Robbins Umeda LLP* Selected to Inaugural Litigation Boutiques Hot List of Law Firms that “Take Second Place to No One in Courtroom Skill”
On February 13, 2012, Robbins Umeda LLP was named to The National Law Journal’s inaugural Litigation Boutiques Hot List. The Hot List features ten firms with up to fifty attorneys that “take second place to no one in courtroom skill.” The National Law Journal reports that Robbins Umeda LLP is one of the firms that “important clients turn to for state-of-the-art advocacy” and that “represent an avenue to practice high-end law on a more human scale.”
Robbins Umeda LLP, founded just ten years ago by Brian Robbins and Marc Umeda, has secured more than $1 billion of value for clients across the country. “Our firm fights hard in and out of the courtroom on behalf of our clients,” said Umeda, co-founder. “We are proud that investors, consumers, and employees rely on us and are honored by this designation.”
Featured Derivative Suits Involving Fossil, Inc. and Vitacost.com, Inc.
In an interview with The National Law Journal, Brian Robbins, managing partner of Robbins Umeda LLP, discussed some of the cases the firm has recently been involved in, including a shareholder derivative suit on behalf of shareholders of Fossil, Inc. arising from an alleged stock options backdating scheme. Robbins Umeda LLP and co-counsel secured a $8.6 million payment to the company and strong corporate governance reforms. In shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of one of the largest online health and wellness products retailers, Vitacost.com, Inc., Robbins Umeda LLP attorneys worked with the parties in the litigation to save the company from almost assured bankruptcy and preserve the equity interests of its shareholders. Ultimately, “we all had the same interest at heart,” Robbins said. “We wanted to save the company for the shareholders.”
The firm along with co-counsel negotiated an unusual settlement that enabled Vitacost to bring its financial statements and SEC filings up to date. With its filings current, Vitacost was able to hold a long overdue shareholder meeting to address fundamental defects in the corporation’s formation, board composition, and past stock issuances. As a result, NASDAQ lifted its trading moratorium on Vitacost stock, which allowed the company and its shareholders access to the capital markets. The firm also worked with the company’s new board of directors to implement corporate governance best practices, including a policy against insider trading.
Hewlett-Packard Company, the Allred letter and Delaware Courts
The National Law Journal article also features a Robbins Umeda LLP case involving Hewlett-Packard Company that received national media coverage. In this case, Felipe Arroyo, a partner at Robbins Umeda LLP, prevailed at both the Delaware Court of Chancery level and on appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court on issues concerning the public’s fundamental right to have an open and public court. Specifically, Mr. Arroyo ensured that the public had access to what has been widely referred to as the “Allred letter,” a letter written by the attorney for a former company consultant, to the former chief executive officer of HP, Mark Hurd, accusing him of numerous improprieties.
Robbins Umeda LLP Fights to Keep Corporations Honest
“When it comes to shareholder derivative lawsuits, few firms are as committed as Robbins Umeda,” the article reports. Robbins Umeda LLP attorneys have secured several of the largest monetary recoveries in the history of shareholder derivative litigation. The firm also has established practices in securities fraud, unfair mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, ERISA, whistleblower, employment law, and consumer class action litigation. “It’s rewarding because you feel like you’re fighting for people,” said Robbins.
Kloss v. Kerker, No. 50-2010-CA-018594-XXXX-MB (Fla. Cir. Ct.-Palm Beach Cnty.)
Espinoza v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 6000-VCP, 2011 WL 941464 (Del. Ch. Mar. 17, 2011), aff’d sub nom. Hurd v. Espinoza, No. 167, 2011, 2011 WL 6935294 (Del. Dec. 29, 2011)
In re Fossil, Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 3:06-cv-01672-F (N.D. Tex. July 6, 2011)
* The firm name changed from Robbins Umeda LLP to Robbins LLP on January 1, 2013.