The plaintiffs’ bar is increasing its use of complex, multijurisdictional class action litigation as a primary weapon against target companies. For individual plaintiffs, the risks involved in such litigation are relatively low; however, for defendants in these large-scale cases, the threat can be enormous. According to BTI Consulting, the number of companies facing at least one major class action rose nearly 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. The rise is fueled largely by an increase in regulatory oversight and obligations, and includes suits regarding consumer fraud, product liability and data privacy, among others.

The class action lawyers of McGuireWoods are widely respected for our litigation capabilities and we defend clients from all major economic sectors against class and collective actions. We have a strong record of winning on summary judgment and obtaining favorable verdicts in some of the country’s largest, high-stakes cases. Our experience encompasses an array of industries in all areas of class action litigation in the U.S. and abroad, including antitrust, consumer financial services, consumer products and mass tort, data privacy and securitylabor and employment, and securities.

Protecting our clients before an issue arises is a hallmark of our representation. McGuireWoods has spent more than 25 years defending major class actions and complex litigation and, as a result, we deliver the infrastructure and technology to handle the accompanying demands to the benefit of our clients. In our experience, litigation is best managed when the client has the necessary information to arrive at a decision as soon as possible. That’s why we developed an innovative approach to document collection and discovery designed to improve efficiency and reduce discovery-related error.

Our class action team strives to arm clients with useful thought leadership that impacts their businesses. McGuireWoods created and maintains the highly regarded Class Action Countermeasures blog and our lawyers contributed to The Class Action Playbook (Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.) — a valued reference for class action defense.

In addition, independent authorities have recognized McGuireWoods for our litigation prowess and client service. We were among the highest-ranked firms in 2016’s “BTI Litigation Outlook” report, honored as a “Powerhouse” for product liability and complex commercial litigation and as a “Standout” for class actions and torts. BTI also placed us sixth on its 2016 “Client Service A-Team” among a small group of elite firms singled out for excellence.

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Experience

  • REPRESENTATIVE MATTER

    Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allegations

    Defeated a class certification motion on behalf of a consumer finance company related to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allegations in the 7th Circuit. The court ruled that the class could not be ascertained, the class definition constituted an improper “fail-safe” class, and the plaintiff failed to establish the Rule 23 requirements of commonality, predominance, adequacy, typicality and superiority. The court also held that the plaintiff did not establish numerosity, an unusual element for a court to decide in ruling against a class plaintiff.

  • REPRESENTATIVE MATTER

    Direct purchaser and indirect purchaser class action antitrust litigation

    Defense of one of the largest, multinational polyurethane foam manufacturers in direct purchaser and indirect purchaser class action antitrust litigation stemming from allegations of price-fixing and market allocation in MDL 2196, In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation. In addition to representing our client, our firm served as Liaison Counsel for Defendants. While ultimately resolved through settlement, class definitions and putative damages were significantly narrowed as a result of vigorous discovery and motion practice. Our firm’s representation was multinational, involving class actions in several Canadian provinces and criminal investigations in the U.S., Canada and the EC. We also defended the client in over twelve direct “opt-out” or “follow on” actions in the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • REPRESENTATIVE MATTER

    Successful defense of Fortune 200 financial institution in breach of contract MDL

    Representation of a Fortune 200 financial institution in a breach of contract multi-district litigation relating to an interest rate increase on more than 30 million of its credit card accounts. The plaintiffs alleged breach of contract, breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TLA), and more. With cases filed across the country, the matter was consolidated to the Northern District of Georgia. We prevailed on summary judgment on all claims, and the 11th Circuit affirmed on appeal.

  • REPRESENTATIVE MATTER

    Settled an alleged $225 million fraud class action in duplicitous lawyer's plans to defraud investor

    Representation of a financial institution in a class action lawsuit filed by foreign investors related to an alleged $225 million fraud scheme orchestrated by an attorney who allegedly deposited the investment funds into various attorney trust accounts with bank and proceeded to use those funds to pay unrelated premium obligations or to pay out money to other investors and participants in the scheme. Plaintiffs, purporting to represent all 1,000+ investors, alleged that the bank failed to properly investigate the nature of the trust accounts, and failed to properly monitor and investigate the money movement between the accounts. After 18 months of litigation, the case settled on terms favorable for the client.

  • REPRESENTATIVE MATTER

    7th Circuit Finds Federal Preemption under the ICCTA

    Wedemeyer v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 850 F.3d 889 (7th Cir. 2017). Secured victory on preemption under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA). The Seventh Circuit rejected an adjacent landowner’s attempt to use state law to take active operating railroad property. It held that ICCTA preempts state law and permits railroads to operate free from interference by state regulation.

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