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U.S. lawyers suing Volkswagen get $300 million in fees, costs
July 21, 2017 / 7:25 PM / a month ago

U.S. lawyers suing Volkswagen get $300 million in fees, costs

A VW logo is seen in front of the main building of the Volkswagen brand at the Volkswagen headquarters, in Wolfsburg, Germany May 19, 2017.Fabian Bimmer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday approved $125 million (96 million pounds) in fees and costs for lawyers who sued Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) on behalf of U.S. owners of 88,000 3.0 liter diesel vehicles over excess emissions.

That is on top of $175 million in fees and costs approved by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in March for a related 2.0-liter VW diesel settlement covering nearly 500,000 owners.

In the 3.0-liter settlement approved on Friday, Breyer said lawyers were billing an average of $462 an hour for all work performed and expected during the settlement. He said billing rates for partners were from $250 to $1,650 per hour.

Breyer said lawyers for the owners "achieved extraordinary results" and cited the generous buyback and compensation offers as well as separate funds to offset excess emissions.

In total, the world's largest automaker has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

Of the $300 million approved in both cases, $288 million is for legal fees and $12 million is for reimbursable expenses.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler

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