BFTA Secures $120 Million Recovery in WeatherfordJuly 1, 2015
Bleichmar Fonti Tountas & Auld LLP (BFTA) announced a proposed $120 million settlement today with one of the largest global providers of products and services for the oil and gas industry, Weatherford International Ltd. (Weatherford). BFTA, as co-lead counsel, achieved this result on behalf of Court-appointed Lead Plaintiff Anchorage Police & Fire Retirement System.
Represented by BFTA partners Javier Bleichmar and Joseph A. Fonti, the plaintiffs alleged that Weatherford knowingly or recklessly made false and misleading public statements between March 2, 2011 and July 24, 2012 which touted the illusory benefits of Weatherford's tax structure on its global effective tax rate and earnings per share. Plaintiffs further alleged that Weatherford concealed its known inadequate tax accounting procedures, resulting in three restatements in less than two years which eliminated more than $900 million in overstated earnings.
BFTA pursued the class' claims by seeking the widest possible volume of discovery from defendants and third parties. The firms’ strategy merged complex negotiations with substantial motion practice which successfully compelled the production of all relevant information and generated more than 1.3 million documents, constituting over 8 million pages of documents, for review. BFTA and co-lead counsel also took over 20 depositions, including the depositions of Weatherford’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, the Chairman of Weatherford’s Audit Committee, Weatherford’s former Chief Financial Officer, the former Chief Accounting Officer, and the former executive in charge of Weatherford’s income tax accounting.
Achieving this settlement required more than three years of intense litigation, including defeating defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety, obtaining class certification, completing fact discovery, filing four expert reports, and preparing for expert discovery and summary judgment. The firms secured the settlement on June 30, 2015. A settlement approval hearing has not yet been set by the Court.
“This settlement would not have been possible without tireless litigation,” said Bleichmar, and “serves as proof that committed institutional lead plaintiffs are critical for obtaining a substantial class-wide recovery.”
“This excellent result is great news for the Municipality of Anchorage and the thousands of damaged Weatherford shareholders,” said Ed Jarvis, Executive Director of the Anchorage Police & Fire Retirement System.
The case is Freedman v. Weatherford International, Ltd., No. 1:12-cv-2121 (S.D.N.Y.).
Proof of Claim
If you are a member of the class who purchased Weatherford stock in the United States between March 2, 2011 and July 24, 2012, inclusive, you must submit a proof of claim form no later than December 9, 2015 to be eligible to recover from the settlement fund. Proof of Claim documentation can be found on this page under Downloads.