Proposed fee of 15% of net settlement generally fair

Ontario civil | Civil Procedure

CLASS ACTIONS

Proposed fee of 15% of net settlement generally fair

Class action was commenced in 2008 on behalf of artists and rights holders who had not received full compensation for use of their works by record labels. In 2011, settlement of class proceeding was approved, resulting in payment of approximately $46.7 million into settlement trust for benefit of class. Class counsel sought payment of fees, taxes and disbursements in the amount of approximately $7.65 million. Order was issued approving retainer agreements entered into between representative plaintiffs and class counsel, and approving fees of class counsel in amount of $6.25 million plus taxes and directing that such amount be paid out of settlement trust. Proposed fee of about 15% of net settlement was generally fair. Results achieved in this case were excellent. Matter was important to class. Factual and legal complexities of matter were significant. Skill and competence demonstrated by class counsel was exceptional. Risk undertaken by class counsel, and opportunity cost was sizeable. This was not one of those rare and exceptional cases that called for payment of compensation to class representative.

Baker Estate v. Sony BMG Music (Canada) Inc. (Nov. 30, 2011, Ont. S.C.J., Strathy J., File No. CV-080036065100 CP) 210 A.C.W.S. (3d) 586 (18 pp.).

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