Roberta D. Liebenberg, a member, focuses her practice on class actions, antitrust, consumer protection, data privacy, products liability, complex commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Catholic University Columbus School of Law, magna cum laude, where she was the Notes Editor of the Law Review. Thereafter, she served as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Ms. Liebenberg served as one of trial counsel for the plaintiff class in In re Urethane [Polyether Polyols] Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1616 (D. Kan.). After a four-week trial, a jury returned a verdict for the class against The Dow Chemical Company in excess of $400 million, prior to trebling. After accounting for pre-trial settlements with other defendants of $139 million, the Court entered a final judgment for the class in the amount of $1.06 billion. This was the largest judgment ever awarded in a price-fixing case. The judgment was later unanimously affirmed by the Tenth Circuit. In re Urethane Antitrust Litig., 768 F.3d 1245 (10th Cir. 2014). While the case was pending on appeal in the United States Supreme Court, Dow agreed to a settlement for $835 million, the largest settlement ever recovered in a price-fixing case from a single defendant.
Ms. Liebenberg has also held leadership roles for the plaintiff classes in numerous other complex antitrust and consumer class actions as well. For example, Ms. Liebenberg was appointed by the Court as Lead Counsel for the End-Payer Plaintiff Class in In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litig. MDL No. 2724 (E.D. Pa.), Co-Lead Counsel for the class in In re Railway Industry Employee No-Poach Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2850 (W.D. Pa.); and Co-Lead Counsel for the Consumer Class in In re Wawa, Inc. Data Security Litigation, No. 19-cv-6019 (E.D. Pa.). In addition, she was appointed as Chair of the Settlement Committee in In re Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Litig., MDL No. 3014 (W.D. Pa.) (settlement of economic loss claims in excess of $479 million).
Ms. Liebenberg defended Southwest Airlines in In re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, 3 F.4th 457 (D.C. Cir. 2021) and successfully defended Southwest in an antitrust action brought against it in Love Terminal Partners, L.P. v. City of Dallas, 527 F. Supp. 2d 538 (N.D. Tex. 2007). She has defended Temple University in several high-profile class actions, including Smith v. Temple Univ., No. 18-590 (E.D. Pa.). She served as one of trial counsel in United States v. Stolt-Nielsen, S.A., a complex and landmark criminal matter involving the Antitrust Division’s Amnesty Program in which she successfully defended a high-level executive charged with violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The charges were all dismissed after a three-week bench trial. United States v. Stolt-Nielsen, S.A., 524 F. Supp. 2d 609 and 524 F. Supp. 2d 586 (E.D. Pa. 2007).
Ms. Liebenberg was the 2019 inductee to the American Antitrust Institute Private Enforcement Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s “Hall of Fame-inism” in 2022. She has repeatedly been listed in the highest band level as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the country by the Chambers USA Guide: America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Also, every year since 2004, Chambers has included her in the highest band level among antitrust lawyers in Pennsylvania. The Chambers Guide has described her as “a first-class litigator” and stated that “she truly is one of the most talented and accomplished antitrust lawyers in the country.” Also, she was named by Best Lawyers as “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year” in Philadelphia in 2013, 2018 and 2020. Since 2006, she has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in the field of Antitrust. In 2023, Business Today named her as one of the “Top 10 Influential Antitrust Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Shaping U.S. Law: Nation’s Legal Titans.” She is a member of the Lawdragon Hall of Fame. The US Legal 500 listed Ms. Liebenberg as one of the nation’s “leading lawyers” in the field of antitrust class actions, and she was listed by “Who’s Who: Legal Competition,” by Global Competition Review.
