Delaware Chancery Court Awards $25 Million to RBC-Suing Attorneys

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Feb. 12 — The Delaware Chancery Court's J. Travis Laster Feb. 12 awarded attorney's fees of about $25 million in the ongoing case stemming from RBC's $438 million buyout by private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC.

After the chancery court, in a series of opinions, ordered the Royal Bank of Canada to pay $75.7 million to shareholders of Rural/Metro Corp., the plaintiffs' lawyers requested one-third of that amount in fees and that RBC pay it—rather than it coming out of the damages award.

In a hearing in Wilmington, Del., Vice Chancellor Laster declined the plaintiffs' request to bill RBC directly and awarded $25 million (not accounting for pre- and post-judgment interest, which Laster said should be included and would be compounded quarterly).

Based on case law, the court found that RBC's alleged misleading representations in pre-trial briefing did not rise to the level of glaring egregiousness necessary to compel a fee shift like the plaintiffs' attorneys had requested.

The Delaware Supreme Court Dec. 2 denied as interlocutory an appeal of the $75.7 million damages award, citing the pendency of the attorneys' fees matter.

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