Pomerantz was founded in 1936 by Abraham L. Pomerantz, who, during his legendary career, relentlessly fought to protect investor rights. In doing so, he secured numerous victories now enshrined in the laws applied to securities class actions and derivative lawsuits.
Abe’s trailblazing spirit lives on at Pomerantz – from our historic Supreme Court victory recognizing the right to a jury trial in derivative actions in 1970, to being appointed sole lead counsel in 2015 in the action against Brazilian oil giant, Petróleo Brasileiro SA – Petrobras, surrounding its conduct in one of the largest corruption and bribery scandals of the 21st century. Although our client did not suffer the largest financial loss, the court found that Pomerantz’s outstanding reputation and the client’s conduct in overseeing counsel represented the “gold standard” for institutional investors seeking to move for appointment as lead plaintiff.
We are celebrating our 80 years with a bang. Pomerantz acts as lead counsel in a closely-watched securities class action lawsuit against ChinaCast Education Corp., stemming from its CEO’s alleged misappropriation of $120 million in company funds. The Ninth Circuit recently revived the case – after its dismissal by a lower court – ruling that the CEO’s fraud could be imputed to ChinaCast, even though his alleged embezzlement and misleading of investors went against the company’s interests. The litigation will now return to the lower court for trial.
Pomerantz is co-lead counsel in a securities class action against S.A.C. Capital Advisors LLC, in which the court recently certified two classes of plaintiffs. The case arises from the most profitable insider-trading scheme ever uncovered, in which the defendants illegally gained profits and avoided losses of at least $555 million from trades in Elan Corporation plc and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. securities and related options while in possession of material, non-public information.
In 2015, Pomerantz defeated defendants’ motion to dismiss the class action against Barclays plc for misstatements about its “dark pool.” The court found that, although revenues from Barclays’ dark pool were under 5% of company revenues – a statistical benchmark often used to assess materiality – the misrepresentations went to the heart of its reputation and were therefore actionable. The decision is a victory for investors for its recognition that corporate integrity and ethics are material factors upon which investors rely when purchasing securities, even where the mounts of money involved fall below a presumptive numerical threshold.
Pomerantz acts as lead counsel for investors in a securities class action against Groupon for alleged misconduct related to its 2011 initial public offering, a case in which we have won every substantive motion to date. One of the most important milestones was our defeat of a defense motion to disqualify the plaintiffs’ class certification expert in March 2015. The defense argued that he was unreliable as he failed to conduct put-call parity and short lending fee analyses. We disagreed, citing the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Halliburton. After an extensive evidentiary hearing, the court sided with Pomerantz, holding that such tests were unnecessary because they addressed an extreme variation of market efficiency that “was squarely rejected by the Halliburton court.”
We are lead counsel in a securities class action against Walter Investment Management Corporation, in which the court dismissed our original complaint, while granting leave to file an amended complaint. Pomerantz then prevailed, overcoming the difficult burden to prove, in the motion to dismiss phase, that disclosure of a government investigation of and proposed enforcement action against the company satisfied the requirement for loss causation. Given the Myers/Loos standard prevailing in the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, which strictly limits the circumstances under which the announcement of a government investigation can be said to cause a loss, this victory is significant.