According to a report that NERA Economic Consulting released yesterday, plaintiffs firms that handle securities class actions last year collected fees and federal court-related expenses amounting to $653 million, a 4 percent increase from 2011. The fees were awarded out of the $3.3 billion recovered in class actions in 2012. Additionally, the report found that aggregate settlement amounts increased by 22 percent from 2011.
Last year’s largest fee award stemmed from a 2004 case against American International Group that resulted in two partial settlements totaling $822.5 million. In that case, the court awarded more than $100 million in fees to plaintiffs firms led by Labaton Sucharow and Hahn Loeser & Parks.
Some other top fee awards in 2012 include:
- $55 million from a $200 million settlement with Motorola Inc.
- $53.55 million from a $315 million settlement with Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch
- $35.39 million from a $294.9 million settlement with Bearn Stearns
Nonetheless, NERA’s report says the median proportion of fees to settlements has been declining. Settlements recovering $100 million to $500 million resulted in fees that were 18.2 percent of that recovery from 2010 to 2012; from 1996 to 2009, that number was 24.2 percent. The exception was cases with settlements in which more than $1 billion was recovered; in those cases, 12.6 percent of the recovery went to fees from 2010 to 2012, compared with 8.3 percent from 1996 to 2009.
Read Thomson Reuters for more information.
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