A New York federal judge on Friday signed off on a massive $1 billion deal between Wells Fargo and its shareholders, plaintiffs attorneys said, terminating a three-year legal battle accusing the bank of misleading investors about the progress it was making in overhauling its internal compliance program in an effort to get out from under government scrutiny.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, one of the firms leading the case on behalf of investors, announced the finalization of the settlement on its website. The firm and co-lead counsel Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP requested 18% of the $1 billion deal, or $180 million, for their work on the case.
Cohen Milstein said the fee request was approved Friday morning by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Rochon, who also signed off on the entire deal.
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Cohen Milstein partner Laura Posner said the deal "demonstrates how critical institutional investors are to keeping the banking industry and securities markets honest."
"This historic settlement will help compensate the hundreds of thousands of investors whose retirement savings were impacted," Cohen Milstein name partner Steven Toll said.
It wraps a case accusing Wells Fargo of making misleading statements about its progress toward getting out from under a trio of government consent orders that became public in 2018, including one that limited the bank's asset cap to $2 trillion.
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The investors are represented by John C. Browne, Jeroen van Kwawegen, Michael D. Blatchley, Jonathan D. Uslaner and Lauren M. Cruz of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, Laura H. Posner, Steven J. Toll, S. Douglas Bunch and Julie G, Reiser of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll LLP, and Robert D. Klausner of Klausner Kaufman Jensen & Levinson.