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Actionable news in FCX: FreePORT-MCMORAN Inc,

Free Advice Helps End a Dispute Over Advice

A dispute between a bank and a client over advice ended in a settlement Monday that included an unusual payment: more advice.

Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay $16.25 million to Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX 0.22 % and its shareholders amid allegations it gave faulty counsel on two acquisitions. The agreement comes in two parts: Credit Suisse is to pay Freeport $10 million in cash, and the Swiss bank must give the natural-resources company $6.25 million worth of investment-banking advice free over the next two years.

The second part, lawyers said, is a very rare arrangement—and one that seemed contradictory to some.

“It’s a bit like complaining of a hair in your soup and getting a discount on your next bowl of the same soup,” said Robert Daines, a lawyer and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -1.04 % banker who teaches at Stanford University.

The agreement, filed Monday in the Delaware Court of Chancery, settles shareholder allegations that Credit Suisse made a mathematical error that contributed to Freeport overpaying for the 2013 purchases of McMoRan Exploration Co. and Plains Exploration & Production Co. for $9 billion combined.

The payment amounts to more than half the $30.5 million Credit Suisse received for its advice on the two transactions. Refunds of mergers-and-acquisitions fees are rare enough, but there are few if any precedents for a...


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