, a retailer that operates hundreds of stores in airports throughout the United States. Hudson had an agreement with famed LA boutique retailer, Kitson, to operate two stores at LAX as Kitson stores. The relationship deteriorated and Kitson began to malign Hudson to the airport authority, city officials, and Hudson’s business partners—and Kitson was threatening to sue. Instead, we went on the offensive for Hudson. At an early preliminary junction hearing, we achieved a victory over Kitson so decisive that it gutted Kitson’s case and set up Hudson for a near certain victory at trial. Kitson had no choice but to settle, agreeing to pay an amount close to what Hudson was seeking in the case.
- We represented Financial Guaranty Insurance Company in a case relating to a $900 million insurance policy on a credit default swap referencing a $1.5 billion collateralized debt obligation. We obtained a complete reversal from the Second Circuit of the district court’s order dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim, protecting our client’s right to pursue its claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence.
- We were appointed co-lead counsel in Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of Northern California and Iron Workers Pension Plan of Western Pennsylvania, a class action alleging that five of the world’s largest financial institutions conspired to manipulate the multi-trillion dollar market for supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (“SSA”) bonds. The complaint alleges that the banks conspired in private electronic chat rooms to rig prices and bid-ask spreads for SSA bonds. The complaint’s allegations are supported by original economic analysis demonstrating the existence of multiple historical patterns in SSA bid-ask spreads and prices that are indicative of a price-fixing conspiracy that began in 2010 and started to break up in late 2014.
- Quinn Emanuel represents various plaintiffs in claims arising from major banks’ manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). Defendants are Libor panel banks, and include BofA, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, RBC, RBS, and UBS. Plaintiffs allege that defendants deliberately suppressed Libor, which reduced the payments on and value of investments tied to Libor. Plaintiffs allege that defendants’ manipulation of Libor constituted fraud, breached the terms of certain contracts, interfered with others, and violated the Sherman Act. Our clients’ common law claims were upheld in part by the district court. The plaintiffs’ group, including our firm, also succeeded in convincing the Second Circuit to partially overturn the prior dismissal of the antitrust claims, putting the potential for treble damages back on the table. Since then, Quinn Emanuel has reached confidential settlements with a number of the defendant banks on favorable terms.
- We achieved a settlement for $130 million plus even more valuable non-monetary relief (in the form for prospective changes to the defendants’ practices) in Universal Delaware v. Comdata Corporation (E.D. Pa.), concerning alleged monopolization and anticompetitive collusion in the markets for the truck fleet credit cards used at highway truck stops. We served as court-appointed co-lead counsel for a proposed class of over 4,000 independent truck stops. Defendants included Comdata (the leading issuer of trucker fleet payment cards) and three national truck stop chains.
- On behalf of our client, Insolvency Services Group (ISG), we obtained summary judgment and an award of $15.7 million against Meritage Homes Corp. related to a real estate development near Las Vegas. The trial court found that ISG could enforce the repayment guaranty that Meritage signed in connection with the venture. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in full.
- We obtained an award of nearly $80 million for our client Rosen Capital Partners, which The Wall Street Journal described as one of the largest investor arbitration awards ever issued by a FINRA arbitration panel. In December of 2011, the Los Angeles Superior Court confirmed the arbitration award and denied the Petition of Merrill Lynch to vacate it. And in February of 2013, the California Second District Court of Appeal affirmed that judgment and denied the appeal of Merrill Lynch seeking to reverse that judgment. The judgment, which eventually amounted to over $89 million, has now been satisfied.
- We obtained and successfully defended a $6 billion+ settlement as special counsel to Washington Mutual, Inc. in a bankruptcy litigation arising out of the largest bank failure in U.S. history. The Delaware bankruptcy court rejected challenges to the multi-billion dollar settlement after a week-long trial.
- We obtained a $63 million verdict for Access Industries in an action for breach of an investment management agreement, and based on manager’s violation of sector caps limiting percentage of mortgage securities.
