The opinion of the court was delivered by: Platt, District Judge.
Lead Class Counsel, Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P. ("Hogan &
Hartson"), and Co-Class Counsel, Amrod & Van der Waag, L.L.P.
("Amrod & Van der Waag"), move pursuant to Rule 23(e) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for an award of attorneys' fees
as provided for in the settlement agreement ("Settlement")
approved by this Court on January 16, 2002. For the reasons
stated below, Hogan & Hartson is awarded $4,216,740.00 in fees
and $504,538.23 in expenses, and Amrod & Van der Waag is awarded
$700,079.58 in fees and expenses.
The factual background of this case is set forth in the
Court's Order Approving the Settlement of January 16, 2002. See
Weil v. Long Island Savings Bank, 188 F. Supp.2d 258, 262-63
(E.D.N.Y. 2002). Familiarity with that Order is assumed.
Accordingly, the Court will state only those facts necessary to
resolve the current attorneys' fee question.
On October 5, 1994, Amrod and his partner traveled to Milbank,
Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, L.L.P.'s New York offices to conduct
settlement negotiations. (Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and
Disbursements at 5.) Those negotiations were unsuccessful. (Pet.
on App. to Fix Fees and Disbursements at 5.)
On June 27, 1995, Amrod began investigating Doe v. Poe and
Roe, an action commenced by Conway in the Supreme Court for the
State of New York, County of Suffolk ("Supreme Court") to
prevent the Long Island Savings Bank's attorneys from disclosing
statements made by Conway to that bank. (Pet. on App. to Fix
Fees and Disbursements at 7.) The records in that action were
sealed, and Amrod & Van der Waag's motions to vacate the sealing
order were denied. (Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and Disbursements
Towards the end of 1996, Amrod's partner, Mr. Steinberg, left
Amrod & Van der Waag. (Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and
Disbursements at 10.) However, Amrod continued to litigate this
On November 24, 1997, the Supreme Court of the State of New
York, Appellate Division, Second Department ("Second
Department") reversed the Supreme Court's order denying Amrod &
Van der Waag's previous motions and vacated the sealing order.
(Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and Disbursements at 11.)
B. Hogan & Hartson's Involvement and the Agreement Between
On April 1, 1998, Amrod contacted James Szymanski of Davis,
Weber & Edwards, P.C.*fn2 (Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and
Disbursements at 11.) Amrod sought that firm's assistance
because it had more skill and experience litigating class action
cases such as this one. (Class Lead Counsel Mem. in Supp.App.
for Attorneys' Fees at 2-3.)
On July 2, 1998, before Hogan & Hartson was engaged as
co-counsel, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed the Second
Department's order of November 24, 1997, vacating the Supreme
Court's sealing order. (Pet. on App. to Fix Fees and
Disbursements at 12.) Consequently, Amrod gained access to
records that materially furthered this case.
On July 23, 1998, Amrod & Van der Waag engaged Hogan & Hartson
as lead Class Counsel ("Agreement").*fn3 (Pet. on App. to Fix
Fees and Disbursements Ex. 1.) Under the Agreement, Hogan &
Hartson assumed the day-to-day responsibilities of the
litigation and agreed to fund the action ...