HP Says Cotchett Deal No ‘Side Agreement’ To Settlement

Law 360 reports on the Center for Class Action Fairness' objection to the HP settlement.

Objectors to the settlement moved last month to decertify the class or disqualify Cotchett, arguing that the firm represents HP in litigation concerning the company's $11.1 billion acquisition of Autonomy Corp. The objectors claimed HP didn’t put up a fight over the fees because of its relationship with Cotchett and failed to disclose their “side agreement” retaining Cotchett.

The objectors claimed HP’s litigation conduct, in failing to actually oppose the fees, suggests that the clear-sailing clause was removed from the settlement only on paper, and that there was an undisclosed side agreement not to make any serious effort to challenge class counsel’s fee request.

Ted Frank of the Center for Class Action Fairness, representing the objectors, told Law360 that California ethics rules disqualify Cotchett without exception.

"Not only do the parties' oppositions fail to identify a single class action in history where the defendant's retained counsel was allowed to represent the class suing the defendant, they fail to even mention the California Rules of Professional Conduct," Frank said. "That pretty much concedes the ballgame." 

Read the full article at Law 360.