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Allen Ferrell, Alberto Manconi, Ekaterina Neretina, William Powley & Luc Renneboog, Corporate Litigation, Governance, and the Role of Law Firms (Oct. 04, 2021).

Abstract: Corporations pay out large settlements to their shareholders and other plaintiffs as compensation for corporate governance failures. Hired to achieve and improve settlements, plaintiff law firms can play a central role in litigation outcomes. We provide first systematic evidence of their performance. In our novel comprehensive dataset, top plaintiff law firms (“stars”) capture 48% larger settlements. Defendant corporations’ litigation insurance coverage is also 39% larger, suggesting assortative matching of stars with lawsuits that have ex-ante large expected payoffs. Stars’ visibility and information advantage vis-à-vis less sophisticated plaintiffs help sustain their market share.