Chairman: Eric L. Cramer
Managing Partners: Daniel Berger, Shanon J. Carson, Todd S. Collins, Merrill G. Davidoff, Michael C. Dell’Angelo, H. Laddie Montague Jr., Sherrie R. Savett, David F. Sorensen
Number of partners: 23 Number of lawyers: 66
Languages: English, Spanish
Berger Montague is a full-spectrum class action and complex civil litigation firm, with nationally known attorneys highly sought after for their legal skills. The firm has been recognized by courts throughout the country for its ability and experience in handling major complex litigation, particularly in the fields of antitrust, securities, mass torts, civil and human rights, whistleblower cases, employment, commercial, and consumer litigation. In numerous precedent-setting cases, the firm has played a principal or lead role. The firm attorneys have recovered more than $36 billion in commercial litigation and class action settlements and verdicts.
The National Law Journal, which recognizes a select group of law firms each year that have done ‘exemplary, cutting-edge work on the plaintiffs’ side,’ has selected Berger Montague in 12 out of 14 years (2003-2005, 2007-2013, 2015-2016) for its ‘Hot List’ of top plaintiffs-oriented litigation firms in the United States. From 2018-2020, the National Law Journal recognized Berger Montague as ‘Elite Trial Lawyers’ after reviewing more than 300 submissions for this award. The firm has also achieved the highest possible rating by its peers and opponents as reported in Martindale-Hubbell and was ranked as a 2020 ‘Best Law Firm’ by U.S. News –Best Lawyers.
Since its founding by David Berger in 1970, the firm has focused on the same mission: protecting the rights of clients and litigating complex cases to successful conclusions.
Main Areas of Practice:
Commodities & Financial Instruments
Credit Reporting & Background Checks
Defective Drugs & Medical Devices
Employee Benefits & ERISA
Employment & Unpaid Wages
Environment & Public Health
Predatory Lending & Borrowers’ Rights
Securities & Investor Protection
Technology, Privacy & Data Breach
Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act
Case 1: In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 05-md-01720-MKB-JO (E.D.N.Y.)
Lead Partners: H. Laddie Montague Jr., Merrill G. Davidoff, Michael J. Kane
Summary: Berger Montague served as co-lead counsel for a national class including millions of merchants in the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation against Visa, MasterCard, and several of the largest banks in the United States (e.g., Chase, Bank of America, and Citi). The lawsuit alleged that merchants paid excessive fees to accept Visa and MasterCard cards because the payment cards, individually and together with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws. The challenged conduct included, inter alia, the collective fixing of interchange fees and adoption of rules that hindered any competitive pressure by merchants to reduce those fees. The lawsuit further alleged that defendants maintained their conspiracy even after both Visa and MasterCard changed their corporate forms from joint ventures owned by member banks to publicly owned corporations following commencement of this litigation. On September 18, 2018, after 13 years of hard-fought litigation, Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay between $5.56 billion and $6.26 billion to settle the case. The settlement was preliminarily approved on January 24, 2019. On December 16, 2019, a settlement of approximately $5.6 billion received final approval. This is the largest-ever class action settlement of an antitrust case.
Case 2: In re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 16-cv-00696-BMC-GRB (E.D.N.Y.)
Lead Partners: Eric L. Cramer
Summary: Berger Montague served as co-lead counsel for a class of dental practices and laboratories in this antitrust suit against Henry Schein, Inc., Patterson Companies, Inc., and Benco Dental Supply Company, the three largest dental supplies distributors in the US. In September 2018, co-lead counsel agreed with defendants to settle on a classwide basis for $80 million. The Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for final settlement approval on June 24, 2019. The suit alleged that defendants conspired to restrain trade and fix prices paid by dentists and dental labs for supplies and equipment. Plaintiffs also claimed that defendants colluded to boycott and pressure dental manufacturers, distributors, and state dental associations that did business with or considered doing business with the defendants’ rivals. The suit claimed that, because of the defendants’ anticompetitive conduct, members of the class were overcharged on dental supplies and equipment. In the 2019 Fairness Hearing, Judge Brian M. Cogan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York said: ‘This is a substantial recovery that has the deterrent effect that class actions are supposed to have, and I think it was done because we had really good Plaintiffs’ lawyers in this case who were running it.’
Case 3: In re Namenda Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 15-cv-7488 (S.D.N.Y.)
Lead Partners: David F. Sorensen
Summary: In October 2019, the parties in In re Namenda Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation announced a settlement of $750 million, the largest settlement in Hatch-Waxman antitrust litigation with a single defendant. The lawsuit alleged that Forest worked to delay and impair generic competition for Forest’s immediate-release Namenda. Forest’s actions included entering into an illegal agreement with its prospective generic competitor, Mylan, and then orchestrating a ‘hard switch’ product hop from immediate-release Namenda to extended-release Namenda XR. As a result of Forest’s conduct, purchasers were injured from the loss of earlier, unconstrained, lower-priced generic competition. The court had precluded Forest from contesting that its ‘hard switch’ product hop constituted anticompetitive conduct in light of a prior ruling enjoining Forest from continuing its ‘hard switch’ product hop campaign. On August 2, 2018, Judge McMahon denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment and granted the direct purchaser plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Trial had been scheduled to commence on October 28, 2019, the day the $750 million settlement was announced.