Law firms stand firm against Microsoft over fee fight

A group of 35 law firms is fighting Microsoft for a $269m (£147m) legal bill after winning a consumer antitrust class action against the technology giant.

Microsoft has already paid out $1.1bn (£601m), in software vouchers, to settle the Lingo v Microsoft case and could end up adding another $258m (£141m) in attorneys’ fees and $11m in costs.

Lead counsel Townsend and Townsend and Crew has rallied support from a group of high-profile lawyers and professors to support its claim, which is split between Townsend and the 34 other firms that worked on the case.

Townsend has petitioned the court for a large amount but plaintiffs’ lawyers argue that there is a great chance of success. This is based on the large amount of money spent on the case, the size of the settlement, the risks involved in taking on a company the size of Microsoft and the fact that the case almost collapsed when Microsoft attempted to settle in a deal that would have left consumers with nothing.

Several class members have filed statements opposing the fees and Microsoft is considering whether it will respond.

The settlement agreement and petition for attorneys fees will be reviewed at the end of March.