Boies, Hausfeld among law firms reaping $667 mln windfall in Blue Cross antitrust case

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The logo of law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP is seen outside of their office in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Federal judge approved $2.67 billion settlement, including $667 million in attorneys' fees and costs
  • Boies Schiller and Hausfeld were co-lead counsel for insured class

(Reuters) - Boies Schiller Flexner, Hausfeld and other law firms will split more than $667 million in attorneys' fees and costs for work on long-running antitrust litigation involving Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, after an Alabama federal judge granted the request on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor in Birmingham awarded lawyers the requested sum of about $627 million in attorneys' fees and more than $40 million in costs and expenses. The combined payout came out to 25% of the $2.67 billion settlement fund, according to the order.

Proctor gave final approval to the settlement in the nine-year-old litigation, which resolves allegations that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its licensed members violated federal antitrust laws by dividing up health insurance markets to avoid competing with each other.

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"Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are pleased with the Court's Order approving the settlement we reached to resolve the claims in this case," a spokesperson for the association said in an emailed statement.

A Kirkland & Ellis lawyer representing Blue Cross Blue Shield Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

David Boies of Boies Schiller and Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld were co-lead counsel for the policyholder plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs' steering committee included lawyers from several firms, including William Isaacson, who in June 2020 departed Boies Schiller for rival firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Hausfeld and Isaacson didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the attorney fee award and how it might be divided.

Tuesday's order does not address how the fees will be split between firms.

There were 178 lawyers from 30 firms who reviewed more than 75 million pages of documents in the case, according to a May 2021 declaration supporting the fee application.

Plaintiffs' counsel worked more than 434,000 hours on the litigation through mid-August 2020, it said.

Boies said in a statement the case "illustrates the power and importance of private enforcement of the antitrust laws."

Boies Schiller has faced recent losses, as its revenue in 2021 shrunk to $230 million from $250 million the year before, according to industry figures from The American Lawyer. More 70 Boies Schiller lawyers have exited since 2020, though the firm has downplayed the significance of the departures.

The settlement made final Tuesday "provides historic, transformative, procompetitive injunctive and equitable relief," Proctor said in his order.

He said the total fees and costs are "fair and reasonable and consistent with awards in similarly complex cases."

The case is In Re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation (MDL 2406), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama No. 13-cv-20000

For insured class: Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld; and David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner

For self-funded subclass: Warren Burns of Burns Charest

For Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: David Zott of Kirkland & Ellis

Read more:

Boies, Hausfeld, Paul Weiss seek $667 mln class action payday

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.