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Hill v. State Street Corp.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 26, 2014

HILL
v.
STATE STREET CORPORATION; THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO THE SECURITIES ACTION DOCKET NO. 09-cv-12146-GAO

For Casey J Richard, 10cv10184, Consolidated Plaintiff: Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Michelle H. Blauner, Thomas G. Shapir, Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP, Boston, MA.

For Marilyn Demory, 10cv10064, Consolidated Plaintiff: Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Michael K. Yarnoff, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Stuart L. Berman, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP, Radnor, PA.

For Timothy W Hill, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Peter A. Lagorio, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Peter A. Lagori, Boston, MA.

For Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi, Plaintiff: Christopher F. Moriarty, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, William S. Norton, Motley Rice LLC, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Evan Berkow, Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Gary S. Snitow, Lori G. Feldman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Milberg LLP, New York, NY; John C. Browne, Lauren A. Ormsbee, Steven B. Singer, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Rebecca M. Katz, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Motley Rice LLC, New York, NY; Badge Humphries, Lewis, Babcock & Griffin, L.L.P., Sullivan's Island, SC; Bryan A. Wood, Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA; James M. Hughes, PRO HAC VICE, Motley Rice LLC (SC), Mt. Pleasant, SC; William H. Narwold, Motley Rice LLC, Hartford, CT.

For Union Asset Management Holding AG, Plaintiff: Christopher F. Moriarty, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, William S. Norton, Motley Rice LLC, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Jeremy P. Rob, Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; John C. Browne, Lauren A. Ormsbee, Steven B. Singer, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Lori G. Feldman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Milberg LLP, New York, NY; Rebecca M. Katz, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Motley Rice LLC, New York, NY; Badge Humphries, Lewis, Babcock & Griffin, L.L.P., Sullivan's Island, SC; Bryan A. Wood, Daryl DeValerio Andrews, Berman DeValerio, Boston, MA; James M. Hughes, PRO HAC VICE, Motley Rice LLC (SC), Mt. Pleasant, SC; William H. Narwold, Motley Rice LLC, Hartford, CT.

For Pension Fund Group, Plaintiff: Betsy L. Ehrenberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Pyle Rome Ehrenberg, PC, Boston, MA; Katherine A Stefanou, Rebecca E. Boon, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, New York, NY; Mitchell M.Z. Twersky, LEAD ATTORNEY, Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, LLP, New York, NY; Ximena R. Skovron, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, LLP, New York, NY.

Charles F Franz, Plaintiff, Pro se.

For State Street Bank and Trust Company, 10cv10184, North America Regional Benefits Committee of State Street Corporation, 10cv10184, State Street Corporation Investment Committee, 10cv10184, Jayne Donahue, 10cv10184, David Gutshenritter, 10cv10184, Richard Logue, 10cv10184, David O'Leary, 10cv10184, Alison Quirk, 10cv10184, Kennett F. Burnes, 10cv10064, Peter Coym, 10cv10064, Nader F. Darehshori, 10cv10064, Amelia C. Fawcett, 10cv10064, Arthur L. Goldstein, 10cv10064, David P. Gruber, 10cv10064, Linda A. Hill, 10cv10064, Charles R. Lamantia, 10cv10064, Maureen J. Miskovic, 10cv10064, Richard P. Sergel, 10cv10064, Ronald L. Skates, 10cv10064, Gregory L. Summe, 10cv10064, Diana Chapman Walsh, 10cv10064, Robert E. Weissman, 10cv10064, Consolidated Defendants: Andrew S. Dulberg, Gregory D. Chisholm, Seth Moskowitz, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, John J. Butts, Michael J. Bayer, William H. Paine, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For Goldman Sachs & Co, 10cv10064, Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., 10cv10064, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, 10cv10064, Consolidated Defendants: Stephen D. Poss, LEAD ATTORNEY, Daniel P. Roeser, Goodwin Procter, LLP, Boston, MA.

