Wilmington Trust’s $29.8M Judgment Leads to New $1.5M Fee Award

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Carmen Castro-Pagan

The $29.8 million judgment against Wilmington Trust N.A. entered earlier this year will include $1.5 million in additional attorneys’ fees to the law firm Bailey & Glasser LLP, which represented the class of employee stock ownership plan participants ( Brundle v. Wilmington Trust, N.A. , E.D. Va., No. 1:15-cv-01494-LMB-IDD, order awarding additional attorneys’ fees 10/13/17 ).

The award comes after class counsel asked the court to award a fee of one-third of the $29.8 million common fund, or $9.9 million. In an Oct. 13 one-page ruling, a federal judge in Virginia partially granted the request, awarding fees of $1.5 million. The class filed an appeal Oct. 18, according to docket filings.

The amount is in addition to the $1.8 million in fees the judge ordered Wilmington, the plan’s trustee, to pay separately from the common fund four months ago.

The multimillion-dollar judgment against Wilmington—a subsidiary of M&T Bank Corp.—was entered after the court found that the company mishandled a 2013 deal involving the ESOP of government security contractor Constellis Group Inc.

In the past 10 months, Wilmington has been sued six times over its role in the stock transactions of Isco Industries Inc. ($98M), Martin Resource Management ($375M), Henny Penny Corp. ($165M), HCMC Legal Inc. ($46M), and Graphite Sales Inc. ($16M). The lawsuits involving HCMC Legal and Graphite Sales were filed by the Department of Labor in August.

McGuireWoods LLP and Odin Feldman & Pittleman PC represent Wilmington.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carmen Castro-Pagan in Washington at ccastro-pagan@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bna.com

For More Information

Text of the order is at http://src.bna.com/tu6.

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