Bloomberg Law Quotes Attorney Cliff Brinson on 'Mootness Fees' in M&A Lawsuits

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law quoted Smith Anderson attorney Cliff Brinson in a story that highlights the “mootness fees” that some plaintiff lawyers collect for filing (or even merely threatening) litigation challenging a company’s disclosures regarding a merger.

The article, “Fees Pushing $100,000 Fuel Doomed M&A Lawsuits Lawyers Call Easy,” discusses the phenomenon of "mootness fees" in M&A litigation, where lawyers seek substantial payouts when lawsuits challenging mergers are “mooted” by supplemental disclosures from the company. While some courts have awarded lower fees than requested or outright denied them, plaintiffs' appetite for pursuing such lawsuits persists.

Plaintiffs often negotiate the mootness fees outside of court, Cliff told Bloomberg Law.

"On the rare occasions when those cases have gone to court, they usually don’t go very well; for the plaintiffs’ lawyers, they get significantly less than what they’re asking for, if anything," Cliff said. "Even though court decisions have not been very plaintiff-friendly, it hasn’t necessarily stopped these lawsuits from being filed, because they still make some money for plaintiffs’ lawyers."

Cliff litigates business disputes, assisting clients with a full range of commercial litigation matters, such as corporate and securities litigation, contract disputes, and business-related tort and statutory claims, including class action lawsuits. Cliff has been named Raleigh’s “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® for Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation (2022 & 2024) and Securities Litigation (2020 & 2023). He serves as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation Subcommittee (part of the ABA Commercial & Business Litigation Committee).

The entire Bloomberg Law story can be viewed here.


Jump to Page

This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and improve functionality. To learn more, you may view our Privacy Policy. By continuing to browse Smith Anderson's website, you are accepting our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.