The opinion of the court was delivered by: Naomi Reice Buchwald United States District Judge
THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: All Cases
Pursuant to this Court's October 18, 2011 Memorandum and Order, counsel seeking to serve as interim class counsel have presented the Court with supplemental submissions and revised leadership proposals. For the reasons discussed below, we appoint Hausfeld LLP ("Hausfeld") and Susman Godfrey LLP ("Susman Godfrey") as interim class counsel for the putative class of over-the-counter plaintiffs, and we appoint Kirby McInerney LLP ("Kirby McInerney") and Lovell Stewart Halebian Jacobson LLP ("Lovell Stewart") as interim class counsel for the putative class of exchange-based plaintiffs. We also grant the motion to consolidate related class action complaints.
This multi-district litigation involves twenty-three related complaints filed against member banks of the British Bankers' Association ("BBA") London Interbank Offer Rate ("LIBOR") Panel (collectively "defendants"). Plaintiffs in these cases allege that defendants artificially suppressed LIBOR by understating their borrowing costs to the BBA.
In our October 18, 2011 Memorandum and Order, we determined that even though all plaintiffs make similar substantive allegations, separate putative classes should be maintained for those plaintiffs who engaged in over-the-counter transactions and those plaintiffs who purchased financial instruments on an exchange. Because the record was unclear as to the proper classification of several of the plaintiffs, we requested that counsel inform us as to the plaintiffs they currently represent and whether those plaintiffs are over-the-counter purchasers or exchange-based purchasers. Counsel have now provided us with the requested information, and several firms have reorganized their leadership proposals to conform with our decision to maintain separate putative classes.
I.Interim Class Counsel Proposals
Previously, the law firms of Grant & Eisenhofer PA ("Grant & Eisenhofer"), Kirby McInerney, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller"), and Lovell Stewart had submitted a proposal under which the four firms would act as interim class counsel for both categories of plaintiffs. These firms have now divided, with two of the firms proposing to represent over-the- counter plaintiffs and the other two seeking to represent exchange-based plaintiffs. We are separately presented with an additional class counsel proposal for each of the putative classes. Thus, we are now faced with two proposals with respect to each putative class of plaintiffs.
1.Grant & Eisenhofer Proposal
Grant & Eisenhofer and Robbins Geller -- previously part of the four-firm proposal -- now seek to represent the putative class of over-the-counter plaintiffs ("Grant & Eisenhofer Proposal"). Robbins Geller currently represents two institutional plaintiffs, Carpenters Pension Fund of West Virginia and City of Dania Beach Police & Firefighters Retirement System, that purchased floating rate debt tied to LIBOR from one or more of the defendants. Grant & Eisenhofer currently represents Ravan Investments, LLC ("Ravan"), an institutional plaintiff that entered into unspecified types of over-the-counter transactions with defendant UBS. The Grant & Eisenhofer Proposal is also supported by plaintiff's counsel in Insulators & Asbestos Workers Local 14 v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 11 Civ. 3781 (S.D.N.Y.).
Hausfeld and Susman Godfrey submit a competing proposal with respect to the over-the-counter plaintiffs ("Baltimore Proposal"). These firms currently represent the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore in connection with Baltimore's having entered into ...