Law firms that led glyphosate-cancer litigation against Bayer want a ‘bigger slice’ of the record-breaking settlement

Plaintiffs’ firms that led the legal campaign against Bayer AG are fighting over $800 million in fees from the Roundup weedkiller litigation, arguing that they deserve a bigger slice of one of the largest-ever corporate settlements than firms that joined later.

The high-stakes dispute is coming to the fore eight months after Roundup’s maker, Bayer, announced that it would pay up to $9.6 billion to resolve 125,000 cancer claims brought by dozens of law firms. The fee fight underscores increasing tension between law firms that do the in-court work necessary to win cases and those that advertise to sign up scores of clients.

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The leadership firms, led by Andrus Wagstaff PC, Weitz & Luxenberg PC and the Miller Firm, argue that they invested at least $20 million and years of time to build a case linking Roundup to cancer. They described the common-benefit fund as a sort of “tax” on law firms that waited until the litigation was successful before getting involved.

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Several law firms have objected, saying the court doesn’t have the power to create the common fund—estimated at $800 million. They say the leadership team is trying to double-dip, speculating that their confidential deals with Bayer are already more lucrative than those that other firms received.

“They’ve already been adequately compensated multiple times over,” [said lawyer] Melissa Ephron.

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