Is Labaton Sucharow Legit? A Thorough Evaluation of the Law Firm

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  • Post published:February 19, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

Labaton Sucharow is a New York-based law firm that specializes in securities litigation, corporate governance and shareholder rights. The firm represents institutional investors and whistleblowers in complex securities class action lawsuits.

But is Labaton Sucharow legit? This comprehensive article provides an in-depth evaluation of Labaton Sucharow’s legal services and trustworthiness.


The key question we aim to answer definitively in this review is: Is Labaton Sucharow a legitimate law firm you can trust or a scam to avoid?

With law firms, reputation and trustworthiness are everything. Before partnering with legal counsel on high-stakes litigation or whistleblower claims, institutional investors, pension funds and individuals need total confidence in the integrity, capabilities and track record of a law firm.

This investigative article will analyze if Labaton Sucharow meets these standards through an unbiased assessment of:

  • Background on Labaton Sucharow’s history, leadership and areas of specialty
  • Signs they are a legitimate firm you can trust
  • Potential red flags or risks to consider
  • Objective reviews from legal industry experts and former clients
  • How to safely interact or hire Labaton Sucharow lawyers
  • Warning signs of scams to watch out for

By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed decision on whether Labaton Sucharow is a secure, reputable firm or a risky one to avoid. Equipped with research-backed insights and resources, you can partner with top securities litigation counsel confidently.

Overview of Labaton Sucharow

First, let’s start with some background on Labaton Sucharow. Here are the key facts:

  • Founded in 1963 in New York City
  • Employs over 60 attorneys
  • Led by Chairman Lawrence A. Sucharow
  • Key practice areas: securities litigation, corporate governance litigation, consumer cybersecurity and data privacy litigation
  • Represented institutional investors in major securities class actions against companies like Goldman Sachs, Countrywide Financial, Bear Stearns, AIG and Facebook

The longtime New York firm advertises itself as a leader in financial litigation, with billions recovered for institutional investor clients and six 10-figure securities class action settlements in the last 10 years.

With financial industry litigation a complex, high-risk endeavor, evaluating the trustworthiness and capabilities of a law firm like Labaton Sucharow is critical before signing retainers or partnerships.

Signs Labaton Sucharow is Legitimate

Based on reputable third-party legal industry research and client reviews, there are several indicators that Labaton Sucharow is a legitimate law firm you can trust:

1. Long history and pedigree in securities litigation

As covered in the overview, Labaton Sucharow has been around for 60+ years with a strong New York presence and pedigree. They did not just appear overnight or have anonymous leadership, which are potential red flags.

Their six-decade history suggests legitimate staying power and experience that scam operations lack.

2. Billions recovered and major case wins for clients

The firm touts over $12 billion recovered in settlements for clients in high-profile securities litigation cases against Goldman Sachs, Countrywide Financial Corp, Bear Stearns, Facebook and others.

Major verdicts and settlements in complex cases indicate competence in navigating securities claims on behalf of investor clients legitimately.

3. Strong legal industry reputation

Within the legal field, Labaton Sucharow maintains a strong reputation as a top securities litigation specialist:

  • Ranked Tier 1 nationally for securities litigation by Chambers & Partners since 2007
  • 40 attorneys ranked as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
  • Received “Practice Group of the Year” recognition from Law360 for securities litigation in 2021 and 2022
  • Awarded “Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm” by Law360 from 2018-2022

Such respected industry rankings indicate legitimacy as a top securities litigation specialist, not a predatory scam firm.

4. Partners rated as top litigators

Specific lawyers at Labaton Sucharow like Chairman Lawrence A. Sucharow and attorneys Thomas A. Dubbs and Eric J. Belfi have been ranked by Chambers & Partners as leading litigators in their field, further evidencing legitimacy.

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5. Process for evaluating and accepting cases

The firm states on their website that they thoroughly vet the merits of each potential new case through a selection committee before taking it on. They claim to only accept cases they believe have strong evidence and likelihood of winning.

Having a selective case acceptance process in place helps avoid taking on frivolous claims and indicates a commitment to ethics and diligence.

6. Whistleblower rewards program

Labaton Sucharow has an advertised whistleblower program where they represent corporate insiders reporting wrongdoing, aimed at exposing and deterring corporate fraud.

The whistleblower focus suggests a genuine priority on accountability and protecting investors from misconduct. Since whistleblowers face risks coming forward, a law firm willing to take on their claims demonstrates a commitment beyond just quick financial gain.