- We represented Motorola in a nullity action against the German part of EP 2 059 868 (member of Apple’s ‘rubber band patent’ family) and obtained full nullification (decision appealable).
- We won a unanimous jury verdict on both infringement and validity in the Eastern District of Texas. The technology at issue in this case concerned e-commerce technology that retailers use to facilitate sales made through their websites.
- We represented Litton in a patent infringement case against Honeywell, obtaining a verdict of $1.2 billion for intentional patent infringement and interference with prospective business advantage. This is believed to be the largest patent infringement verdict in U.S. history. It was ultimately settled for $440 million prior to retrial. This is just one of many successful intellectual property trials we have litigated for Litton.
- We represented Freedom Wireless in a case against several wireless carriers, for infringement of its patents on prepaid wireless telephone systems and methods. (Shortly before trial, Freedom reached a settlement with one of the defendants, Verizon, for a confidential sum). The trial lasted 15 weeks. We secured a $128 million jury verdict, the largest ever awarded in Massachusetts, and it was the eighth biggest verdict awarded in the U.S. that year. The case later settled for a lump sum payment of $87 million, plus ongoing royalties which are expected to generate an additional $50 million.
- We represented Allstate in a number of lawsuits against Wall Street banks arising from Allstate’s losses on mortgage-backed securities issued by the banks. We defeated defendants’ motions to dismiss in five lawsuits, winning every motion that reached a decision, and we obtained remand to state court in all but one case.
- We represented The Prudential Insurance Company of America in fourteen lawsuits against a host of financial institutions arising from RMBS-related losses. Based on our success, we were able to settle each of these matters, recovering $270 million.
- We secured a significant ruling for our client, MBIA Insurance Corporation, in connection with its multibillion dollar claims against Bank of America Corporation and Countrywide, filed in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. The Court held that: (i) New York, not Delaware, law applied to a de facto merger claim against Bank of America; (ii) reliance is not an element of a successor liability claim based on a theory of implied assumption of liabilities; (iii) the payment of billions of dollars for Countrywide’s assets is not relevant to a de facto merger claim; and (iv) a strict asset-for-stock sale is not necessary to establish continuity of ownership under a de facto merger claim. Numerous plaintiffs across the country have alleged that Bank of America should be held liable for Countrywide’s misconduct, and this ruling establishes the correct legal standards to prove such claims at trial.
- We secured another victory for our client, MBIA Insurance Corporation. In Justice Bransten’s decision on the parties’ summary judgment motions, she adopted virtually the entire legal framework advocated by Quinn Emanuel. The ruling impacts other insurers and investors in RMBS who have sued issuers of RMBS for fraud and breach of contract. First, insurers in New York now have a clear path to recovery on misrepresentation claims, where they need not show either reasonable reliance or loss causation (beyond inducement to enter the transaction, or transaction causation). Second, insurers and investors in RMBS now can enforce repurchase claims for material breach regardless of whether or why the defective loans are in default or delinquency. In other words, the contractual requirement of “material and adverse effect” is tested as of the closing date only, rendering the housing collapse and financial crisis irrelevant. Third, insurers and investors can rely on the “no default” provisions in mortgage notes to capture borrower misrepresentations even where the transaction documents do not contain a representation and warranty prohibiting borrower fraud.
- We obtained a unanimous Second Circuit victory for AIG in a suit against Bank of America and other banks, who had removed our client’s state-court RMBS fraud action under the Edge Act. The banks argued that the fact that a few mortgages were originated in Guam and other insular territories created federal jurisdiction. The Second Circuit disagreed, holding that the Edge Act applied only to suits that actually arise out of the purported foreign banking activity by the federal bank that is a party to the suit. We also represent AIG in RBMS, CDOs, and related cases, including: (1) a pending RMBS suit against Countrywide and Merrill Lynch; (2) a suit against ICP Asset Management LLC and other parties, alleging that the defendants fraudulently shifted losses of over $1 billion to AIG Financial Products via sales to certain CDOs on which AIG Financial Products held the credit risk; (3) a settlement against seven CDOs relating to interest-rate swaps, after an AIG victory defeating an order to show cause to escrow funds pending resolution of the litigation.
