Law Firms

Boies Schiller and Hausfeld will get big chunk of $626.6M in legal fees in insurance antitrust case

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A federal judge in Alabama approved a $2.67 billion settlement and $626.6 million in attorney fees Tuesday in an antitrust class action against Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans.

Boies Schiller Flexner and Hausfeld were co-lead counsel in the multidistrict litigation and will receive the largest share of the contingency award, according to Bloomberg Law. In addition to fees, the law firms representing the plaintiffs will receive $40.9 million in costs., Law360, Reuters and Bloomberg Law also have coverage.

The lawsuit had alleged that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member plans divided up health insurance markets to suppress competition.

The fees and costs amount to 25% of the settlement fund for purchasers of health insurance. U.S. District R. David Proctor of the Northern District of Alabama said in an Aug. 9 order the amount is fair and reasonable.

“The case presented a myriad of difficult factual issues, requiring substantial discovery to resolve, including the production of millions of pages of documents and the taking of scores of depositions,” Proctor said.

In a separate order approving the settlement, Proctor said the case “raised novel and complex legal questions, and unlike other historic antitrust actions, is a private-enforcement action that did not follow on a government investigation.”

The settlement fund may represent the largest class action settlement on record, Proctor said.

“Even more significantly, it is accompanied by historic structural relief, which rarely arises out of private enforcement actions,” he said.

In a statement to Bloomberg Law, Boies Schiller name partner David Boies said the case illustrates the power of private enforcement of antitrust laws.

“The dollar recovery and the historic competition-enhancing injunctive relief is unprecedented in a private antitrust case unrelated to government action,” Boies said. noted that Boies Schiller’s total revenue decreased to $230 million last year. The attorney fees will provide a sizable boost to that income.

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