Chapter 15: Lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in deal litigation
Restricted access

The widely shared perception is that class action plaintiffs’ lawyers claim undeserved credit for positive outcomes in deal litigation, and that lead plaintiffs are irrelevant figureheads who exercise no influence over litigation outcomes. This view persists despite substantial efforts made by Delaware courts to sort for high-quality lead plaintiffs and lead counsel, and by institutional investors to screen for law-firm quality in opting for portfolio monitoring services. Do these judicial and investor efforts to screen for class-action leadership quality matter? Recent empirical scholarship suggests that they do. Top law firms and public pension fund lead plaintiffs correlate with better outcomes for investors, greater attorney effort, and lower attorney fees. In the most conflict-ridden transactions, markets react positively to the filing of suits by top firms, and negatively to suits filed by poor-quality firms alone. This evidence suggests that the deep skepticism towards lead counsel and lead plaintiff selection criteria may be misplaced.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account