Understanding the Role of a Settlement Administrator in Class Action Lawsuits

What is a Settlement Administrator? 

A class action settlement administrator is a third-party, appointed by the court, that handles the class action lawsuit claims administration process. Typically, the settlement administrator is responsible for creating and maintaining a claims website, — which includes case updates, filing instructions, and court documents when relevant — receiving and validating claims, and effectively communicating with class members. In addition, a settlement administrator should be a part of the settlement planning, including identifying methods of notice and claims distribution. 

Some comprehensive settlement administrators also offer notice media services, providing professional strategy, resources, and expertise to the process of notifying class members of their rights. These services are invaluable in satisfying due process, as notice media experts are well versed in an evolving media landscape. Reading and reporting on analytics, offering insights, and monitoring possibly ad-fraud are important steps in a successful notice media program.

Do I need a Settlement Administrator? 

Settlement administrators can assist counsel in creating a settlement plan that satisfies due process and gets preliminary approval, all the way through to settlement distribution. Engaging a settlement administrator early can ensure each step in the claims process is tailored to fit your case, maximizing class benefit and minimizing costs.  

A settlement administrator should also take steps to protect your brand from ad fraud in environments that come with digital advertising or perform data integrity checks to ensure the legitimacy of incoming claims. An administrator efficiently takes care of important steps in the settlement process, including tasks that could unnecessarily burden attorneys or their clients such as large direct mailings and running call centers. 

Some tasks a settlement administrator should take care of are: 

  • Class mailings, including handling returned mail 
  • Run call centers when necessary 
  • Provide statistical reports to counsel and the court 
  • Handle claims administration to class members, including mailing relief checks 
  • Testify objectively on claims administration issues should they arise 
Hands In
Heffler Claims Group
Heffler Claims Group is a national leader in class action settlement administration, specializing in the notice and administration of complex legal matters. Together with Prime Clerk, the leading bankruptcy claims and noticing agent and another Duff & Phelps company, we offer the most comprehensive administrative services in the industry.

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