For Dr. Tenley E. Albright, 10cv10064, Truman S. Casner, 10cv10064, Consolidated Defendants: Andrew S. Dulberg, Gregory D. Chisholm, Seth Moskowitz, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, Michael J. Bayer, William H. Paine, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For State Street Corporation, Ronald E. Logue, Edward J Resch, Pamela D Gormley, James J. Malerba, Defendants: Jeffrey B. Rudman, LEAD ATTORNEY, James W. Prendergast, John J. Butts, William H. Paine, Michael J. Bayer, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA; Timothy J. Perla, LEAD ATTORNEY, Andrew S. Dulberg, Gregory D. Chisholm, Seth Moskowitz, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos).

For UBS Securities LLC., Defendant: Stephen D. Poss, LEAD ATTORNEY, Daniel P. Roeser, Goodwin Procter, LLP, Boston, MA.

For Ernst & Young LLP, Defendant: Kara E. Fay, Thomas J. Dougherty, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Boston, MA.

For David OLeary, Defendant: Andrew S. Dulberg, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, John J. Butts, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For Kathryn Horgan, Charles Cutrell, Stephen DeSalvo, Lee Jones, Anne Tangen, Doreen Rigby, Jacques Longerstaey, Defendants: Andrew S. Dulberg, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, John J. Butts, Michael J. Bayer, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For Jayne Donahue, Defendant: Andrew S. Dulberg, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, John J. Butts, John J. Butts, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For Ross McLellan, Defendant: Martin G. Weinberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Martin G. Weinberg, PC, Boston, MA; Andrew S. Dulberg, Timothy J. Perla, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; James W. Prendergast, Jeffrey B. Rudman, John J. Butts, Michael J. Bayer, Wilmer Hale LLP, Boston, MA.

For Miami Beach Employees Retirement Plan, Movant: Lauren G. Barnes, LEAD ATTORNEY, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Cambridge, MA; John C. Browne, Berstein, Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, New York, NY; Leigh Smith, Melissa H. Nafash, Milberg LLP, New York, NY.

For National Automatic Sprinkler Industry, Pension Fund, Objector: Irwin B. Schwartz, LEAD ATTORNEY, BLA Schwartz, PC, Westwood, MA.

For Nita W Franz, Charles F Franz, Objectors: Christopher T. Cain, LEAD ATTORNEY, Scott & Cain, Knoxville, TN.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON (A) LEAD PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND PLAN OF ALLOCATION AND (B) CO-LEAD COUNSEL'S MOTION FOR AN AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND REIMBURSEMENT OF LITIGATION EXPENSES

Judith Gail Dein, United States Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION[1]

This consolidated securities class action asserts claims on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased publicly traded common stock of State Street Corporation (" State Street") during the period from October 17, 2006 through October 21, 2009, inclusive (the " Settlement Class Period"), including those who purchased pursuant or traceable to State Street's June 3, 2008 secondary offering, and who were damaged thereby. Lead Plaintiffs' Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint filed on July 29, 2010 (Docket No. 51) (the " Complaint") asserts claims for violations of federal securities laws against defendants (i) State Street; (ii) Ronald E. Logue, Edward J. Resch, Pamela D. Gormley, Kennett F. Burnes, Peter Coym, Nader F. Darehshori, Amelia C. Fawcett, David P. Gruber, Linda A. Hill, Charles R. LaMantia, Maureen J. Miskovic, Richard P. Sergel, Ronald L. Skates, Gregory L. Summe, and Robert E. Weissman (the " Individual Defendants"); (iii) Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (formerly known as Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated), Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, and UBS Securities LLC (the " Underwriter Defendants"); and (iv) Ernst & Young LLP (" Ernst & Young") (collectively, " Defendants").

