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50. I do not agree with Class Counsel’s fees. What do I do?

50. I do not agree with Class Counsel’s fees. What do I do?

First, please contact Class Counsel by emailing or phoning Kimberley Hill at khill@cfmlawyers.ca or 1-800-689-2322. Class Counsel may be able to answer your question or resolve your concern.

You may also consider participating in the webcast “town hall” meeting (see FAQ#51) or listening to the recorded webcast (audio only) (see FAQ#54).

If you still do not agree, you have the right to object to the Court. The Court will consider any comments or objections it receives. You can object by sending your objection in writing to Class Counsel (see FAQ#44 for names and addresses) by July 17, 2015.

You can also come to the Court hearing. It will be held on July 24, 2015, starting at 10:00 a.m., in the Vancouver Courthouse at 800 Smithe Street. If you come, you may be allowed to speak to the Court.

49. How much of the settlement will be left for class members after Class Counsel are paid?

How much of the settlement will be left depends on what the Court approves and what expenses Class Counsel has to cover between now and the end of July. The rest of this answer is an estimate, based on what Class Counsel will be asking for at the hearing on July 24..

It is also important to remember that there are two separate amounts in the settlement.

First, there is an amount of up to $300,000 that the defendants are paying to cover the expenses incurred on behalf of the class members up to September 21, 2014. In order to get this lawsuit ready for trial, Class Counsel had to pay experts, pay for court reporters, and various other things. Class Counsel also had to pay tax on these expenses. This $300,000 is simply reimbursing Class Counsel for these expenses and the taxes on them.

Second, there is $4,000,000 in general settlement funds. Class Counsel will be asking for a fee of 1/3 for our work as the lawyers for the class, as described in FAQs#47&48. That amount is $1,333,333.33. We are required by law to charge 12% tax on our fees. The taxes on our fees will be $160,000, for a total of $1,493,333.33.

As described in FAQ#48, Class Counsel will also be seeking a fee of $250,000 for the work we will do as claims administrator. We are again required by law to charge 12% tax on our fees. The taxes on this amount will be $30,000, for a total of $280,000.

In total, Class Counsel will therefore be asking for fees of $1,743,333.33, including taxes.

Last Class Counsel will be asking the Court to reimburse us for expenses (including the taxes on those expenses) that we have paid since September 21, 2014 and that we continue to pay up to the hearing date. We do not know exactly how much this will be, but we estimate approximately $50,000.

This will leave between $2,100,000 and $2,200,000 to be paid to class members.

48. Why do Class Counsel get both 1/3 of the settlement and an additional $250,000 to be the claims administrator?

Class Counsel are acting in two different roles – one role is as the lawyers for the class members, and the other role is as the claims administrator.

The fee of 1/3 of the settlement is for acting as the lawyers for the class members. See FAQ#47 for more information about this fee.

There are specialized firms that do claims administration. Class Counsel asked one of those firms for a price to do this work. The price was higher than $250,000. Class counsel therefore decided to do it ourselves. In our experience, if we billed at our usual hourly rates it would cost us more than $250,000 to properly administer the claims process.

47. How much will Class Counsel get paid?

Class Counsel is paid a percentage of the settlement funds, plus expenses and taxes. The Court has to approve the amount of the lawyers’ fees and expenses to be paid from the settlement.

As the lawyers for the class, Class Counsel is asking for 1/3 of the settlement funds (or $1,333,333.33), plus expenses and taxes. This will be shared between Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman and Victory Square Law Office.

The representative plaintiffs agreed in a document called a “contingency fee agreement” to pay Class Counsel up to 1/3 of any money received in the lawsuit (whether from a settlement or after trial). The percentage goes up as the lawsuit moves closer to trial. This lawsuit settled very shortly before trial started, so Class Counsel is asking for the full 1/3.

If Class Counsel had been charging by the hour, as most lawyers do, our fee could have been higher.

 

46. Do I have to pay Class Counsel?

No. Class Counsel is paid a percentage of the settlement funds, plus expenses and taxes. The Court has to approve the amount of the lawyers’ fees and expenses to be paid from the settlement.

45. Who are the Experts?

The experts are actuaries hired by Class Counsel to help with the lawsuit and with deciding how to share the settlement funds among claimants.

44. Who are Class Counsel? How can I contact them?

Class Counsel are your lawyers in this lawsuit. The law firms are Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman and Victory Square Law Office. You can contact them at the following:

Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman
400-856 Homer Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5
Attention: Kimberly Hill
email: khill@cfmlawyers.ca
facsimile: 604-689-7554
Victory Square Law Office LLP
#500-128 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1R8
Attention: Diane Irvine
email: dirvine@vslo.bc.ca
facsimile: 604-684-8427

There are a few lawyers and staff at each firm working on this case. Kimberley and Diane will direct your question to the right person.

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