Kellie Lerner has nearly two decades of experience litigating high stakes antitrust disputes on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in federal courts throughout the country. She has worked on a number of groundbreaking antitrust cases and has obtained almost $100 million in recoveries on behalf of her clients. Ms. Lerner currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in In re Merck Mumps Vaccine Antitrust Class Action and In re Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation. She also recently represented a publicly traded corporation in Insulate SB Inc. v.Abrasive Products & Equipment et al., where she successfully obtained a complete dismissal of a federal and multi-state antitrust class action filed against her client, which was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals in the Eighth Circuit. She also counsels generic pharmaceutical, alternative energy and entertainment companies on competition issues.
Ms. Lerner is also principally responsible for identifying and initiating new antitrust actions at the firm. In this capacity, she has initiated the first antitrust class action lawsuits in the country in dozens of actions that have ultimately resulted in billions of dollars in recoveries for victims of anti-competitive conduct. In 2018, Ms. Lerner was recognized as a notable practitioner in Antitrust law in the 2018 Chambers USA Guide, in which she was praised by her peers for her ability to "get large teams of people to work effectively together." In recent years, she has also been selected by Benchmark Litigation as a “Future Star,” by The National Law Journal as an "Antitrust and M&A Trailblazer" (2016), by The New York Law Journal as one of 44 competition lawyers under 40 “who have made their mark on the New York legal community,” and by Law360 in its “Rising Star” list of five competition lawyers under the age of 40 to watch. The Legal 500 USA also recommended her for the last two consecutive years, praising her “superior intellect, determination and political savvy in getting the job done.” In 2018, she was also the recipient of Inside Counsel's "National Women in Law" Award. A frequent author and lecturer, Ms. Lerner is a recognized voice on all issues of antitrust law and her opinions have been quoted in The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Yahoo News, and CBS MoneyWatch, among other publications.
Ms. Lerner is the Chair of Diversity for the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association, Co-Chair of the National Association of Women Lawyers' Litigation Affinity Group, and an Editor of Antitrust magazine. Ms. Lerner co-founded Roseann’s Gift, an organization named for her late mother and dedicated to raising research funding to cure lung cancer. The organization is currently funding lung cancer research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She is a member of the Tri-State Area Advisory Board of Jumpstart, which works to provide equal access to literacy education for preschool children in low-income communities and was previously a member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Community Project Downtown, an organization that was formed in the wake of the September 11th attacks to revitalize the Jewish community in lower Manhattan. She currently provides pro bono assistance to KIND (Kids In Need of Defense) and has previously provided assistance to AARP and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.
In re Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation: Robins Kaplan serves as Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of plaintiffs impacted by Wells Fargo’s disclosures that it wrongly charged auto loan borrowers for Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI). Despite purporting to purchase CPI only when borrowers lacked their own insurance, plaintiffs allege that Wells Fargo billed customers for duplicative and unnecessary CPI even when they maintained independent insurance coverage. Plaintiffs also allege Wells Fargo received undisclosed kickbacks each time it force-placed a borrower into CPI. Plaintiffs allege these practices contributed to wrongful loan defaults, vehicle repossessions, and other financial harm to tens of thousands of consumers. Settlements totaling more than $393 million have been finally approved by the Court and resolve the litigation.
Insulate SB, Inc. v. Advanced Finishing Systems, Inc., Lead counsel for fluid-handling equipment manufacturer Graco Inc. in putative nationwide antitrust class action alleging unlawful business acquisitions and boycott, exclusive-dealing, and monopolization conspiracies. We obtained the dismissal of all claims with prejudice, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31188 (D. Minn. Mar. 11, 2014), and we represented Graco in the appeal, where the judgment was affirmed. __ F.3d __, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14233 (8th Cir. Aug. 13, 2015).
In re Merck Mumps Vaccine Antitrust Litigation: Involving an alleged decade-long scheme to falsify efficacy data and maintain a monopoly in the market for the mumps vaccine.