On July 8, 2014, Lead Plaintiffs and Defendants entered into a Stipulation of Agreement of Settlement (Docket No. 478-1) (the " Stipulation"), which provides for dismissal of the Action and the release of claims against all Defendants in return for a settlement payment of $60, 000, 000 (the " Settlement"). Lead Plaintiffs moved for preliminary approval of the Settlement. On July 20, 2014, the District Judge entered an order referring this motion and all other matters relating to the Settlement to this court. On July 21, 2014, this court entered the Order Preliminarily Approving Proposed Settlement and Providing for Notice (Docket No. 488) (the " Preliminary Approval Order"), which preliminarily approved the Settlement, certified the Settlement Class, approved the method of disseminating notice to the Settlement Class, and scheduled a Settlement Hearing for consideration of final approval of the Settlement and related matters.

The matter is presently before this court on Lead Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Plan of Allocation (Docket No. 492) and Co-Lead Counsel's Motion for an Award of Attorneys' Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses (Docket Nos. 494). This court has reviewed and considered the Stipulation and all papers filed in connection with the motions, including two objections submitted, and a hearing was held on the motions on November 20, 2014. For all the reasons detailed herein, this court recommends to the District Judge to whom this case is assigned that both motions be ALLOWED, that the Parties' proposed Final Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement and of Dismissal with Prejudice (attached as Exhibit A) (" Judgment") be entered, and that appropriate orders, in the forms attached as Exhibits B and C, approving the Plan of Allocation and the award of fees and expenses be entered.

II. STATEMENT OF FACTS

This case commenced with the filing of two securities class action complaints, beginning on December 18, 2009. On May 7, 2010, the Court appointed the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi (" MPERS") and Union Asset Management Holding AG (" Union") as Lead Plaintiffs, approved their selection of Co-Lead Counsel, and consolidated the securities class actions under the caption Hill v. State Street Corporation et al., No. 1:09-cv-12146-NG.

The Claims

Lead Plaintiffs subsequently conducted an investigation into the claims and, on July 29, 2010, filed the Complaint. The Complaint asserts claims against State Street, Ronald E. Logue and Edward J. Resch under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the " Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and against Logue and Resch under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, alleging that these defendants made, or controlled others who made, materially false and misleading statements and failed to disclose material facts about (i) State Street's foreign exchange business, (ii) the quality of State Street's internal controls, and (iii) the quality of assets held in State Street's investment portfolio and in off-balance-sheet entities known as conduits. The Complaint alleges that these allegedly false and misleading statements and material omissions caused the price of State Street common stock to be artificially inflated and that the class was damaged when the truth that was allegedly concealed was finally revealed. The Complaint also asserts claims against all Defendants under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the " Securities Act"); against State Street and the Underwriter Defendants under Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act; and against certain of the Individual Defendants under Section 15 of the Securities Act, alleging that the defendants named in the Securities Act claims were statutorily liable for the allegedly materially untrue statements and misleading omissions in the registration statement and offering documents for the June 2008 public offering of State Street common stock.

On September 24, 2010, Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. On August 3, 2011, after extensive briefing and two days of oral argument, the court (by Gertner, J.) issued a Memorandum and Order and denied Defendants' motions to dismiss. (Docket No. 108). The case was reassigned to Judge O'Toole on September 23, 2011.

On September 30, 2011, Defendants filed and served their answers to the Complaint. Defendants denied all liability and interposed a variety of defenses to the claims set forth in the Complaint.

Following the Court's decision on Defendants' motions to dismiss, the case was assigned to this Magistrate Judge for pre-trial purposes and discovery was conducted in coordination with two related ERISA cases, Richard v. State Street Corp. et al., No. 10-cv-10184-GAO and Kenney v. State Street Corp. et al., No. 09-10750-DJC.

