A recent Law 360 story by Leslie Pappas, “Chancery Oks Aerospace Co.’s Pay Suit Deal, Defers Fees” reports that a Delaware Chancery Court judge approved a settlement between aerospace parts manufacturer TransDigm Group Inc. and a stockholder who sued over excessive director pay, but postponed a decision on a requested $2.8 million attorney fee award, saying she lacked data to evaluate it.
At a bench ruling at the end of a virtual hearing, Vice Chancellor Lori W. Will told attorneys for plaintiff Matthew Sciabacucchi, represented by Farnan LLP and Levi & Korsinsky LLP, that she intended to award a fee but couldn't do it without more information. "I don't have the full picture," she said. "I'm going to give counsel a better shot of submitting the information I'm asking for." The attorneys had sought $2.8 million in fees and a $4,000 incentive award for the deal, which they estimated would save TransDigm $23.8 million in cash over the next four years.
Sciabacucchi sued in November 2021, claiming the company's top officers and directors were awarding themselves compensation that was 176% higher than their peers. TransDigm's executive chairman W. Nicholas Howley and its president and CEO Kevin Stein, for example, received a "staggering" $68.1 million and $22 million respectively for the company's fiscal year ending September 2020, according to the complaint.
Vice Chancellor Will said she didn't know the net present value of the estimated $23.8 million savings, nor did she have enough information to assess the effects of reducing the strike price of the options. "I do intend to award a fee," she said. "This is a good settlement, and counsel should be commended for it."