Biography & Background
Leo Beus is the co-founder of Beus Gilbert PLLC, a premier boutique law firm concentrating on high stakes litigation, real estate and zoning law. Mr. Beus leads the Firm’s litigation department, with emphasis on representing plaintiffs in complex litigation involving securities, real estate, investment fraud, lender liability, professional malpractice, antitrust, trademark, intellectual property, and directorship liability. Mr. Beus has been the lead litigator in plaintiffs’ cases resulting in verdicts and settlements totaling in excess of $4 Billion for his clients. In addition, Mr. Beus has successfully represented defendants against antitrust and shareholder derivative claims where the stakes have been up to $1 Billion.
Mr. Beus has received numerous awards and recognitions in his profession and his community. Mr. Beus and his wife, Annette, serve as co-chairs of the President’s Club of Arizona State University. He is recognized by his peers as an AV® Preeminent Lawyer with the highest rating in Martindale-Hubbell and is ranked among the highest rated lawyers in America in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers & Partners USA Guide and Southwest Super Lawyers. Mr. Beus was named Litigator of the Week by Litigation Daily and named as a Benchmark Litigation Star in the upcoming 2016 edition. He has been recognized in national business and industry media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Crain’s New York Business, Litigation Daily, Benchmark and Law360, as well as the Arizona Republic, Arizona Attorney, Phoenix Business Journal, Tucson Citizen and Deseret News.
A 1970 cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law, Mr. Beus served as Managing Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1967 from Brigham Young University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Fraternity. Mr. Beus is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits, United States Court of Federal Claims, United States District Courts for Arizona and Colorado, United States Tax Court and the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona. He was, at one time, fluent in Dutch and Flemish (alas, a bit rusty today).
Representative Cases on behalf of Plaintiffs
- Representation of a major university and professor in connection with breach of contract and inventorship and misappropriation of trade secrets against pharmaceutical company and its predecessors resulting in settlement of $450 million.
- Represented Fortune 500 company regarding recovery of Boeing 747 and jet aircraft engines obtained fraudulently with a value of $420 million.
- $338 million jury verdict against a national accounting firm in financial services industry on behalf of international bank.
- Representation of Bankruptcy Trustee for a fast food chain against numerous defendants which included national accounting firm, investment bankers, and law firms which resulted in settlements in excess of $280 million.
- $213 plus million judgment after jury trial for fraudulent conveyances, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment against the parent corporation and director of two bankrupt metals companies, on behalf of Bankruptcy Trustee.
- Representation of Bankruptcy Trustee of alternative fuel company against various defendants and professionals resulting in cash settlements in excess of $212 million.
- Representation of international corporation against insurers and borrowers for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty which resulted in settlements of over $200 million.
- Representation of international bank in an accountant malpractice action against national accounting firm and others resulting in a settlement in excess of $128.1 million.
- Representation of numerous plaintiffs against corporation and promoter resulting in recoveries in excess of $112 million.
- Represented Fortune 2500 company in recovering $110 million in fraudulently obtained assets.
- Represented franchisees against a national manufacturer in an antitrust case with a recovery in excess of $103 million.
- Representation of four major institutional money managers who brought claims on behalf of over one hundred beneficial owners of senior subordinated notes against various defendants which resulted in settlements in excess of $100 million.
- Represented multi-level marketer against a national multi-level marketer and recovered in excess of $100 million.
- Recovered in excess of $90 million for international banking entity against international accounting firm.
- Representation of financial institution’s Bankruptcy Trustee against national accounting firm resulting in $75 million settlement.
- Represented the State of Texas against a national accounting firm and recovered $75 million for inappropriate auditing.
- Obtained $68 million in suit against national supermarket chain on behalf of major corporation.
- Representation of paper industry Bankruptcy Trustee against national accounting firm, investment bankers, and others resulting in $55 million settlement.
- Recovered $55 million against a Fortune 500 company on behalf of a Fortune 500 company.
- Representation of three money managers and their funds against leveraged buyout firms and underwriters which resulted in a jury verdict of $52 million.
