NFL apparel customers in a class action suit against Reebok, Inc. were awarded a $4.75 million settlement for their claims that Reebok’s exclusive licensing deal with the NFL violated antitrust laws. Now, the lawyers representing the class of plaintiffs in the case would like their cut. On July 18, attorneys from The Katriel Law Firm PC and Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens LLP petitioned a federal judge in California for $1.52 million in attorney’s fees for their work, in addition to reimbursement for over $847,000 in out-of-pocket expenses — mostly for expert witnesses.
The requested amounts, which the firms call “inherently reasonable,” are for 2,800 hours of work spanning four years of litigation, at rates of up to $750 per hour. In fact, the firms claim they are requesting less than was actually billed to their clients in order to salvage a larger chunk of the settlement for the class members they represented. They say their work was worth about $1.69 million at full price.
The settlement concerns an alleged price-fixing agreement between the NFL and Reebok designed to decrease competition for the sale of NFL apparel. Anyone in California who purchased a jersey, hat, or shoes with the NFL brand between October 25, 2008 and April 1, 2012 will be reimbursed. Members of the class will be compensated individually depending on the items they purchased.