In the recent decision of In re Riverbed Technology Inc. Stockholders Litig., C.A. No. 10484-VCG (Dec. 2, 2015), the Court of Chancery granted fees to an unsuccessful objecting party to a settlement involving litigation pertaining to a merger deal. In so holding, the Court provided:
[T]he effect of an amicus submission is to assist the Court in reaching the correct legal result, whereas the effect of an objector’s submission in this context, if it is helpful to the Court, is to benefit the class itself. For this reason, I conclude, a departure from the American Rule may be warranted, and equity may support a fee award to an objector, where the efforts of the objector better enabled the Court to act in the interests of the class, even where the suggestions of the objector were not adopted by the Court. Our case law supports this reasoning.
Notwithstanding the above, however, the Court noted that “it should be a rare occurrence indeed where an objector receives a fee award for proposing, unsuccessfully, that a settlement of a class action be rejected.”