Stuart L. Berman

Partner

EDUCATION
  • Brandeis University
    B.A. with honors
  • The George Washington University Law School
    J.D.
ADMISSIONS
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • USDC, District of New Jersey
  • USDC, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • USDC, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • USCA, Second Circuit
  • USCA, Ninth Circuit
  • USCA, Tenth Circuit
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Stuart L. Berman has opened doors for victims of securities fraud to pursue recoveries around the world.  As head of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check’s global litigation practice, Stu actively counsels institutional investors on filing lawsuits in jurisdictions outside the United States and has helped recover billions of dollars for investors worldwide.

The Firm’s global litigation focus first began around 2009 through Stu’s role in representing European investors in the precedent-setting $350 million settlement with Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands—the first class settlement approved under Dutch law.  Since then, Stu has helped organize and lead shareholder actions against companies in the Netherlands (Fortis), Germany (VW and Porsche), France (Vivendi), Japan (Olympus, Toshiba and Mitsubishi), Australia (BHP Billiton), Portugal (BES) and the United Kingdom (Royal Bank of Scotland).  

A well-known authority on global litigation and portfolio monitoring, Stu actively engages with institutional clients regarding how they may best protect their investments made in the United States and abroad.  Through Kessler Topaz’s proprietary Securities Tracker program, which Stu helped create and launch, the firm’s institutional clients are able to quickly review and analyze potential claims anywhere in the world.  The Firm’s clients trust Stu to accurately assess their fiduciary responsibilities and guide them on how best to pursue and recover assets lost to fraud.  His experience and judgment are indispensable in determining when there is the right combination of facts, law and source of recovery to warrant a commitment to active litigation.

In actions brought in the United States, Stu has been instrumental in representing numerous institutional investors through the lead plaintiff, discovery and class certification process in high-profile class actions.  He also has represented institutional clients as named plaintiffs in direct (opt-out) actions against companies such as Petrobras, Merck and Vivendi.

Stu is a frequent speaker and panelist at investor meetings and conferences around the world on topics such as shareholder actions, corporate governance, shareholder rights, and the importance of monitoring portfolios and analyzing shareholder claims on a global basis.

Experience
Representative Outcomes
  • Recovered more than $250 million as lead counsel in a class action involving the embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars by former officers of AremisSoft.

    Because one officer remains at large and not all funds have been recovered, we negotiated a creative settlement that allowed shareholders to quickly recover value. As part of the settlement, we helped reorganize AremisSoft as a new company, separating out the securities fraud claims and the bankrupt company’s claims into a litigation trust. Class members received the majority of the equity in the new company, and will receive a pro rata share of any funds recovered by the trust. We have initiated actions in the Isle of Man and Cyprus, as well as the United States, as we continue trying to recover stolen assets. 

  • Obtained a $2.4 billion settlement in litigation against Bank of America (BoA) relating to its merger with Merrill Lynch & Co. (Merrill). Our clients, Dutch National pension fund PGGM and Swedish National pension fund AP4, alleged that BoA gave shareholders false and misleading information about Merrill’s financial condition and obligations prior to a key vote on the merger. 

    The settlement, which included an undertaking to improve corporate governance policies, was the 6th-largest ever in a securities class action and the largest so far to come out of the subprime meltdown and credit crisis.

  • Represented the Miami Beach Employees’ Retirement Plan, the City of Tallahassee Pension Plan, the Philadelphia Public Employees Retirement System and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Pension Fund in pursuing claims against Citigroup for concealing its exposure to subprime mortgage debt—exposure that, once revealed, led to massive investment losses during the 2008 financial crisis. 

    Investors’ claims resulted in a historic settlement of $730 million, the second largest recovery ever under Section 11 of the Securities Act.   

  • Obtained an 11 billion yen ($92 million) settlement in an action filed in Japan over an accounting scandal—one of the largest securities-fraud recoveries ever in that country, if not the largest.

    In 2011, former Olympus CEO and whistleblower Michael Woodford revealed that Olympus had hidden more than $1 billion in losses through a series of sham transactions, many of which involved “paying” exorbitant fees for financial advice. Olympus was forced to restate five years of earnings, and three of its executives pled guilty to the fraud. We represented defrauded shareholders in proceedings in Tokyo alleging that Olympus and its officers had violated their duties under Japanese Company Law. Following a two-day mediation, we reached a settlement agreement for 11 billion yen. 

  • On behalf of investors in European-based shares of Royal Dutch Shell, recovered more than $350 million in a class settlement of claims related to the company’s announced re-categorizations and/or restatement of certain oil and gas reserves.

    The settlement was the first of its kind under Dutch law and arguably began the trend of bringing securities class actions in numerous jurisdictions around the globe. 

Speaking Engagements

Stu is a frequent speaker at investor conferences and meetings in the United States and around the world, such as The European Pension Symposium in Florence, The European Investment Roundtable in Barcelona, The Public Funds Symposium in Washington, D.C., The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in Orlando, The Pennsylvania Public Employees Retirement (PAPERS) Summit in Harrisburg, and The New England Pension Summit in Newport. In addition, Stu regularly speaks at the Firm’s annual conferences for institutional investor clients at the Rights & Responsibilities for Institutional Investors in Amsterdam and Evolving Fiduciary Obligations of Pensions Plans in Washington, D.C.

Membership

American Bar Association

Community Involvement

Stu proudly supports and raises awareness and funds for the National Kidney Foundation.