Review and allocation for major insurance carrier of over $47 million in attorneys fees and expenses submitted by four law firms in connection with shareholder litigation arising out of acquisition and merger of two major pharmaceutical companies.
Legal Fee Auditor (2018) retained by litigation counsel in shareholder securities litigation to review and analyze fees and costs totaling $3,565,867.29 billed by 8 law firms. Identified insurance coverage charges unrelated to the litigation, vague tasks, redacted entries, hourly charges with no fee detail provided, clerical and administrative charges, vague task descriptions, and excessive billing rates (based on independent rate data provided), and overhead expenses totaling $1,508,971.88 in questioned charges.
Legal Fee Auditor and Consultant (2018) retained by counsel for insurer of an internet technology company to review fees and costs of $8,758,873.88 billed by 4 law firms and 3 financial services consultants in contract dispute. Identified massive multiple attendance, half and whole hour time increment billing, administrative and clerical overhead, fees and costs outside coverage period, vague tasks, block billing, wrong case billing.
Review and analysis of over $1,400,000 in fees and in costs billed by law firm in defense of U.S. District Court litigation involving claims of antitrust violations, RICO, breach of contract, trademark infringement and trade secret appropriation. Designated as expert witness and testified as expert in deposition.
Legal Fee Consultant (2018) retained by counsel for asset holding company to evaluate $4,195,938.94 in legal fees and costs billed by 63 timekeepers from 4 law firms in multi-district business transaction and intellectual property aerospace industry litigation. Reviewed invoice to identify potential billing issues including unauthorized billing rate increases, double billing, block billing, clerical and administrative tasks, vague task descriptions, multiple attendance within and between firms, transient billers, long billing days, large time increment timekeepers, excessive routine motion (pro hac vice) tasks, as well as tasks that indicated the exercise of billing judgment including write-downs and write-offs.
Analysis of total lodestar fees and costs of over $5,000,000 requested by 12 law firms in multi‑district class action litigation concerning life insurance sales practices, including preparation of expert declaration concerning analysis of plaintiff’s request for lodestar fees and costs.
Legal Fee Auditor (2018) retained by financial holding company to review fees and costs totaling $8,403,923.83 billed by 42 timekeepers from 3 law firms participating joint defense group for claims allegedly related to investment ratings downgrade litigation. Court reduced fees by nearly 60% to approximately $3.4 Million based on audit findings of block billing, vague tasks, excessive redactions, unrelated charges, and excessive billing rates.
Review and analysis of $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees sought by plaintiff relator in qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act, including preparation of expert declaration and supporting exhibits in support of opposition to plaintiff’s petition for fees and costs.
Legal Fee Auditor and Consultant (2017) retained by insurer of financial services provider in corporate mismanagement claim litigation. Reviewed $2,318,318,42 in fees and costs billed by a single firm and identified $1,557,648.72 as inconsistent with insurer’s billing guidelines due to double billing, administrative and clerical tasks, massive vague task descriptions, multiple attendance at events, transient billers, excessive legal research, frequent intrafirm communications, long billing days, block billing, and quarter hour billing increments.
Review and analysis of attorneys’ fees and costs of over $500,000 requested by plaintiffs’ counsel in ERISA litigation, including preparation of expert declaration and exhibits in support of opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for fees and costs.
Legal Fee Auditor and Consultant (2017) retained by counsel for investment group in hotel owners partnership and related tax, contract, and fraud disputes in multiple state and federal jurisdictions. $5,279,265.52 in fees and costs billed by 102 timekeepers from 12 law firms. Identified $262,370.51 in charges unrelated to the disputes at issue, plus $1,786,926.23 in fees and $39,336.55 in costs for reasonableness issues including double billing, excessive hourly rates, excessive redactions, block billing, clerical and administrative tasks, quarter hour increment billers, and various vague and overhead expenses.
Review and analysis of attorneys’ fees and costs of over $6,000,000 requested by plaintiff in the first lawsuit ever tried under the U.S. Antidumping Act of 1916, including preparation of expert declaration and exhibits in support of opposition to plaintiff’s petition for fees and costs.
Legal Fee Auditor and Expert (2017) retained by insurer of investment firm in receivership matters and other related litigation. Reviewed $10,360,011.17 in fees and expenses billed by 46 timekeepers from a single firm. Identified unauthorized billing rate increases, administrative and clerical tasks, vague task descriptions, multiple attendance, transient billers, orientation/getting up to speed charges, non-working travel, block billing, frequent internal conferences and communications, large time increment (quarter, half and whole hour) billing, totaling $5,654,197.74 in charges inconsistent with billing guidelines.
Review and analysis of lodestar attorneys fees of over $1,500,000 sought by plaintiffs’ counsel in class action litigation regarding fair lending practices including preparation of expert declaration regarding same.
Legal Fee Auditor (2017) retained by counsel for insured bank in real estate lending matter alleging breach of contract, negligence, and statutory violations under the Homeowner Bill of Rights, the Rosenthal Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Consumer Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Business & Professions Code. Conducted allocation review of attorneys’ fee claim of $822,339.49 after the matter settled for $250,000.00, and identified $343,103.30 in unrelated charges, unsuccessful claims, or excessive fees.