- We represented Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (“Assured”) in its lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against UBS Real Estate Securities Inc. (“UBS”) arising out of Assured’s issuance of financial guaranty insurance for RMBS underwritten and marketed by UBS. On May 6, 2013, after a series of procedural wins for Assured, UBS agreed to settle Assured’s claims for breaches of representations and warranties for $360 million plus an ongoing reinsurance obligation covering 85% of Assured’s forward liabilities with respect to the insured certificates.
- We filed thirteen RMBS-related actions on behalf of MassMutual against a dozen financial institutions. In the “bellwether” action against Deutsche Bank, we won a motion for partial summary judgment rejecting a portion of Deutsche Bank’s due diligence defense, won a motion to exclude defendants’ statutory “control person” expert, defeated defendants’ motions for summary judgment based on statute of limitations and failure to prove misrepresentations, and defeated defendants’ motions to exclude MassMutual’s reunderwriting and appraisal experts. We were subsequently able to favorably settle the action on the eve of trial, and have since settled five more of these actions.
- We succeeded in obtaining a temporary restraining order for our client KIRP, LLC, an investor in RMBS issued by RALI trusts, enjoining Nationstar, the master servicer for the trusts, from completing scheduled auctions of mortgage notes owned by the trusts through online auction sites or transferring mortgage notes that had been the subject of prior online auctions. We further obtained an order for expedited discovery in support of a motion for a preliminary injunction on the same issues. The executive director of the Association of Mortgage Investors has publicly applauded the victory, stating that this type of behavior by servicers must be carefully examined.
- We represented Infinity World, a subsidiary of Dubai World, one of the world’s largest holding companies, in its dispute against MGM MIRAGE over the funding of the $8.5 billion CityCenter project in Las Vegas. A little over one month after we filed a complaint against MGM in the Delaware Chancery Court, MGM and CityCenter’s lenders capitulated to Dubai World’s demands. MGM agreed to fund its remaining equity contributions, to be solely responsible for potential cost overruns, and to pledge additional collateral as security for its funding obligations. CityCenter’s lenders agreed to fund the full $1.8 billion promised under CityCenter’s senior credit facility. The settlement ensures that the CityCenter project, which is expected to be a powerful engine for growth and employment in Las Vegas and Nevada, will be completed.
- We were retained by Solutia, virtually on the eve of its exit from its four-year Chapter 11 proceeding, when the banks that had agreed to provide the necessary $2 billion of exit financing (Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank) refused to fund the loans claiming that the credit market downturn constituted a “materially adverse condition” (MAC) that enabled them to terminate the agreement. The issue we were brought in to litigate was whether Solutia or the banks bore the risk of the credit market downturn. The trial commenced after a month of expedited discovery in which we produced millions of documents, took and defended almost 30 depositions and prepared for trial. After three days of trial, and on the eve of closing arguments, the banks, who had previously refused to entertain settlement negotiations, indicated that they were eager to settle. Under the terms of the settlement, the banks were required to provide the $2 billion in exit financing needed to fund the plan. The case is believed to be the first of its kind and is of great significance to the bankruptcy bar, financial institutions and companies in Chapter 11.
- We obtained a settlement of $64 million for a class of nearly 3000 restaurants and restaurateurs who charged Reward Network with usury and unfair business practices. After two and a half years of hard-fought litigation, Reward Network offered to settle, and the class members were eligible to receive a substantial package including cash, miles and complete forgiveness of remaining interest owed on their loans.
- We obtained $250 million on behalf of our client Unova in a series of patent infringement actions enforcing our client’s patents on smart batteries.
- We obtained $200 million on behalf of our clients Northrop Grumman and Stanford University in a series of patent infringement actions enforcing our clients’ patent on optical fiber amplifiers.