In 2023, Ms. Liebenberg received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Lawyer, the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee, and the Mary Ann Jorgenson Board Empowerment Award from DirectWomen. In 2022, Ms. Liebenberg received the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association. In 2019, Ms. Liebenberg was named by The National Law Journal as one of the “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar.” She was listed among the “Best of the Bar” by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2019. She received The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Influencers of Law” Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. She was named by Corporate Counsel and Inside Counsel as the recipient of their 2018 “Lifetime Achievement Award.” She was honored with the Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award by the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law in April 2018. In June 2017, she received the “Distinguished Leader Award” from The Legal Intelligencer. In February 2017, she received the Martha Fay Africa Golden Hammer Award from the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division, in recognition of professional excellence in her career and her commitment to diversity. In August 2016, she received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession. This is the highest award bestowed upon a woman attorney by the ABA. In May 2015, the National Law Journal named Ms. Liebenberg as one of the nation’s 75 most “Outstanding Women Lawyers.” Previously, in 2007 the National Law Journal had named her as one of its “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America.” In April 2015, she was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by The Legal Intelligencer, in recognition of her “exemplary career” and her “significant impact on the profession.” She has been named five times as one of the “Top Ten Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania.” In April 2014, she received the Chambers Women in Law “Outstanding Achievement Award.” She received the Ms. JD “Sharing Her Passion Award” in February 2014. Ms. Liebenberg was the recipient of the inaugural Chambers Women in Law Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Gender Diversity and Equality” in January 2013. In November, 2012, she received the Florence K. Murray Award from the National Association of Women Judges. That Award is given to someone “who has opened doors and advanced opportunities for women attorneys.” Ms. Liebenberg is also the recipient of the 2008 Sandra Day O’Connor Award by the Philadelphia Bar Association. This Award is conferred annually on a woman attorney “who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments, and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.”
In October, 2006, Ms. Liebenberg was named by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as a “Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania” for her “leadership and contributions to the State.” In May, 2012, Ms. Liebenberg was selected as one of two inaugural “Leaders in Residence” at The Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, which described her as a “nationally-recognized leader in the advancement of women lawyers.” In April, 2003, she was named as the first recipient of the Lynette Norton Award by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession. That Award was given to her in recognition of her “outstanding litigation skills” and “mentoring of women attorneys.” In April 2010, she was named one of the “Women of Distinction” by The Legal Intelligencer. In December, 2003, she was named as one of the “Women of Distinction” by the Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners, based on her “commitment to professional excellence and community involvement.”
Ms. Liebenberg served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary from 2006-2007. That Committee performs peer review evaluations of all federal court nominees. Prior to that appointment, she served as the Third Circuit representative on the Standing Committee from 2005-2006. She served as Co-Chair of the Practitioners’ Reading Group in connection with the Standing Committee’s evaluations of the nominations of Supreme Court Justices Jackson, Sotomayor, and Kagan. From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Liebenberg was a member of the Board of Governors of the ABA, representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition, she served on the Governing Council of the ABA’s Section of Litigation and was the Section’s Delegate to the House of Delegates. She was Vice Chair of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Cartel and Criminal Practice Committee. She also served as Chair of the Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation. She previously served as Chair of the ABA’s Fund for Justice and Education. Ms. Liebenberg formerly chaired the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Antitrust Committee from 1993-1997 and 2002-2007.
From 2013-2018, Ms. Liebenberg served as Chair of DirectWomen, the only organization dedicated to increasing the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards. She served as Co-Chair of the ABA Presidential Initiative on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law. From 2008-2011 and 2013-2014, she served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, whose first Chair was Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Liebenberg also served as the first Chair of the American Bar Association’s Gender Equity Task Force from 2012-2013. In addition, she was Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession from 1995-1997. She also served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee from 2005-2007.
Ms. Liebenberg was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Previously, she was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to its Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, where she was Co-Chair of the Gender Bias Committee. In addition, she served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Special Committee to Coordinate the Bar’s Response to Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, as well as its Gender Fairness Task Force.
Ms. Liebenberg is President of the Board of Directors of the ABA Retirement Funds; a member of the Board of the American Antitrust Institute; a member of the Board of the American Bar Endowment; and a member of the Board of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative. She is also a Life Member of the American Law Institute and is a Life Fellow of The American Bar Foundation. She has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects, including antitrust, class actions, and expert witness testimony, and issues pertaining to gender, racial and ethnic fairness in the legal profession and justice system.