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Court of Chancery Explains Causation Rules for Attorney Fee Award

Helaba Invest Kapitalanlagegesellschaft v. Fialkow, C.A. No. 2683-VCL (Del. Ch. April 11, 2008)

Attorneys who cause a benefit for stockholders are entitled to be awarded. However, the benefit must be caused by the litigation they filed and not just happen to follow the institution of litigation. This gets tricky to determine sometimes as the plaintiff's attorneys insert themselves into the process of negotiating a higher merger price and then claim credit for it. Who gets that credit is the question.

That issue will be decided based on a record that includes the views of the participants in the merger discussions. Hence, that needs to be kept in mind and the record made at the time the events occur. 

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