Class Actions

Economic analysis has become increasingly important to both the certification and merits phases of class actions in antitrust, securities, product liability, consumer finance, employment, and more. The ability to gather and distill the volumes of data often underlying a class action – and present a clear and meaningful analysis to courts, regulators, and others – is fundamental to Secretariat’s expertise.

Litigating Class Action Suits

Secretariat experts bring decades of experience to the economics embedded in a wide range of class action litigation. We are adept at analyzing company records and voluminous data, determining theories of harm, econometric modeling, and advising on both common and individualized impact. Through advanced analytics, our experts are able to construct statistically and economically valid and supportable class damages models ourselves, while also assessing the validity of class damages models constructed by others.

Our team employs widely accepted economic theory and methods combined with our deep experience analyzing markets to help shepherd clients through every phase of a class action matter, from discovery through the certification process and trial. We work closely with clients’ attorneys to aid their understanding of the economic components underlying a dispute, and regularly serve as expert witnesses respected by courts for the quality, integrity, and independence of our work.

Conducting Economic Analysis During Class Certification

Class certification is often a watershed moment in high-dollar class action matters. Failure to certify a class often corresponds to the death of a case, while successful certification dramatically increases plaintiffs’ leverage and defendants’ monetary exposure. At the class certification stage, economists frequently address issues of class ascertainment, commonality, and predominance. Sophisticated quantitative analyses of transactional and other data are often necessary at the class certification stage to either prove or disprove that both:

  • a reasonably practical and accurate method exists to estimate damages for all class members at the individual level; and
  • necessary liability-related elements, such as fact of injury, can be established for the class as a whole “in one fell swoop,” rather than requiring individualized proof.

Measuring Damages in the Merits Phase

In the merits phase, trained economists conduct modeling and “but-for” analyses necessary to measure complex damages, and many liability-related questions fall squarely within the field of economics. These liability-related analyses range from statistical measurement of disparate impact in employment matters to proof of harm to competition in antitrust cases. In addition, class certification can always be reconsidered within this phase. The economic theories or findings underlying a class certification order may be revisited at any time in the litigation process, right up to the time of a final, non-appealable decision on the merits.

Working with Large, Complex Data Sets

Economic analysis of transactional data, a well-regarded Secretariat strength, often reveals whether a proposed class meets the requirements for certification. Economic analysis may also help to educate the court on issues likely to come before it in the merits phase. Because databases in class certification matters may have millions of records covering many parties and spanning multiple time periods, it requires expert econometric skills, sophisticated technical capabilities, and state-of-the-art technology resources to read, process, and analyze these large and complex data sets accurately and efficiently, and then frame the economic issues properly. These capabilities are what set Secretariat experts apart.

Presenting Objective and Persuasive Analysis

While our analytic methods may be highly sophisticated, conducted by seasoned Ph.D. economists and technical experts, as well as experts in specific industries, our true impact results from our clear and concise presentation of economic evidence to attorneys, judges, juries, and others in concisely worded, well-reasoned, and well-supported expert reports and testimony. We develop sound and compelling analyses, test theories, evaluate strategies, quantify damages, and form opinions that stand up to the rigors of the largest, most complex class action matters.

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International Arbitration

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Investigations & Compliance

Suspicions or allegations of corporate misdeeds can cause tremendous harm and disruption to any organization. At Secretariat, our decades of experience drilling down to the facts can provide the confidence to know risks can be managed and challenges addressed and overcome.

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Parties in labor and employment disputes – in cases brought by individuals or as class actions – depend on independent and verifiable economic analyses to support their positions. The experts at Secretariat have decades of experience analyzing claims, valuing damages, and turning large volumes of data into litigation support that clients and courts can readily understand and trust.

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M&A transactions are among the most complex business activities from every perspective: financial, competitive, regulatory, and beyond. The bigger the parties, the more exponentially complex the transactions. From providing objective valuations and economic clarity to helping clients navigate regulatory investigations, Secretariat has a long history of advising both buyers and sellers in many industries in the U.S. and across the globe in some of the largest and most complex M&A transactions.

Regulatory & Public Policy

From telecommunications to energy issues, Secretariat’s economists and experts regularly advise companies and individuals navigating the world of complex regulations, enforcement, and rule-making.

Securities & Finance

At Secretariat, our adept Securities and Finance professionals craft pragmatic strategies and rigorous financial and economic analyses tailored for law firms, financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies enmeshed in consequential legal battles.

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