Class Action Defense

Steptoe offers clients one of the premier class action defense practices in the United States.  In “bet-the-company” cases – when hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars are at stake – we have achieved successful results for clients at every phase of the class action litigation process, in both trial and appellate courts, in jurisdictions across the country.  These successes include obtaining dismissals of class action complaints, defeating class certification, Rule 23(f) appeals of class certification decisions, excluding plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, winning summary judgment motions, prevailing at trial or on appeal, and obtaining settlements that effectuate the maximum possible scope and binding effect of the settlement so that they are highly favorable to clients.  We often serve as national coordinating counsel for large companies facing serial class action litigation, whether filed across the country or consolidated as multidistrict litigation (MDL).

We understand the rapidly changing legal standards for class certification and have been at the forefront of legal developments that have convinced courts to exclude unreliable scientific evidence at the class certification stage - decisions that we have often leveraged into denials of class certification.

Moreover, practical business judgment and creativity complement our trial-ready approach. Our team collaborates with clients to develop “outside the box” solutions that are consistent with business goals, promote early case resolution, and protect important company brands. 

Our class action defense practice frequently implements coordinated strategies for defending class action litigation against the backdrop of ongoing regulatory action, government investigations, or criminal prosecutions.  Together, we work to promote global resolution of related disputes and to protect important company reputational and business objectives.  Working in collaboration with lawyers from our well-known and robust regulatory practices, which regularly appear before agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, and lawyers in our Government Investigations & Enforcement Group, we have to capability to handle regulatory investigations that often lead to class action litigation effectively to limit potential litigation exposure.  With regard to these complex legal challenges, we have achieved successful, comprehensive settlements of both the regulatory matters and the related litigation.  Visit the following pages for detailed information about our class action practice in each of the following areas: