Structuring Class Settlements to Obtain Court Approval

Attorney Fees, Notice, Claims Rates, Coupon Settlements, Incentive Awards and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will examine how parties in class litigation can structure class settlement agreements to overcome courts’ increasing rejection of such agreements and obtain approval. The program will analyze recent court treatment of attorneys’ fees; notice and claims-response rates; cy pres and coupon settlements; incentive awards; and claims-made and reversionary settlements.


Class litigators continue to face challenges resulting from court scrutiny of class settlements. Courts are increasingly tossing out class settlement agreements that include conditional incentive awards, coupon settlements and cy pres distributions, finding that they do not provide sufficient benefits to the affected class.

Courts also continue to closely examine attorney fees as part of the settlement approval. As such, all parties must carefully consider how counsel is paid. Recently, judges (and the FTC) are also paying more attention to the claims rate (percentage of class members filing claims).

Class counsel must understand recent court actions regarding class settlement agreements in order to develop effective litigation and settlement tactics.

Listen as our panel of class litigators analyzes how counsel in class litigation can structure settlements to overcome courts’ increasing rejections of settlement terms and obtain approval. The panel will look at recent court treatment of attorneys’ fees, notice and claims response rates, cy pres and coupon settlements, incentive awards, claims made and reversionary settlements.


  1. Notice and claims forms
  2. Claims rates
  3. Coupon settlements
  4. Cy pres relief
  5. Claims made, reversionary settlements
  6. Incentive awards
  7. Attorney fees


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How are courts currently dealing with cy pres awards, coupons and conditional incentive awards in proposed class settlements?
  • What are court objections to low claim response rates?
  • What should all counsel consider in relation to the benefit to the class when setting attorney fees?


Kahn A. Scolnick, Partner
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles

Mr. Scolnick has handled a wide range of litigation matters in state and federal courts, from the pre-filing stage through the appeal. He has represented clients in a variety of breach of contract, real estate, consumer and securities class actions, and other business disputes, as well as constitutional litigation.

Alexis L. Shapiro, Partner
Goodwin Procter, Boston

Ms. Shapiro concentrates her practice on representing public companies, private entities, and officers and directors in securities class action and shareholder litigation matters, proceedings brought by the Securities Exchange Commission, internal corporate investigations, and other high-stakes business litigation.

Alfredo Torrijos, Partner
Arias Sanguinetti Stahle & Torrijos, Los Angeles

Mr. Torrijos prosecutes both individual and class actions in state and federal court, focusing on complex litigation matters in breach of contract, employment, consumer fraud, bad faith insurance, IP and technology law. He has handled class actions through trial and appeal and has successfully represented consumers in class actions against some of the biggest technology and insurance companies in the country.


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Class Action Law Advisory Board

Thomas Allen


Reed Smith

Steve Berman


Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

Brian Boyle


O'Melveny & Myers

H. Douglas Hinson


Alston & Bird

Daniel R. Karon


Karon LLC

Robert S. Kitchenoff


Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher

Neal R. Marder


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Michael McCluggage


Eimer Stahl

W. Ray Persons


King & Spalding

William B. Rubenstein


Harvard Law School

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