The Courthouse News (online only) accurately reports that the single lead plaintiffs’ law-firm recieved an over $4 million “seperate” award, for its fees and expenses. That is true — but greatly understates the overall take for all the law firms involved.
In fact, all the firms, collectively, were alloted 16.92 per cent of the total pot, after expenses — for fees. That figure is about $116 million, not about $4 million. Since the error reflects only the lawyers’ share of the $688 million, overall, I suppose it is a rather trivial mistake, compared to the overall story — but here is the orginal link, and a snippet:
. . . . Although more than a million potential class members were notified of the settlement, only two oppositions have been filed, the unpublished ruling states.
“Here, the litigation is at a very advanced stage, as the settlements were reached only a few weeks before trial was to begin,” Cavanaugh wrote. “Discovery has been going on for years and has consisted of a vast number of depositions, the review of millions of documents, mock trials, and extensive pre-trial-preparation. The parties have clearly had the opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of the case during this time.”
The court further held that the benefits of accepting the immediate settlement funds outweigh the potential woes of a jury trial. Cavanaugh also agreed to award co-lead counsel in the Schering case more than $4 million attorneys’ fees and costs. . . .
Yes — while securities cases like this one, with excellent evidence of CEO Fred Hassan’s alleged securities law misstatements (by ommissions) are rare — the payouts are usually vast, to the lawyers who see them through. And they earn every penny of it — with an opponent as wily as Mr. Hassan. [Now, I’m out — to catch the Marathon.]