Merrill Lynch is expected to head into a New York court Friday and hammer out a settlement that could potentially affect the deferred compensation of thousands of financial advisors that have left the firm since its 2008 combination with Bank of America.

The coming settlement stems from class action case initiated in November 2009 by two former Merrill Lynch brokers in Alabama that was subsequently moved to New York federal court. The case focuses on whether a change in control of the firm resulted in the vesting of the advisors' stock.

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