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Judges on the Delaware Court of Chancery are putting plaintiffs’ attorney fee requests under the microscope in cases challenging corporate deals — and slashing requested fees when they find that shareholders reaped minimal benefits from the lawsuits.

In 10 recent rulings, Chancery judges analyzed the work and results of lawyers on behalf of shareholder plaintiffs before handing out a fraction of the requested legal fees. Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, in one notable example, awarded plaintiffs’ lawyers $75,000 instead of their requested $750,000. Ruling in April in In re Sauer-Danfoss Inc. Shareholders Litigation, Laster found the lawyers “never engaged in meaningful litigation activity.”

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