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Billionaire Boies Club

david boies
Boies says his firm embraces high-risk, high-reward endeavors “out of necessity,” contrasting his approach with rivals that squeeze profits through leverage. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Eriq Gardner
April 15, 2024

A couple weeks ago, news broke about an exceptional legal settlement in a multiyear class action against Google. The tech giant agreed to expunge the data it amassed from people using Chrome’s so-called “Incognito” mode. The class-action attorneys—from Boies Schiller, Susman Godfrey, and Morgan & Morgan—hailed the settlement as a “historic step” for user privacy, while Google also struck a triumphant note, boasting to reporters, “The plaintiffs originally wanted $5 billion and are receiving zero.”

But while it’s true that millions of Chrome users won’t see a cent, that $5 billion figure isn’t meaningless. In fact, it’s been memorialized as the value that the class-action lawyers and their experts are placing on the data deletion, new disclosures, and Google’s other remedial efforts—and, ergo, it will soon become the basis of their requested fees. As anyone versed in class-action settlements knows, plaintiffs’ lawyers typically seek a quarter to a third of the total sum. Well, I did the math, and I can confirm that we’re on the brink of witnessing a billion-dollar-plus legal fee petition, to be split between the three firms.