Stuart L. Berman

Partner

EDUCATION
  • The George Washington University Law School
    J.D.
  • Brandeis University
    B.A. with honors
ADMISSIONS
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • USDC, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • USDC, Western District of Arkansas
  • USDC, District of Colorado
  • USDC, District of New Jersey
  • USDC, District of Nebraska
  • USDC, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • USDC, Eastern District of Wisconsin
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Stuart L. Berman has opened doors to recovery around the world for victims of U.S. and foreign securities fraud. As head of the firm’s global litigation efforts, he frequently guides institutional investors in filing fraud cases in jurisdictions outside the United States. 

In particular, Stu is involved in developing and managing shareholder actions against companies in the Netherlands, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Stu played an important role in representing European investors in the precedent-setting Shell settlement in the Netherlands—the first class settlement under Dutch law.

A well-known authority on global portfolio monitoring, Stu is actively engaged in helping institutional clients use Kessler Topaz’s proprietary Securities Tracker system to protect their investments. When the system identifies a potential claim anywhere in the world, clients trust Stu to accurately assess their fiduciary responsibilities and decide how best to recover assets. His experience and judgment are indispensable in determining when a matter has the right combination of facts, law and potential recovery to warrant a commitment to litigation.   

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

Stu is a frequent speaker and panelist at investor meetings and conferences on topics such as shareholder actions, corporate governance, corporate fraud, 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.