Michael Barry is a principal at Grant & Eisenhofer focusing on corporate governance and securities litigation. For over seventeen years, he has represented institutional investors in litigation relating to securities fraud, corporate fiduciary responsibilities, shareholder proposals under SEC Rule 14a-8, and corporate governance generally. As a foremost practitioner in these areas, Mr. Barry has been significantly involved in groundbreaking class action recoveries, corporate governance reforms and shareholders rights litigation.
He has been instrumental in landmark corporate governance cases, including AFSCME v. AIG, which recognized shareholders’ right to introduce proxy access proposals; Bebchuk v. CA, Inc., which allowed shareholders to introduce proposals restricting a board’s ability to enact poison pills; and CA, Inc. v. AFSCME, a historic decision of the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the authority of shareholders to adopt corporate bylaws. His casework includes the Genentech Shareholder Litigation, resulting in an increase of $3 billion in value for shareholders arising from a corporate merger; a $922 million settlement in the UnitedHealth Group derivative litigation, resolving one of the most egregious examples of options backdating; an $89.4 million recovery for stockholders of Del Monte Foods Co. in a case that exposed significant conflicts of interest in staple financing in corporate mergers; and a $153.75 million recovery in a derivative action on behalf of Freeport-McMoRan Corporation shareholders, which included, for the first time in derivative litigation, a provision that the entire cash portion of the recovery—$147.5 million—be distributed to shareholders in the form of a special dividend.
Mr. Barry has spoken widely on corporate governance and related matters. In addition to having served as a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School, he speaks at numerous conferences each year. Mr. Barry has authored several published writings, including the Shareholder Activism Handbook, a comprehensive guide for shareholders regarding their legal rights as owners of corporations, which he co-authored. In 2015, Mr. Barry was selected to the Markets Advisory Council for the Council of Institutional Investors.
Prior to joining Grant & Eisenhofer, Mr. Barry practiced at a large Philadelphia-based firm, where he defended the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania state court judges in a variety of trial and appellate matters. He is a 1990 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and graduated summa cum laude in 1993 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was an Executive Editor of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.