Some of the nation’s richest and best-known plaintiff firms joined the rush to received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) but not every plaintiff firm availed itself of the loans, according to a report in Legal Newsline.
Robbins Geller, one of the nation’s leading securities class action firms as well as a member of the plaintiffs’ executive committee in opioid multidistrict litigation, took a pass and even went as far as to criticized peers who told the government they needed the forgivable loans to pay employees.
“I wonder if they can point to any payday that has been delayed as a result of COVID rather than normal litigation delays we see all the time,” Geller said. “I’m not sure how a firm can reconcile claiming to have the necessary wherewithal to finance complex, expensive cases when they certify to the government that (they) can’t make payroll without taxpayer assistance.”
Under the PPP rules, money paid to employees, for rent or other specified expenses is covered by taxpayers.
Two firms that received PPP funds even while poised to continue to receive payouts from major MDLs are Motley Rice and Andrus Wagstaff. Motley Rice, the South Carolina law firm whose partners are still collecting millions of dollars a year in fees under the $260 billion tobacco settlement in 1997, borrowed $5-10 million, according to government records. Denver-based Andrus Wagstaff borrowed as much as $1 million despite having recently negotiated a $10 billion settlement of Roundup claims that will likely give it a significant share of $3 billion in fees.