Oracle Corp.'s $12 million class settlement with participants in its 401(k) plan spurred a $4 million attorneys’ fee request from the lawyers who negotiated the deal, according to a motion filed in the District of Colorado.
The attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton LLP say a fee award of one-third the settlement amount is “consistent” with those awarded in other complex Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuits. It’s also reasonable given the 6,300 hours expended in litigating the case “up to the very brink of trial,” the firm said in a May 8 motion for attorneys’ fees.
The settlement, announced in February, ends four years of litigation between the California software company and a class of 70,000 employees who say the company drained millions from their 401(k) plan through a bad deal with the plan’s record-keeper, Fidelity Management Trust Co. Oracle defeated all but two of the employees’ pending claims in 2019.
In addition to the $12 million payment, the deal requires Oracle to “instruct the Plan’s record-keeper in writing” that it can’t try to sell unrelated products, like individual retirement accounts or life insurance, to the plan’s current participants. Restrictions on how third-party service providers use plan participant data for sales purposes have cropped up in other recent retirement plan settlements, including those signed by Vanderbilt University and Johns Hopkins University.
The case is pending before Judge Robert E. Blackburn, who granted early approval to the deal in March.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP represent Oracle.
The case is Troudt v. Oracle Corp., D. Colo., No. 1:16-cv-00175, motion for attorneys’ fees 5/8/20.