On behalf of class member Joshua Holyoak, CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness objected to class counsel’s excessive fee request in Edwards v. Milk. Under Ninth Circuit law, the appropriate benchmark for fees in a common fund case is 25 percent. Here, class counsel sought nearly 40 percent. CCAF urged the court to reduce the percentage of fees to 25 percent of the fund, after excluding notice and administrative costs that do not benefit the class, which would allow the class to recover an additional $7.2 million.
On June 26, 2017, in a victory for CCAF, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California adopted some of our objections, reducing the plaintiffs’ attorneys fee request by 25 percent, from more than $17 million to $13 million.
CCAF Attorney Anna St. John commented on the victory, “The Court rightly recognized that the results achieved by plaintiffs were hardly exceptional and reduced the bloated fee request accordingly. Another $4.3 million will now go where it belongs, to the class members, and not to further enrich the attorneys.”