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From Antitrust Law Daily, October 23, 2014

Attorneys granted $54.5M in fees, expenses in steel price fixing suit

By Greg Hammond, J.D.

Attorneys for metal fabricators and distributors that sued United States Steel Corporation for allegedly conspiring with other steel manufacturers to fix prices were awarded over $54 million in attorneys’ fees and $406,850 in expenses. The attorneys’ fees amount to 33 percent of the total common settlement fund secured in the class action suit (Standard Iron Works v. Arcelormittal, October 22, 2014, Zagel, J.).

Standard Iron Works, Wilmington Steel Processing Co., Inc., Capow, Inc., Alco Industries, Inc., and Gulf Stream Builders Supply, Inc. filed a class action in 2008 against United States Steel, ArcelorMittal USA, Inc., Commercial Metals Co., AK Steel Holding Corp., and Gerdau Ameristeel Corp., alleging that the steel manufacturers engaged in a conspiracy to fix steel prices. After a number of settlements were reached between the parties, Class Counsel secured a total common fund recovery of $163.9 million for the benefit of the settlement class. The attorneys subsequently moved for award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses.

The court determined that a 33 percent fee, or $54,087,000, comports with the prevailing market rate for legal services of similar quality and in similar cases. In addition, the court found that Class Counsel conducted their work reasonably and efficiently, that their billing rates were appropriate and consistent with market rates, and the lodestar “cross check” totals were reasonable. The court also noted that there were no objections to the fees, out of the 5,300 member class. Lastly, reimbursement for $406,850 in expenses was also deemed fair and reasonably incurred. The motion for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses was therefore granted.

The case number is 08 C 5214.

Attorneys: Allen D. Black (Fine, Kaplan & Black) and Mark C. Hansen (Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans, P.L.L.C.) for Standard Iron Works. Eric B. Fastiff (Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein) for Wilmington Steel Processing Co, Inc. Anthony J. Bolognese (Bolognese & Associates) for Alco Industries, Inc. Andrew Stanley Marovitz (Mayer Brown LLP) for ArcelorMittal USA, Inc. Jonathan Stuart Quinn (Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg) for United States Steel Corp. Nathan P. Eimer (Eimer Stahl LLP) for Gerdau Ameristeel Corp.

Companies: Standard Iron Works; Wilmington Steel Processing Co., Inc.; Capow, Inc.; Alco Industries, Inc.; Gulf Stream Builders Supply, Inc.; ArcelorMittal USA, Inc.; United States Steel Corp.; Commercial Metals Co.; AK Steel Holding Corp.; Gerdau Ameristeel Corp.

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