Ropes & Gray Partners Comment on Increase in Shareholder Class Action Suits Challenging Mergers

In The News
October 8, 2010
John D. Donovan
William M. Shields

John Donovan, a partner in Ropes & Gray’s securities litigation practice, appeared on the Canadian financial news channel BNN on October 7 to discuss a surge in shareholder class action suits challenging public company mergers. Sparked by a class action suit that alleges Canada-based Potash Corp. disregarded shareholder interests when it rejected a takeover bid from BHP Billiton Ltd., Donovan was interviewed about the rising trend of class action suits on behalf of shareholders that are filed almost immediately following the announcement of a merger involving a public company.

“Virtually every takeover now attracts these lawsuits,” Donovan told BNN. “They’ve gotten very far afield. The range of arguments that plaintiffs can make, and have made, is very broad indeed.” 

M&A partner William Shields also commented on the proliferation of these shareholder class action lawsuits in the cover story of the October 2010 issue of Mergers & Acquisitions.

Ropes & Gray has one of the largest and most experienced securities litigation practices in the country. The firm serves as general or special counsel to more than 100 public companies and advises more than 500 mutual funds or fund boards – more than any other law firm in the nation. The securities litigation practice group works closely with other firm practice areas such as government enforcement, life sciences, health care, private equity and investment management.