For companies that serve consumers, class actions are not a matter of if, but when. Sidley understands that class actions are more than just a short-term financial threat; they are an attack on reputation, brand quality and product identity in the marketplace. Our Consumer Class Actions team helps clients defend their reputations and win these lawsuits, both by defeating class certification and by obtaining victory on the merits. Our lawyers understand not just the many laws that govern consumer-facing behavior, but also the particular industries in which our clients market their goods and services.
“They're excellent attorneys, and they know how to defeat class certification.”
Chambers USA 2020
Our lawyers regularly defend clients in class actions alleging general consumer deception, false advertising, product mislabeling, “Made in USA” claims, deceptive pricing and unlawful marketing via automated calls. These are just a few of the types of class actions that can send shock waves through a company, and our team is well-poised to help clients efficiently dispose of these cases.
“Full-service firm with excellent strengths in litigation disputes, drawing from a strong team of expert trial lawyers across California and nationwide. Offers particularly strong capabilities in consumer class action defense…”
Chambers USA 2020
Sidley also has deep experience defending class actions claiming violations of consumer privacy laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CAN-SPAM, Do Not Call, the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), as well as class actions arising from data breaches. We also have a task force that is dedicated to advising on litigation involving the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Our task force is fully prepared to defend clients’ interests in CCPA litigation, including helping to assess and mitigate litigation risks by implementing the policies, procedures and protocols that comply with the CCPA.
In recent decades, California has emerged as a favorite jurisdiction for the plaintiffs’ class action bar. We regularly defend cases under the state’s unique consumer protection laws. With offices in downtown Los Angeles, Century City, San Francisco and Palo Alto, Sidley’s Consumer Class Actions team is well-represented across California.
Broad Industry Knowledge
We represent clients in a variety of key industries. Our Consumer Class Actions team has particular experience handling class actions in the following consumer-facing sectors:
- Automotive: Sidley’s automotive class action team represents original equipment manufacturers and distributors, as well as other transportation and mobility companies in economic product defect class actions and multidistrict litigation throughout the country.
- Consumer Electronics: As technology products for the general public have become more pervasive and sophisticated, so have class actions against their manufacturers. We represent companies that produce consumer electronics hardware — computers, hard drives, smartphones, televisions, wearables, etc. — as well as companies that provide goods and services through online platforms.
- Financial Services: Our litigators have handled class actions involving credit card services and transactions, gift reward cards, payment processing, charitable services, auto financing, banking, fallout from Ponzi schemes, the EFTA and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
- Food, Beverages and Dietary Supplements: We represent leading food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers in class actions involving organics, naturals, ingredient content and efficacy substantiation.
- Household Products and Services: We represent manufacturers of everyday products and services that customers regularly purchase — from soap, deodorant, cosmetics and hair products to pet food, lawn care products, furniture, appliances, air fresheners and cleaning services. We assist these manufacturers and service providers with class action litigation covering labeling, product defects, misrepresentations, slack-fill and other concerns.
- Insurance: Sidley has defended the insurance industry in nearly all of the major class action claims brought in recent decades, including challenges to “cost of insurance” rates, the use of retained asset accounts, systemic failures involving life insurance claims and actions involving insurance companies’ services to retirement plans.
- Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices: Our lawyers have defended class actions involving a wide range of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, including blood products, anticholesterol agents, asthma medications, antipsychotics, diabetes medications, anesthetic agents, birth control drugs, anti-coagulants and weight loss medications.
- Retail and Fashion: We defend retail, fashion, apparel, footwear, accessories and textile clients in class actions involving products labeled “Made in USA,” state weights and measures actions, comparative pricing, “slack fill” and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.
The volume of consumer class actions has significantly increased in recent years, and the magnitude, complexity and interplay between consumer class actions and regulatory actions can cripple a company if not handled properly. We harness Sidley’s network of 2,000 lawyers and coordinate with practitioners in complementary legal areas. Our regulatory lawyers provide compliance and technical advice, while our litigators advise on state and federal consumer protection laws and, when necessary, develop effective class action resolution strategies.
We regularly defend clients in actions brought by state attorneys general, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The firm’s reputation and long-standing relationships with government agencies have enabled us to resolve governmental investigations without the filing of formal actions against our clients and, when that was not possible, to negotiate settlements and consent decrees on favorable terms. Our reputation and experience with the plaintiffs’ bar have also enabled us to quickly and efficiently resolve threatened or filed consumer lawsuits.
Recognition for the Practice
Strong leadership in defending clients has earned us recognition in numerous industry publications, including the 2020 U.S. News—Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Survey, which awarded Sidley a first-tier national ranking in the Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants category. Members of our team have been ranked as leading practitioners in Law360, The Legal 500 United States, Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, BTI Client Service All-Stars and The Daily Journal.