Five law firms fighting for lead role, biggest payout in group suit against Goldman over 1MDB

The suit purports to represent all investors who purchased equity in the bank from February 28, 2014 to December 17, 2018. — Reuters pic
The suit purports to represent all investors who purchased equity in the bank from February 28, 2014 to December 17, 2018. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Five law firms are reportedly jockeying for their respective clients to take the lead role in a group lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc for allegedly misleading investor about its work with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Financial daily Bloomberg reported today that the law firms are asking United States District Judge Vernon S. Broderick in Manhattan to appoint their respective clients as the lead plaintiff in the suit.

The firm appointed as the main counsel will then stand to reap the most in fees should they win the case or reach a settlement.

The firms were named as Levi & Korsinsky LLP; Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP; Labaton Sucharow LLP; Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP; and Pomerantz LLP.

Their clients include a company affiliated with Israeli investment firm Meitav Dash; Canadian forestry workers’ retirement fund IWA Forest Industry Pension Plan; and Swedish pension fund Sjunde AP-Fonden.

According to Bloomberg, the law firm selected as the main counsel will be responsible for mapping strategy, filing legal motions, managing settlement talks, and dividing the work for all the collaborating firms.

Therefore, each firm has claimed that its own client had suffered large financial losses and is best positioned to fairly represent the group of investors.

The class action suit was filed in December last year and alleged that Goldman had deceived and omitted key information from investors.

The suit purports to represent all investors who purchased equity in the bank from February 28, 2014 to December 17, 2018.

The class-action suit adds to Goldman Sachs’ mounting troubles. The Malaysian government intends to file its own civil suit against the investment bank over its role in the alleged corruption surrounding two bond issues it undertook for 1MDB.

Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs here, accusing the bank of financial fraud along with Low and former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo.

Goldman responded by claiming it had acted in good faith on information provided at the time by key government officials whom it said had assured it that all the dealings were above board.