In re Flat Glass II Litigation: Over $22 million settlement on behalf of direct purchasers of construction flat glass. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
In re Puerto Rican Cabotage Antitrust Litigation: $52 million settlement for an alleged conspiracy to fix the prices of ocean freight services between the continental United States and Puerto Rico. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
In re Abbott Labs Norvis Antitrust Litigation: $10 million settlement stemming from Abbott Laboratories’ price increase of Norvir, which provides for a payment to non-profit organizations serving individuals with HIV. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
In re TriCor Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation: $65.7 million settlement for claims that the price charged for Tricor was inflated because of anticompetitive conduct, including product hopping in order to unlawfully suppress generic competition. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
- Roseanne’s Gift, Co-Founder
- Jumpstart, Advisory Board
- KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), Volunteer Lawyer
- Jewish Community Project, Board Member (2014-2018)
- New York Law Journal, “Amidst Filing Blitz, MDL Sought in Wells Fargo Actions” (August 10, 2017)
- Law360, “Total SA Seeks Exit From Traders' Market Manipulation Suit” (September 26, 2016)
- Bloomberg BNA, “Total Faces $213.6 Million Penalty in U.S. Gas Rigging Case” (April 29, 2016)
- Global Competition Review, “Louisiana Representative proposes Illinois Brick repealer” (March 15, 2016)
- Law360, “Competition Cases to Watch in 2016,” (December 24, 2015)
- Inside Health Policy, "'Shared' REMS Policy Continues To Draw Brand, Generic Makers' Concerns" (July 16, 2015)
- Law 360 “Contact Lens Cos. Face Collusion Suit From Indirect Buyers” (March 9, 2015)
- Inside Counsel, “Another Lawsuit Filed in Response to Alleged Contact Lens Price Conspiracy” (March 12, 2015)
- Law360, “Competition Legislation and Regulation to Watch in 2015” (January 2, 2015)
- The Wall Street Journal, “Did Merck Unfairly Monopolize the Market for a Mumps Vaccine?”
(September 10, 2014)
- Reuters Legal, “Merck Must Face Antitrust Suits Over Mumps Vaccine” (September 9, 2014)
- FiercePharma, “Judge: Merck Must Fight Claims That it Lied About Mumps Vaccine Benefits” (September 9, 2014)
- FierceVaccines, “Lawsuits Claiming Merck Lied About Mumps Vaccine Efficacy Headed to Trial” (September 9, 2014)
- PharmaManufacturing.com, “Merck Virologists Claim Merck Lied About Mumps Vax Efficacy, Trial Moves Forward” (September 9, 2014)
- Drug Discovery News, “Antitrust and Some Other Mumps Claims Against Merck Proceed” (September 8, 2014)
- The Legal Intelligencer, “Qui Tam, Class Action Cases Against Merck Proceed” (September 8, 2014)
- The Inquisitr, “Lawsuits Allege Merck Lied About MMR Efficacy, Motions To Dismiss Denied” (September 7, 2014)
- CNN iReport, “Merck's Motion to Dismiss Denied in Mumps Whistleblower Suits” (September 6, 2014)
- Law360, “Antitrust, FCA Claims on Merck Mumps Vaccine to Advance” (September 5, 2014)
- Reuters Legal, “Antitrust litigation seen emerging from forex manipulation probes” (October 31, 2013)
- Reuters Legal, “Class actions aim to apply antitrust laws to oil pricing” (June 26, 2013)
- Bloomberg, “Apple’s Cue Is Key to Defense of E-Book Price-Fixing Case” (June 13, 2013)
- Law360, “Robins Kaplan Adds Ace Antitrust Negotiators from Labaton” (January 30, 2013)
- Forbes, "'All Natural Turkeys.' One Huge Reason to Buy Them" (November 19, 2012)
- Yahoo News, “Lawsuits Slams ‘Natural’ Claims from OJ to Chips” (May 31, 2012)
- PC World Business, “DOJ’s Antitrust Case May Have Huge Implications for Publishing” (April 18, 2012)
- The Washington Post, “Winners and Losers from DOJ Suit Against Apple, Publishers” (April 11, 2012)
- Business Insider, “Vita Coco Will Pay $10 Million to Settle Suit Over ‘Super Hydrating’ Coconut Water” (February 10, 2012)
- CBS Money Watch, "Vita Coco Will Pay $10 Million to Settle Suit Over 'Super Hydrating' Coconut Water" (February 10, 2012)
- Associated Press via Yahoo! News, “Vita Coco Settles Lawsuit on Nutrition Contents” (February 8, 2012)
- Law360, “Coconut Water Maker Reaches $10M Deal Over Mislabeling” (February 8, 2012)
- Bloomberg Businessweek, "Vita Coco Settles Lawsuit on Nutrition Contents" (February 8, 2012)
- Law360, “ATM Users Swipe at Banks, Cards Cos. in Antitrust Suit” (November 19, 2011)
- Law360, “Lensmaker Transitions Can’t Shake Antitrust MDL” (November 1, 2011)
- BNA Banking Report, “Suit Charges Price-Fixing on ATM Fees by Visa, Mastercard, and Member Banks” (October 20, 2011)
- Law360, “Labation Sues Auto Parts Cos. on Heels of DOJ Fine” (October 6, 2011)
- Law360, “Oil Traders Face Investor Class Action After CFTC Suit” (May 31, 2011)
- Reuters, “Investor Sues Oil Traders Over Alleged Manipulation” (May 26, 2011)
- Law360, “Rising Star: Labaton Sucharow's Kellie Lerner” (March 14, 2011)
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