- Represented a famous golfer in connection with a contribution claim. Recovered $50 million against a national accounting firm for having not properly audited and reported to the board of directors.
- Received $45 million from a national law firm for bad tax advice on behalf of major investor.
- Represented regional jet airline against international airline and recovered in excess of $35 million.
- Representation of two individual entrepreneurs against one of the largest investment banks on Wall Street, resulting in $22 million settlement.
- Representation of Bankruptcy Trustee for manufacturing company in connection with litigation arising from accounting malpractice. Case settled for $15.55 million.
- Represented a university and an investor in suit against professionals for tax advice. Recovered in excess of $14 million.
- Representation of Bankruptcy Trustee against various defendants and professionals in Florida in the manufacturing and franchise areas. $13.5 million in settlements achieved.
- Representation of liberal arts college against national accounting firm for an improper audit leading to $6 million settlement.
- Tried a bad faith claim against an insurance carrier for an injured mother with a recovery in punitive damages in excess of $6 million.
Representative Cases on behalf of Defendants
- Defended shareholder derivative claim for Fortune 500 company seeking over $1 billion successfully without any payment.
- Defense verdict on behalf of national petroleum company in antitrust case where plaintiff’s claim was in excess of $1 billion.
- Defense verdict on behalf of national petroleum company in antitrust case where plaintiff’s claim was in excess of $50 million.
- Defense verdict on behalf of national petroleum company in antitrust case where plaintiff’s claim was in excess of $25 million.
- On behalf of a large international bank defendant, successfully defended a lender liability case and obtained contribution settlement against lawyers and accountants in excess of $45 million.
- Defense verdict on behalf of national music publication company in antitrust case.
- Cover Story: Leo Beus and Paul Gilbert might be two of the most influential, but least known heavy hitters in Arizona, M. Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal, March 4, 2016
- MagCorp Trustee Kicks Off $118M Rennert Looting Trial – Andrew Scurria, Law360 (Feb. 2, 2015)
- Jury Awards Damages in Mining Firm Plunder – Associated Press, New York Law Journal (Mar. 2, 2015)
- Renco Penalty In MagCorp Bankruptcy Row Rises To $213M – Kurt Orzeck, Law 360 (Mar. 16, 2015)
BYU v. Pfizer:
- Pfizer, BYU settle Celebrex lawsuit for $450M – Tom Harvey, The Salt Lake Tribune (May 2, 2012)
- Pfizer Settles B.Y.U. Lawsuit Over Development of Celebrex – The Associated Press, The New York Times, (May 1, 2012)
- BYU’s $1 billion lawsuit accuses Pfizer of fraud – Lois M. Collins and Geoffrey Fattah, Deseret Morning News (Thursday, Oct. 19 2006)
Boston Chicken Inc.:
- Boston Chicken’s Andersen Suit Has Similarities to Enron Case – Bill Richards & Scott Thurm, The Wall Street Journal (Mar. 13, 2002)
Standard Chartered Bank V. Price Waterhouse:
- Accountant Hit With Judgment of $338 Million : Litigation: An Arizona jury says a Price Waterhouse audit led to a British firm making a losing investment in a bank – Associated Press, Los Angeles Times (May 20, 1992)
- Failed audits are no basis for protective legislation. (Standard Chartered Bank PLC malpractice suit against Price Waterhouse) (Standard Chartered vs. PW: busted audit or legal lotto?) – Leo R. Beus, Accounting Today (February 7, 1994)
- Standard Chartered Wants Price Waterhouse Verdict Upheld – James R. Kraus, American Banker (October 26, 1993)
- PwC ends 12-year dispute with British bank. (12-year case between PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Standard Chartered Bank is settled out of court) – Accounting Today (Dec. 13, 1999)
