In Re Yahoo! Shareholders Litigation, (Del. Ch., March 6, 2009), read opinion here.
Kevin Brady, a highly respected Wilmington litigator, prepared this review of the short letter decision.
Chancellor Chandler issued a letter opinion today approving the In Re Yahoo! Shareholders Litigation class action and derivative action settlement, awarding plaintiffs $8.4 million in attorneys’ fees plus expenses. The Court found that the plaintiffs had met the Sugarland factors (plaintiffs spent 5,500 attorney hours in a hotly contested litigation that they took on a contingent fee basis.) The settlement resulted in "the elimination of the dead-hand provision that would have prevented a new slate of directors from changing the severance plan and effectively curtailed the employee severance plan, significantly lowering the cost to acquire Yahoo of any potential buyer." The plaintiffs had asked for $12 million in fees; defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ fee should be $1 million. The Court found that the plaintiffs had bestowed a sufficient benefit to Yahoo’s shareholders in a case that "substantially parallels" the facts in Minneapolis Firefighters’ Relief Ass’n v. Ceridan, C.A. No. 2996-CC, tr. at 27 (Del. Ch. Feb. 25, 2008).