North Carolina Business Litigation Report

In re Senergy and Thoro Class Action Settlement, 1999 NCBC 7 (N.C. Super. Ct. July 14, 1999)(Tennille)

Class action counsel were entitled to an award of attorneys' fees where the settlement had created a common fund. The Court discusses various applications to an award of fees, including the lodestar method and the percentage method, and elects to take a hybrid approach which takes into account the reasonableness of the fees under the Rules of Professional Responsibility.

The Court further determines that the fee award must be based on the actual benefits received by class members.

After noting issues involving "consortium litigation" by the lawyers for the class, the Court holds that "class counsel in cases similar to this would be well advised to maintain and submit to the court detailed time records which would help the court" in resolving issues regarding fees.

Full Opinion

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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