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Uber Drivers’ Lawyer Cuts Fee by $10 Million
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Shannon Liss-Riordan. Photo courtesy of BizJournal.

Summary: Lead lawyer for the Uber class action lawsuit, Shannon Liss-Riordan, has cut her fee almost in half after facing criticism. 

The lead lawyer in the class-action suit against Uber has announced she’s cutting her fee by $10 million. Critics have said that the settlement barely helps drivers but definitely helps the plaintiff’s law firm, and in response, she reduced the amount she will receive.


Shannon Liss-Riordan negotiated the $84 million settlement Uber made to the drivers who complained that they were employees not independent contractors. In the settlement, Uber won the right to continue to classify its drivers as independent contractors, and if the company goes public, the ride-share company agreed to pay out $100 million.

Liss-Riordan’s firm had a standard contingency fee of 25% for this case, but her critics say that is too high considering that the average driver would only receive around $8,000. Liss-Riordan said she would cut her fee in order for the 385,000 drivers in the suit to receive more money. Critics went so far as to say she settled for her best interest, not her clients; which she forcefully denied.

“I am offended by the allegations that I settled the case for the fees,” Liss-Riordan said. “I reached an agreement that I believe is in the best interests of the class. Anyone who has known me and followed my work over these years knows that.”

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With a contingency fee, Liss-Riordan agreed to work without pay unless she won the case. She stated that her fee covers years and thousands of hours of work, and that often, class-action cases such as this one do not result in wins and thus payment for the lawyer.

This explanation was not good enough for driver Douglas O’Connor who has openly expressed disdain for the Uber win. O’Connor’s lawyer blasted Liss-Riordan and her record-keeping, saying that she does “voodoo math” that is “arbitrary.”

The Uber worker misclassification lawsuit was filed in 2013. Plaintiffs allege that they were employees entitled to benefits such as insurance and mileage reimbursements, even though drivers set their own schedules and provided their own equipment. Uber’s rival, Lyft, which has a similar business model was also sued by Liss-Riordan, who has a history of high profile labor wins.

What do you think of Liss-Riordan and the criticism against her? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Boston Globe


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