In Re: William Lyon Homes Shareholder Litigation (Del. Ch., Dec. 21, 2006), read opinion here. The issue in this Chancery Court case is a matter near and dear to the hearts of most attorneys.
This case involved a proposed settlement of a complaint that challenged a freeze-out by a 90% owner of a corporation. The court awarded attorneys’ fees to the Delaware attorneys only, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding, and denied any fees to attorneys who prosecuted a complaint in California involving similar issues. The court relied on a previous Delaware Supreme Court case that addressed the standards for awarding attorneys’ fees to counsel who pursued substantially identical litigation in a different forum, but who did not participate in the Delaware proceedings and whose clients’ claims have been mooted by settlement of the Delaware proceedings. See In Re: Infinity Broadcast Corp. Shareholders Litigation, 802 A.2d 285 (Del. 2002).