Legal Fee Auditor and Consultant (2016) retained by a large national law firm to review and analyze fee legal fees and costs in fee shifting matter arising out of allegations of malpractice by 17 of the law firm’s clients in a securities case. Reviewed $8,666,202.18 billed by 24 law firms and 13 other financial services professionals to perform allocation analysis to distinguish fees related to the damages alleged from all other fees, reconciliation of plaintiff’s allocation to the invoices provided, and to identify billing problems reflecting upon the reasonableness and necessity of the fees and costs charged. Identified 18 distinct categories of reasonableness and allocation errors leading plaintiffs to agree to a quick settlement.
Review and analysis for major cruise line of fees and costs of over $9,000,000 requested by plaintiffs’ counsel in connection with maritime overtime wage class action. Prepared expert declaration and report in connection with opposition to plaintiffs’ fee petition.
Legal Fee Auditor and Consultant (2016) retained by counsel for insurer in insurance coverage dispute arising from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration over alleged breaches of industry employment plans and retention agreements. Reviewed fees and costs of $4,355,547.15 billed by four national law firms to conduct billing rate analysis and identification of fees and costs inconsistent with generally accepted billing practices. Identified $2,179,051.81 in questioned charges due to excessive billing rates, clerical and administrative overhead charges, vague tasks, double billing, and duplicative attendance by multiple timekeepers and multiple firms.
Review for professional sports franchise of over $2,700,000 in fees and expenses billed by law firm in connection with representation of team in litigation with local government authority over arena financing agreement and other matters.
Legal Fee Expert Auditor (2016) retained by defendant financial investment company in vexatious refusal claim and resulting statutory attorneys fee motion. Reviewed and analyzed $2,233,698.00 in fees and costs for to identify vague task descriptions, multiple attendance at events, administrative and clerical overhead tasks, and various project allocations to segregate plaintiff’s unsuccessful claims. Prepared expert declaration identifying questioned and unsuccessful charges which court cited and relied upon in creating methodology to reduce plaintiff’s fees in the case.
Review for major insurance carrier of over $10,000,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses submitted by law firm in connection with defense of litigation against corporation arising out of sale of workers comp insurance unit and subsequent bankruptcy of purchaser.
Legal Fee Auditor (2016) retained by insurer to review and analyze $1,288,374.61 in fees billed by insured municipality in construction bond litigation. Identified mathematical errors, expenses (disbursements) billed as professional fees, block billing, administrative tasks, vague task descriptions, long billing days, and quarter hour billing increment timekeepers. Provided detailed rate adjustment analysis comparing billed rates to insurer’s designated rates.
Review and analysis for insurance carrier of over $7,000,000 billed by two law firms in connection with business method patent and intellectual property litigation on behalf of and against national securities exchange.
Legal Fee Consultant (2015) retained by insurer to identify potential billing issues in $3,241,757.52 in fees billed over a 13 month period to ten related matters in a financial transactions class action litigation. Identified over $1,000,000.00 in questionable fees resulting from administrative and clerical tasks, large billing increments, unit billing for standardized tasks, vague billing descriptions, unauthorized billing rate increases, multiple attendance, and other issues.
Legal Fee Auditor (2015) in coverage dispute arising from financial investment Ponzi scheme litigation. Reviewed $1,544,680.85 in fees and costs billed by five firms to sixteen different matters related to 36 different cases. Performed allocation of fees to different matters to allow parties, experts, and court to make coverage determinations. Identified questioned fees resulting from double billing, administrative and clerical fees, vague task descriptions, unit billing of routine tasks, charges for excessive time, and other issues.
Legal Fee Auditor (2015) retained by private individual defendant in insider trading litigation. Reviewed and analyzed $3.2 million in fees billed by 69 timekeepers from firm representing potential codefendant financial institution, submitted as basis for criminal restitution claim. Evaluated fees for sufficiency in establishing the restitution claim and for allocation of fees between those related to cooperating with government in prosecution vs. those incurred to defend allegations against the institution itself.
Legal Fee Auditor (2013) for insurer related to coverage of defense fees under director’s and officer’s insurance policy for $8,693,367.24 in alleged defense fees and costs billed by 103 timekeepers from five law firms for multiple litigations including a shareholders derivative suit. Conducted allocation of tasks for covered vs. non-covered matters and identified reasonableness issues.
Legal Fee Auditor (2013) for shareholders class action for stock price manipulation in the natural gas market, and related claims, totaling over $37,715,657.93 in fees and expenses involving 34 law firms and over 449 timekeepers; Review included allocation of tasks into different matters and identification and quantification of tasks impacting reasonableness of the fees.
Legal Fee Auditor (2013) for reasonableness expert for fee dispute resulting from fees in a 2013 shareholders derivative suit for a shipping industry firm. Reviewed fees and expenses of six (6) law firms and their collective 138 timekeepers who billed a total of $9,008,605.23 in fees and expenses.