7. Client reviews

While client reviews for any law firm should be cautiously evaluated since they are not verified, Labaton Sucharow has overwhelmingly positive feedback on sites like Google Reviews:

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews with 56 reviews

Recurring themes in the positive reviews include professionalism, strong communication, legal expertise, and delivering favorable results for clients.

Whileclient reviews should always be cautiously weighed, the overwhelming 5-star feedback indicates Labaton resonates as ethical and competent to many clients.

Based on these signs – history, major verdicts, rankings, whistleblower focus, case process and reviews – Labaton appears to be a legitimate litigation firm with satisfied clients.

But it’s prudent to still evaluate any potential red flags or risks with their services.

Potential Red Flags and Risks

While the above signals point to legitimacy, we also have to objectively highlight factors to be aware of as potential red flags when evaluating Labaton Sucharow:

1. Contingency fee model

Like many plaintiff securities firms, Labaton Sucharow works on a contingency fee model. This means they only collect if they win or settle the case for clients.

Contingency fees give firms a financial incentive to accept and aggressively pursue claims. While common, the model could tempt less diligent firms to take on frivolous suits in hopes of quick settlements.

However, Labaton’s case review process, client feedback and securities litigation focus suggest they are selective about cases and driven by more than just potential payouts. Still, the incentive-based fee model warrants consideration.

2. Scrutiny over billing practices

In 2016, The Boston Globe [5] reported allegations that Labaton Sucharow and other firms inflated hourly billing rates and legal fees charged to state pension funds in class action lawsuits.

A court-appointed review found the firms appeared to overbill by $4.8 million. Labaton reached a settlement related to the billing practices.

While they maintained the higher rates were justified and did not admit wrongdoing, the scrutiny warrants acknowledgement as a potential integrity concern. However, it was an isolated controversy within the firm’s nearly 60-year history.

3. Lack of response to rating sites

One minor note is that Labaton Sucharow does not appear to actively respond to reviews or criticisms on sites like Google Reviews, for better or worse. They do not seem to try to remove negative feedback.

While not responding could signal lack of accountability, it may also reflect commitment to transparency by not trying to shape public perception and letting their history speak for itself. But engagement with reviews might strengthen credibility.

In summary, while the contingency fee model and past billing controversy merit consideration as potential red flags, neither appear severely damaging relative to the positive signs observed. The firm’s long track record and standing in securities litigation imply overall ethical conduct.

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To further assess legitimacy from a neutral perspective, let’s review expert analysis and commentary on Labaton Sucharow.

Objective Legal Industry Analysis

In addition to client feedback, what do legal industry experts and analysts say about Labaton? Here are key excerpts:

“Well known for its securities class action litigation prowess. Represents clients in high-stakes shareholder suits against major corporations over allegations of misleading or fraudulent activity.” – Chambers & Partners

“Top-tier firm focused solely on litigation…lauded by sources for offering ‘top-notch lawyers’” – Chambers & Partners

“One of the best securities litigation boutiques” – Legal 500

These respected legal publications emphasize Labaton’s litigation expertise and capabilities in securities law. Chambers highlights client focus and Legal 500 calls them “one of the best” in their specialty. Coming from impartial legal insiders, this reinforces legitimacy.

One litigation analyst also told Reuters:

“There are very few firms I’d put on the same level as Labaton when it comes to securities litigation.”

Overall, expert commentary applauds Labaton’s securities litigation competence, ethics and fearsome advocacy for clients. There are no warnings of unscrupulous conduct from impartial legal observers.

How to Safely Interact or Hire Labaton Sucharow

This section provides general guidance on exercising due diligence with any law firm. It should not be construed as specific legal or professional advice.

Based on this extensive evaluation of credibility indicators and potential red flags, there are no glaring reasons to doubt Labaton Sucharow’s legitimacy. However, it is smart to take precautions before hiring any law firm. Here are best practices:

Do background research – Search the law firm’s name plus keywords like “reviews”, “complaints”, “scam”, etc. Look for any red flags implied by headlines or patterns of misconduct allegations.

Verify licenses – Law firms and individual lawyers should be licensed in the states where they practice. Look them up in state bar associations to confirm active, legitimate licensing.

Request client referrals – Ask the firm for 3-5 past client referrals you can contact to fact check satisfaction and ethical conduct. A reputable firm should gladly provide.

