At least 18 mutual fund companies that agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle charges brought by securities regulators who accused the firms of improper trading are now in negotiations to snuff out roughly 300 private lawsuits filed by disgruntled shareholders, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The preliminary discussions with the plaintiffs’ attorneys are no guarantee of a favorable settlement for the mutual fund companies, sources close to the matter said. Lawyers for the shareholders predictably smelled a big verdict after the massive regulatory settlement, but a judge overseeing some of the proceedings cautioned the investors should not expect a financial windfall from the litigation. Alliance Capital Holdings, Bank of America Corp.and Janus Capital Group are reportedly participants in the discussions.

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