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Merrill sweetens settlement for ex-brokers in deferred pay cases

Dec 10 2012 Suzanne Barlyn, Reuters

Merrill Lynch may be one step closer to ending its battle with former brokers who say the firm denied them deferred compensation when they left after the brokerage was bought by Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch and lawyers for some ex-brokers have agreed to changes in a proposed $40-million class action settlement over retention bonuses and other deferred compensation they said was wrongly denied them. The revised settlement may encourage some brokers to drop arbitration and other legal claims against the brokerage, according to court documents. The brokerage is also in talks to settle some individual cases with brokers, a lawyer involved with the case said. Merrill declined comment about whether it was working to settle any cases. Merrill has been facing a pile of arbitration claims and hundreds more that could be filed. About 3,000 brokers left after the merger. More than 1,000 have already filed or planned to file arbitration or court claims. A proposed

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