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US class action firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach is taking legal action against competitors that it alleges have been copying its complaints forms to steal its clients
In US securities class actions, any firm can round up shareholders 60 days after the first complaint is filed.
According to the Fulton County Daily Report newspaper, Milberg Weiss is often the first to spot litigation opportunities for shareholders, so competitors will copy its complaints to try to win a slice of a class action. The firm, which is acting for shareholders in the Enron litigation, has instructed Philadelphia-based firm Duane Morris to copyright its complaints.
Duane Morris partner John Herman identified Schiffrin & Barroway as one of the alleged offenders he has been asked to deal with.
While he has not been instructed to sue anyone as yet, he has already sent a cease and desist letter to Schiffrin, telling the firm to stop copying Milberg Weiss's work.
"Shareholders are being fooled by other firms who copy Milberg Weiss's work by using its research and lifting language from its complaints to convince them that they've investigated the class action and have the relevant legal expertise," said Herman.