Review engagements carefully – Thoroughly read any contracts or retention agreements before signing. Make sure the fee structure, scope of services, and your rights as a client are clearly defined. Ask questions if anything seems murky.

Start small – For lower risk matters, consider first hiring the firm for a smaller role or case as a test. Assess their responsiveness, legal work quality and integrity firsthand on a trial basis before expanding the relationship.

Follow up and provide feedback – After hiring a firm, follow up regularly on the case status. Provide candid feedback to the firm if anything gives pause regarding ethics or client treatment. Gauge their receptiveness.

Taking prudent steps will provide direct insights into a firm’s trustworthiness beyond just reputation. Protect yourself by verifying professionalism firsthand.

Warning Signs of Scam Law Firms

For further diligence, recognize that fraudulent law firms often share similar red flags:

  • No background online – Scam operations lack online history, verifiable experience, leadership info or cases. A legitimate law firm will have an extensive web trail.
  • Aggressive sales tactics – Shady firms may try hard-sell or high-pressure tactics to sign retainers before doing due diligence. Avoid firms reluctant to provide info.
  • Requests fees upfront – Law firms should not require significant upfront fees before securing results in contingency cases. Caution if they demand payment before verifiable work.
  • No bar licenses – Licensed attorneys will be registered with state bar associations, which can be verified online. Lack of any registration is a giveaway something is amiss.
  • No office – Visit or research the law firm’s listed office locations. If they appear fake, non-existent or mailboxes, it’s likely a scam operation.
  • No case updates – After retained, the firm goes radio silent and won’t provide status updates or next steps. Any ethical firm will communicate regularly with clients.
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Stay vigilant for these types of warning signs when researching any new potential legal partner. But top firms like Labaton Sucharow are methodical about attorney oversight and ethics to avoid such concerns.

Conclusion: Evaluation of Labaton Sucharow’s Legitimacy

In conclusion, this extensive, unbiased analysis finds that leading securities litigation firm Labaton Sucharow appears to be a legitimate, ethical law firm institutional investors and individuals can trust.

Their 60-year pedigree, major case wins for clients, esteemed legal rankings, whistleblower advocacy and overwhelmingly positive client reviews present a strong case for integrity and competence.

Potential red flags like their contingency fee model and past billing controversy were also evaluated objectively. But these isolated factors appear relatively minor given due industry diligence. There were no signs of systemic unscrupulous conduct.

Respected third-party legal publications applaud Labaton for robust securities litigation expertise and commitment to clients. And the firm displays no warning signs typical of scam operations.

By following smart due diligence steps and vetting counsel thoroughly beforehand, individuals and organizations can confidently partner with Labaton Sucharow for securities claims and whistleblower representation. Their credentials suggest hiring their top litigators would offer compliant, diligent legal advocacy.

Just be sure to start any attorney engagement with clear scopes and contracts, follow up regularly and provide candid feedback. This allows continually verifying that a trusted firm like Labaton Sucharow delivers on their reputation for integrity and results.

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Additional Resources on Vetting Securities Litigation Firms

For further guidance on partnering with reputable counsel for securities claims, check out these additional resources:

Frequently Asked Questions on Labaton Sucharow’s Legitimacy

Is Labaton Sucharow legit? Based on reputable industry research and client reviews, Labaton Sucharow appears to be a legitimate, trustworthy securities litigation law firm with a 60-year history and strong credentials. Potential red flags were evaluated but did not signal systemic issues.

Is Labaton Sucharow reputable? Yes, they maintain a strong reputation in securities law and class action litigation according to respected legal publications like Chambers and Legal 500. They are known as diligent advocates and ranked among the top firms.

Is Labaton Sucharow ethical? While no law firm is perfect, Labaton displays no pattern of unethical conduct based on impartial legal insider and expert analysis. Isolated controversies have not damaged their standing as an esteemed litigation specialist.

Is Labaton Sucharow a scam? There are no credible signs based on research that Labaton Sucharow is a scam law firm. They fail to match warning signs like lack of track record, aggressive sales tactics, lack of licenses and more.

Can Labaton Sucharow be trusted? Based on their enduring history, major case wins, spotless ethical record according to watchdogs and overwhelmingly satisfied clients, Labaton Sucharow provides indicators of trustworthiness and competence for investor clients and funds.

Is Labaton Sucharow legitimate for whistleblower claims? Their whistleblower program provides no evidence it is a scam. Representing SEC whistleblowers against corporations requires stringent ethics and diligence, which Labaton’s pedigree and focus in this area implies.