Distribution of $7.2 Billion Enron Settlement May Come in 2008

Dan Newman of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, the law firm leading the Enron securities class action settlement, stated Tuesday that the firm is hopeful that it can make a distribution to Enron shareholders of the $7.2 billion settlement fund before the end of the year.  He added that the order on Monday by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon approving a distribution plan is a key step toward that goal, according to the Houston Chronicle.  Under the plan, investors who bought common stock during the class period will receive an average of $6.79 per share, while those who bought preferred will receive an average of $168.50 per share.

As discussed here, the court also approved the firm’s request for $688 million in fees.  Patrick Coughlin, chief trial counsel for the firm, stated that “[w]e’re pleased that the court recognizes the tremendous amount of work, skill and determination required to overcome significant obstacles in this complicated case and recover over $7 billion for defrauded investors.”

In her order, Judge Harmon concluded that the $688 million was a “reasonable fee earned by an extraordinary group of attorneys who achieved the largest settlement fund ever despite the great odds against them.”  The American Lawyer reports that Coughlin Stoia’s work on this case involved, among other things:

  • 289,593 hours billed on the case
  • a minimum of a dozen lawyers working on the case at all times
  • taking 400 depositions of dozens and dozens of experts, motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, and class certification.  

Read the Houston Chronicle article

Read the American Lawyer article