On January 14, Judge Alvin W. Thompson of the U.S. District Court in Connecticut awarded plaintiffs’ counsel $120 million in attorneys’ fees, plus $3.3 million in costs, in the securities class action settlement in the Xerox case. The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that the award relates to the $750 million settlement that Xerox agreed to pay to investors to resolve allegations that it overstated earnings from 1997 to 2001.
According to RiskMetrics’ Securities Class Action Services, law firms Berman DeValerio, Johnson & Perkinson, and Milberg LLP were co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the case.
Plaintiffs’ counsel initially sought a 20 percent cut of the settlement, but were awarded an amount representing 16 percent. “The fees as a percentage [in the Xerox case] were fair,” said Brad Friedman of Milberg LLP. “It’s a big fee, but it’s a big case. This case was as difficult a case as you could have.” Glen DeValerio of Berman DeValerio in Boston added that “[t]his is the largest case we’ve been lead counsel in. A case like this is a massive undertaking.”
Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Berman DeValerio fronted $4 million out of pocket to fund the litigation and at its height had about 60 of the firm’s lawyers on the case. Friedman said Milberg fronted at least $1 million along the way. Neither includes billable hours.