DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
January 24, 2008 3:46 a.m.
LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) has agreed to pay a lead counsel, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP, in a U.S. case related to its 2004 reserves restatements a fee of $27 million for its role in achieving compensation for the non-U.S. purchasers of its stock.
The agreement decision, part of a U.S. court mediation and dated Jan. 14, was obtained by Royaldutchshellplc.com, a Web site critical of Shell.
In April 2007, Shell agreed to pay $352.6 million to settle a similar case involving European investors as well as $47 million in fees to U.S. trial lawyers in an action filed in the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in the Netherlands.
Both the U.S. and European cases alleged the shareholders had lost money due to the oil and gas reserves restatements.
Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., the lead law firm representing the European investors, Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler LLP and Diaz, Reus, Rolff & Targ LLP split the record $47 million fee.
But the 2007 settlement did not include the U.S. case involving U.S. shareholders in which European shareholders initially participated before they opted for a separate case.
The plaintiffs in this original U.S. lawsuit were represented by lead counsel Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz. The latter didn’t return a request for comment.
The Jan. 14 mediation, agreed by Shell, says Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz’s efforts “in vigorously pursuing through litigation the Non-U.S. Purchasers’ claims for more than three years…were a substantial factor in Shell’s decision to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve (their) claims,” according to a copy of the mediation seen by Dow Jones Newswires.
It is unclear if this additional lawyers’ fee closes the U.S. case or if a further sum would have to be paid as part of the U.S. settlement.
The agreement was made before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
A Shell spokesman could not immediately comment.
-By Benoit Faucon, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9266;
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THE COURT DOCUMENT (added by royaldutchshellplc.com)