Common Benefit Consulting & Auditing Services for Multidistrict Litigation
Amy L. Collins, P.C. provides comprehensive independent third-party consulting and auditing services relating to the common benefit process in multidistrict litigation. Our clients include lead counsel, fee committees, special masters, and courts.
The firm's specific services span the full cycle of common benefit review work, from developing the process and criteria for common benefit work, to reviewing and providing reports to support allocation determinations. Following is an overview of the types of services our experienced team provides. These services may be offered as stand-alone services, allowing those exercising oversight to determine the scope of the firm's involvement in the common benefit review and allocation process, or as one comprehensive package.
Formulation of Protocols and Guidelines for Review and Allocation Determinations
In consultation with co-lead counsel or the fee committee, we draft or review common benefit orders that set forth protocols and rules for firm time and expense submissions, the review and audit of submissions, and formulation of allocation recommendations for the court’s consideration.
As part of the process of drafting an order, we recommend guidelines and rules for submissions and determinations and prepare a uniform system for participating firms to enter their time and expenses. Throughout development, Ms. Collins consults with leadership counsel, attends meetings, and provides information that is integral to establishing the overall common benefit process through the court order.
Best Practices Presentations
Ms. Collins provides best practices presentations for leadership or individual firms, either in person, virtually, or by email. The presentations include walking counsel through the provisions of the order and common benefit submission requirements, giving examples of permissible and impermissible submissions, and explaining the guidelines and rules. This approach provides the opportunity for questions and clarification and ensures that leadership and all participating firms have a uniform understanding of the process.
Full-Service Management of Common Benefit Submissions
The firm provides full-service management of all aspects of submissions throughout the common benefit process. We review each firm submission for conformity with the requirements of court orders, identifying any irregularities or issues in order to maintain the integrity and uniformity of the process, and identifying deficiencies to be corrected by the firms.
Our services include tracking and reviewing all submissions, providing detailed analysis of time and expense submissions for each firm and litigation-wide, and preparing reports for use by leadership, the fee committee, special master, or judge in verifying the uniformity and fairness of common benefit allocations.
Fully Customizable Reporting
Reports are customized to comply with the needs and wishes of courts and leadership counsel. Firm-specific reports are customized to include relevant information and data points, including narrative summaries of each firm’s work and analytics of categories of time and billing issues identified. MDL-data wide reports include all time and expense submissions, sorted by desired data or criteria.
Development of Fee and Expense Application Protocols
Ms. Collins assists fee committees, special masters, and courts in developing the protocol by which common benefit attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement requests are submitted and evaluated for compensation. Ms. Collins drafts all relevant orders and materials needed to implement the process in a manner that is efficient for both the requesting firms and those decision makers charged with making the allocation recommendations. Training guides and webinars are created and tailored to the specific requirements of the orders.
Assistance with Allocation Recommendations
As fee committees review the reports and make determinations on the common benefit time and expense submissions, we continue to assist with the process. Ms. Collins attends meetings, answers questions, and provides any additional data or analysis that is requested. After the allocation recommendations are formulated, we assist with preparation of the draft allocation order for submission to the court.
Additional Information & Inquiries
From our office in Houston, Texas, our team provides independent third-party common benefit consulting and auditing services nationwide in multidistrict litigation and state court coordinated proceedings. We welcome inquiries about our services and can be reached by phone at (281) 788-7697.