Lawyers in a $586 million settlement of IPO litigation stemming from the demise of the Internet stocks bubble want to be paid $245 million, nearly three times the average for such large settlements, according to court papers filed on Tuesday.
The objection by investors in Manhattan federal court said the lawyers who won the settlement had asked the court for an award of $195 million in fees plus $50 million in expenses, or about 42 percent of the settlement.
The attorneys' fees and expenses requested are excessive under any accepted formula and well above the average ranges, said the filing by lawyer Edward Siegel for seven objecting investors. In fact, Class Counsel's request is almost three times as much as the average of $100 million for such large settlements.
Stanley Bernstein, the lead attorney in the case, could not immediately be reached for comment.
About 50 underwriters agreed to pay $586 million to settle lawsuits filed after the Internet stocks boom turned sour in 2000. More than 300 technology companies and banks, including Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley were sued by investors.
The objectors asked Judge Shira Scheindlin to scrutinize many of the expense items, including flying first class and staying at five-star hotels.
Whether the class should pay for the maintenance of the modern equivalent of each firm's law library (electronic research charges) is another, the document said.
The judge gave tentative approval to the settlement in June. A hearing is scheduled on Thursday.
The case is In Re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation 21-MC-92 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) (Reporting by Grant McCool, editing by Matthew Lewis)