- Bonneville Pacific law firm from Arizona to investigate case – Marianne Funk, Deseret News (Oct. 2 1992)
- Judge orders firm to obey subpoena – Marianne Funk, Deseret News (May 1, 1993)
- Law Firm Reaches Settlement in Bonneville Pacific Case – Joe Costanzo, Deseret News (May 3, 1996)
- Large Award in Miniscribe Fraud Suit – Andrew Pollack, The New York Times (Feb. 5, 1992)
- COMPANY NEWS; A $128.1 Million Settlement Reached in Miniscribe Case – The New York Times (June 4, 1992)
Phoenix Business Journal:
- “The List: ASU Driving Downtown Development” (Mr. Beus donates $10 million to ASU Law School) (October 3, 2014)
- “Attorney Goes After the Big Guys – Profile” by John Schwartz (October 20, 1995)
- “Technology invades Phoenix courtrooms” by Kim Watson (October 8, 1995) (Mr. Beus quoted)
- “Beus Gift to Law Center Reflects Affinity for ASU, Concern for Fellow Citizens” (September 22, 2014)
- “Philanthropist forges ties with school through YSA bishop, missionary experiences” (Mr. Beus donation to ASU) (February 26, 2015)
- “BYU Unveils Donated Painting ‘Treasures of Knowledge’ by artist Greg Olsen” (Mr. Beus donation to BYU) (August 19, 2015)
New York Law Journal:
- “High-Tech Graphics Help Win Cases Both In and Out of the Courtroom” (March 3, 1998)
- “Enhanced Persuasion Available, Easy to Use Even in Modest Cases” (July 23, 1996)
Accounting Liability Alert:
- “How a Plaintiff’s Lawyer Sizes You Up Before Filing Suit” (September 1998) Accounting Today
- “Auditing Profession Must Get Tough on Ethics” (October 9-22, 1995)
- “Auditors: Clean Up Your Act or the Government Will” (September 25-October 8, 1995)
- “CPAs: Do You Really Want What You’re Asking For?” (September 11-24, 1995)
- “Failed Audits Are No Basis for Protective Legislation” (February 7, 1994)
- “Price Waterhouse Evades the Issue of Accountability” (March 14, 1994)
- “From Plaintiff’s Prospective: How to Select Defense Counsel Suitable to Plaintiff” (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 6-7 1997)
- “The Law Expert: A Plaintiff’s Best Friend” (Vancouver, Canada, April 1-3, 1998)
ALI-ABA Course Materials
- “Doing Documentary Discovery in an Audit Malpractice Case” (March 1995);
- “Independent Auditor: Public Watchdog or Lap Puppy?” (April 19, 2001; January 27, 2000)
- “Litigating an Accountant’s Liability Suit – Complying With the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” (January 28, 1999; January 29, 1998)
- “Litigating an Accountant’s Liability Suit – Pre-Suit Investigation” (January 28, 1999; January 29, 1998; January 31, 1997)
- “Litigating an Accountant’s Liability Suit – Pre-Suit Investigation and Procedure” (April 19, 2001; January 27, 2000)
- “Litigating an Accountant’s Liability Lawsuit – Recent Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” (January 31, 1997)
- “Public Accounting in Crisis” (May 3, 2007)
- “Proximate Cause, Foreseeability, and Deepening Insolvency in Accountants’ Liability Litigation” (July 9, 2009; May 15, 2008; February 10, 2005; May 20, 2004; February 6, 2003; January 24, 2002; February 2, 1995)
- “The Independent Auditor: Public Watchdog or Lap Puppy?” (January 28, 1999; January 31, 1997; February 8, 1996)
- “The Role of the Independent Auditor as the Public Watchdog” (January 29, 1998)
- “The Simple and Wonderful Duty of a Court Appointed Trustee” (September 8, 2005)
- “Workpapers, Audit Manuals, Expense Account Information and Personnel Records Often Provide Helpful Information in an Accountant’s Liability Suit” (January 29, 1998)
- “Workpapers, Audit Manual, Personnel Records and Expense Account Information Can Often Provide Helpful Information in an Audit Malpractice Case” (May 15, 2008; February 10, 2005; May 20, 2004; February 6, 2003; January 24, 2002; April 19, 2001; January 27, 2000; January 28, 1999; January 31, 1997; February 8, 1996; February 2, 1995)