Discovery

Over the course of the next two-and-one-half years, the parties engaged in extensive fact discovery. Document discovery in this Action included multiple document requests and interrogatories and resulted in the production of more than 25 million pages of documents. Beginning in September 2013, Lead Plaintiffs took the depositions of seven fact witnesses, including senior officers of State Street. The parties also engaged in extensive discovery relating to class certification, which included Plaintiffs' production of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents to Defendants and the depositions of three Plaintiffs' representatives. Discovery was vigorously contested by all parties and included more than 20 discovery motions, and more than 15 hearings before this court.

The Settlement

On October 28, 2013, Lead Plaintiffs filed their motion for class certification. Defendants had not filed their responses to the motion and the Court had not taken any action on the motion at the time that the agreement in principle to settle the Action was reached.

On March 12, 2014, following arms'-length settlement negotiations, Lead Plaintiffs and State Street reached an agreement in principle to settle the Action for a cash payment of $60, 000, 000 to be made on behalf of State Street for the benefit of the Settlement Class. On July 8, 2014, Lead Plaintiffs and Defendants entered into the Stipulation and Lead Plaintiffs moved for preliminary approval of the Settlement. On July 21, 2014, this court entered the Preliminary Approval Order, which preliminarily approved the Settlement, certified the Settlement Class, approved the method of disseminating notice to the Settlement Class, and scheduled a Settlement Hearing for consideration of final approval of the Settlement and related matters.

Notice of the Proposed Settlement

The pleadings filed with the court establish that notice of proposed Settlement was made in accordance with the Preliminary Approval Order of the court. See generally " Declaration of Stephanie A. Thurin Regarding (A) Mailing of the Notice and Proof of Claim Form; (B) Publication of the Summary Notice; and (C) Report on Requests for Exclusion Received to Date" filed on September 22, 2014 (Docket No. 496-1), the " Supplemental Declaration of Stephanie A. Thurin Regarding (A) Mailing of the Notice and Proof of Claim Form and (B) Report for Requests for Exclusion Received" filed on October 20, 2014 (Docket No. 499-1) and the " Second Supplemental Declaration of Stephanie A. Thurin" filed on November 12, 2014 (Docket No. 504). As detailed in these Declarations, the Claims Administrator appointed for the Action, Epiq Systems, Inc. (" Epiq"), began mailing copies of the Notice and Claim Form (the " Notice Packet") to potential Settlement Class Members and their nominees on August 18, 2014 by mailing the Notice Packet to 7, 410 potential Settlement Class Members, representing all record holders of State Street common stock during the Settlement Class Period as identified by State Street, and to 1, 818 of the largest and most common brokers, banks and other nominee owners. In accordance with the requirements of the Preliminary Approval Order, Epiq thereafter responded to numerous requests received from nominee owners and either mailed the nominees additional copies of the Notice Packet to forward to their clients or mailed the Notice Packets to names and addresses provided by the nominees. As of October 6, 2014, Epiq had mailed 628, 436 copies of the Notice Packet to potential Settlement Class Members and nominees and, as of October 15, 2014, a total of 765, 933 copies of the Notice Packet had been mailed. In addition, copies of the Notice, Claim Form and other documents related to the Settlement were made available on a website established for the Settlement on August 18, 2014, and a Summary Notice concerning the Settlement was published in The Wall Street Journal and transmitted over the PR Newswire on August 27, 2014. Both the website and the notice published in The Wall Street Journal and over the PR Newswire informed potential Settlement Class Members where they could locate information about the Settlement and download Notices and Claim Forms. Co-Lead Counsel BLBG also published notice of the Settlement on its website. Epiq continued to mail Notice Packets as requests were received. As of November 4, 2014, Epiq had mailed a total of 777, 823 Notice Packets to potential Settlement Class Members and nominees.

Epiq also served a notice in a form compliant with the Class Action Fairness Act timely and in a manner that satisfied the requirements of that Act. ( See Docket No. 497).

On September 4, 2014, this court entered an order approving an assented-to motion to reschedule the final Settlement Hearing to November 20, 2014. The Settlement Hearing went forward as ...


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