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Nov 10 - equifax data breach lawyers...want $77 million in fees


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 3 days ago '09        #1
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messy marv stan  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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Nov 10 - equifax data breach lawyers...want $77 million in fees
 

 

 https://www.law.com/daily .. t-77m-in-fees/


In a Tuesday motion, lawyers from 13 firms said their fee request represented less than 20.4% of the $380.5 million cash fund and only 5.6% of the settlement when including the other benefits to the class


Plaintiffs lawyers who obtained a $1.4 billion class action settlement with Equifax over its massive data breach have asked a federal judge to approve more than $77.5 million in attorney fees to them.

In a Tuesday motion, lawyers from 13 firms appointed to the multidistrict litigation said their fee request, originally disclosed in the settlement’s terms, was reasonable given that it represented less than 20.4% of the $380.5 million cash fund and only 5.6% of the settlement when including the other benefits to the class.

“This unprecedented case presented many novel and difficult legal questions,” the motion says. “Determining and proving the cause of the breach and developing cybersecurity measures to prevent a recurrence were particularly challenging.”

The fee request is the highest of any data breach settlement, with fee awards approved in similar cases against Anthem and Yahoo totaling $31 million and $30 million, respectively. In July, in a case involving many of the same lawyers as in Equifax, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a $15.3 million fee award in Home Depot’s data breach settlement with financial institutions.

But the Equifax case stands apart from other data breach settlements, lawyers wrote.

“The proposed settlement that class counsel negotiated to resolve the consumer claims in this case is historic, exceeding the value of all previous consumer data breach settlements combined,” the motion says. “This is the largest data breach settlement in history. The $380.5 million fund alone is more than the total recovered in all consumer data breach settlements in the last ten years.”

The fee request would primarily compensate all 13 firms, but another 46 law firms worked on the case. The request also includes more than $1.2 million in expenses and service awards of $2,500 each to 96 named plaintiffs in the consolidated complaint.

The settlement, filed on July 22, resolved claims by 147 million U.S. consumers whose personal and financial information was compromised from the 2017 cyberattack, plus civil complaints brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 state attorneys general

Under the settlement, Equifax agreed to spend $1 billion on cybersecurity measures over the next five years. Equifax also agreed to pay another $125 million for out-of-pocket losses by consumers, and as much as $2 billion more in credit monitoring, if needed.

Chief Judge Thomas Thrash of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, preliminarily approved the settlement.

In Tuesday’s motion, lawyers estimated that their total billing multiplied by their hourly rate—referred to as the lodestar—was nearly $21 million and would total more than $27.7 million when including future work on the settlement. As of Sept. 30, plaintiffs lawyers spent more than 34,000 hours on the case and expect to spend another 10,000 in the next seven years

Top billers were Kansas City, Missouri’s Stueve Siegel Hanson, Chicago’s DiCello Levitt Gutzler and Atlanta’s Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles. Co-lead counsel were Norman Siegel of Stueve Siegel; Amy Keller of DiCello Levitt; and Ken Canfield of Doffermyre Shields.

At least three lawyers—Canfield and Everette Doffermyre, another partner at Doffermyre Shields, and former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes of The Barnes Law Group in Marietta, Georgia—charged hourly rates of $1,000 or more, according to exhibits attached to the motion. Barnes was co-liaison counsel.

In their motion, plaintiffs lawyers said the fees were reasonable under the governing law in the Eleventh Circuit, which does not require a lodestar cross-check when awarding class action fees.

“In fact, courts in this circuit have discouraged the use of a lodestar cross-check, cautioning that doing a cross-check simply reintroduces the same undesirable incentives the percentage method is meant to avoid,” they wrote.

The fee request includes supporting declarations from Robert Klonoff, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, and Atlanta attorney Harold “Hal” Daniel, past president of the State Bar of Georgia, described in the motion as a “prominent Atlanta lawyer and fee expert.”
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 2 days ago '10        #2
datguyjr 
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While the people affected by the breach get little to nothing
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 2 days ago '06        #3
Skateboard T 
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I mean...20% is a relatively low contingency fee. It isn't the lawyers' fault that so many plaintiffs joined the class asking for a cash settlement.

And 60 firms worked on the case. This case required a LOT of work but I know it's easy to see that number, compare it to the $25 checks that people get for the settlement and villainize the lawyers.



Comes with the territory I suppose, but I promise you these lawyers weren't just sitting around waiting for a judge to make a decision. They worked their a*ses off to make sure equifax changed.

Not to mention people who were ACTUALLY hurt by the breach (cuz lets be honest, I signed up for my check but could show you one harm that occurred) will be able to submit particularized records of that harm and recover fully.
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 2 days ago '09        #4
messy marv stan  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7 OP
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 datguyjr said
While the people affected by the breach get little to nothing

equifax is a $17 billion conglomerate smh. if uncle sam wanted to send a message it would shut down equifax. the $1.4 billion settlement is a very pitiful $10 for each victim
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