It seems that the main people benefiting from the federal government's 2 billion dollar "residential school settlement" are the lawyers who are building their case action suits and "taking care of the victims".
Source: Financial Post (Legal Post)
Byline: Sandra Rubin
NEW MERCHANT CLASS
Don't tell Santa, because we've been a bit naughty, but we've had a little peek at the agreement in principle for the settlement in the residential schools class action and, how to put this delicately, there's a new sheriff in town.
The agreement provides $40-million in fees for the Merchant Law Group (that would be Saskatchewan lawyer Tony Merchant) and another $40-million to a national consortium of law firms who, sadly, have to split their take 19 ways.
Did we mention in both cases that's just a base amount? They also get "reasonable disbursements, and GST and PST, if applicable." Quite right. Things such as photocopying, long-distance bills and Chinese food can add up.
Oh, the $80-million? That was just for the billable hours accumulated to Nov. 23.
"You can bet the home fires are burning long into the night working on this settlement agreement," says someone wise about such things. "People can pound away the hours now because they also get to bill from that point forward, plus disbursements and interests.
"The feds are handing out early Christmas presents to the lawyers in this case. The tally is $80- million and counting -- it could easily be 50% more."
My, my. Even $80-million eclipses previous fee awards and gives Harvey Strosberg and his Toronto-area class-action colleagues something to aim for. The previous record was the $56- million the lawyers were awarded on Hep. C. It seemed like foie gras at the time. Now it's starting to seem a bit like chopped liver.