- We represented about two dozen hedge funds, including international funds, grouped under four management entities—Elliott, Davidson-Kempner, Appalloosa, and Angelo Gordon—as plaintiff-holders of Yosemite and Enron Credit-Linked (ECLN) Notes in the Yosemite v. Citibank action in the Enron MDL. The noteholders asserted fraudulent transfer claims against Citibank and collectively sought $1.4 billion on those claims. With Citibank’s motion for summary judgment pending, Citibank and Enron agreed to a joint settlement and our clients received $2.1 billion in payments from the Enron bankruptcy estate.
- We successfully tried a FINRA arbitration for a large merger arbitrage fund against one of the leading global broker-dealers over the liquidation of a swap transaction. After four weeks of hearings spread over three months, we recovered over $10 million for our client in a confidential settlement. The dispute concerned the market quote method of valuing an equity swap under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement where the broker-dealer sought and received quotes from three reference market makers. We effectively challenged the validity of the settlement value by attacking the quotes as shams which were the product of coaching friendly market makers and manipulating the market price through heavy volume sales.
- We were retained by plaintiffs Catalina Marketing Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Catalina Health Resource (collectively “Catalina”) to take over as lead counsel in an action alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,240,394 (“the ‘394 patent”) shortly before the Markman The ‘394 patent disclosed and claimed a novel method and computer system for generating targeted messages for pharmacy patients at the point of sale. Catalina alleged that LDM Group LLC’s “Carepoint” product and related services infringed the ‘394 patent. The parties resolved the case informally pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement.
- We represented DIRECTV in a suit against NWS, a former DIRECTV vendor, in a case involving a fraudulent scheme to provide programming to commercial institutions. DIRECTV brought a demand for arbitration in the AAA against NWS for breach of contract, fraud, unfair business practices, and violations of the Cable Communications Policy Act. NWS counterclaimed for breach of contract, unfair business practices, and tortious interference with contract. After a 7-day hearing, we obtained a $5.6 million judgment on behalf of DIRECTV. The Arbitrator found for our client on every affirmative claim and against NWS on all counterclaims.
- We represented Summit Media LLC in an action to invalidate a “closed-door” settlement agreement between the City of Los Angeles and two of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world. The settlement agreement gave the outdoor advertising companies the contractual right to erect hundreds of jumbotron-style, digital billboards anywhere in Los Angeles, with virtually no public oversight or participation—rights potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Although the key terms of the agreement had been approved by the former City Attorney, the City Council, and a highly-respected judge, we successfully invalidated the agreement, which the judge described as “poison.”
- More than a week after trial began, after having no prior involvement in the case, we stepped in and assumed the role of lead trial counsel representing a Southern California developer of open-air “lifestyle” shopping centers against the nation’s second largest mall developer. Our client had brought claims against the mall developer for interference with prospective business relations based on threats the mall developer allegedly made against a prominent nationwide restaurant chain to discourage the chain from becoming an anchor tenant in our client’s new shopping center across the street from the super-regional mall owned by the defendants. Over the next handful of weeks, we conducted most of the witness examinations, the closing argument, and the punitive damages phase of the trial. The jury awarded our client the full amount of compensatory damages requested—$74 million, and an additional $15 million in punitive damages, for a total award of $89 million.
- We obtained a nine-figure settlement for Occidental Petroleum after we won a jury verdict establishing liability, in an insurance coverage case regarding business interruption losses sustained from over two hundred terrorist bombings of an oil pipeline in Colombia.
- We represented limited partners of a hedge fund in a shareholder derivative arbitration against a hedge fund manager and his stockbroker sister based on claims of systemic fraud through post-execution allocations of securities trades over more than a decade. After an arbitration that spanned seven months, the arbitration panel, in a unanimous opinion, awarded our clients $105 million, including $75 million in compensatory and punitive damages, which included $35 million for disgorgement of compensation for the period of the fraud.