Robert A. Skirnick’s practice has focused on complex, multi-party litigation under antitrust and securities laws, generally in a class action context. In the Nasdaq Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation case where he was co-lead counsel, Judge Sweet (SDNY) described him as “preeminent in the field of class action litigation.” That case was the first cash recovery in excess of $1 billion in Sherman Act history. Professor John Coffee, Columbia University, said the case “was seen as the largest, most complicated class-action settlement ever.”
In antitrust cases Skirnick has served in leadership roles as lead or co-lead counsel, liaison counsel or on plaintiffs’ executive committee in class actions involving shopping carts, alcoholic beverages, bread, dairy products, magnetic audiotape, ocean shipping, publication paper, vitamins (partial settlement $1.1 billion), brand name prescription drugs ($700 million+ settlement), screws, corn derivatives, industrial diamonds, gemstone diamonds and wiring devices among others.
He has served as Special Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust for the State of Illinois and as special antitrust counsel for the State of Connecticut.
Skirnick served as court-approved local counsel for Lead Plaintiff State of Minnesota Board of Investment in the AOL Time Warner merger litigation which settled for $2.65 billion and as co-lead counsel in In re First Capital Holdings Corporation Financial Products Securities Litigation where settlement benefits were valued in excess of $1 billion.
In a complex contract action involving ChevronTexaco he served as co-counsel for the Republic of Ecuador and PetroEcuador.
Skirnick is contributing author of “Multiparty Bargaining in Class Actions” in Attorneys’ Practice Guide to Negotiations, author of “Antitrust Class Actions – Twenty Years Under Rule 23,” PLI, contributor to the “2001 ABA Survey of Securities Class Actions and Derivative Suits,” co-author of “The State Court Class Action- A Potpourri of Differences,” Vol.20, No.4, The Forum, ABA Torts and Insurance Practice, “Proving Damages in Non-Class Securities Cases,” presented at an ATLA Convention and co-author of “Subject Matter Jurisdiction of United States District Courts,” Federal Civil Practice, IICLE.
As Special Master appointed by Judge Stewart (SDNY) in In re Ocean Shipping Antitrust Litigation Skirnick held hearings in several cities in the United States and in eight countries in Europe. He was appointed by Judge Richey (DDC) to represent an SEC appointed receiver in connection with the first- ever takeover of an insurance company by the Federal government. Judge Williams (ND Ill., now 7th Circ.) appointed Skirnick to the board of the National Association for Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) where he was personally instrumental through cy pres funding in establishing its public interest law fellowship program, now the largest in the country.
The Skirnick Fellowship for Public Interest Law at Harvard Law School was established by Skirnick and his wife and daughter. It provides full funding for a public interest law position for one year and will soon have its 40th Skirnick Fellow.
Skirnick is a member of the Committee on University Resources of Harvard University and of the board of Bang On A Can, a leading edge contemporary music organization. He has been listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Finance and Business and Who’s Who in the East.