In the recent opinion of In re Activision Blizzard, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Cons. C.A. No. 8885-VCL (Del. Ch. May 20, 2015), the Court approved the highest settlement reached in a derivative action to date, in the amount of $275 million.  Through the opinion, lead counsel was granted an amount of $72.5 million in fees and expenses.

To summarize, the lead plaintiff Anthony Pacchia and his attorneys challenged a transaction in which Vivendi S.A. divested its controlling equity position in Activision Blizzard, Inc.  On the eve of trial, the parties entered into a settlement by which defendants agreed to (i) pay $275 million to Activision, (ii) reduce a cap on the voting power of Activision’s two senior officers from 24.5% to 19.9%, and (iii) expand Activision’s board to include two additional independent directors.

The Court analyzed the fees awarded to lead counsel using the well-known Sugarland factors and the common benefit doctrine.  While the Court found that the $72.5 million awarded to lead counsel “implies a generous hourly rate”, the Court also found that it was justified by their efforts, noting that “few litigation teams could have achieved this result” against their adversaries.

If you would like to speak to a litigator in Fox Rothschild’s Delaware office, please reach out to Sid Liebesman (302) 622-4237 or Seth Niederman (302) 622-4238.