(Bloomberg News) Former brokers of Bank of America's Merrill Lynch & Co. unit asked a federal judge to approve a $40 million settlement in a lawsuit over deferred compensation.

Charles McCallum, a lawyer for the brokers, told U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan today in Manhattan federal court that the proposed settlement would cover more than 1,400 people. The judge said she will rule later on preliminary approval.

The lawsuit, filed by Scott Chambers and John Burnette, relates to Bank of America's 2009 purchase of the investment firm. The brokers alleged in their complaint that they were entitled to cash distributions stemming from a change in control of Merrill Lynch.

"We're hopeful, given the nature of the settlement and the amount involved, the settlement will be well-received," McCallum told the judge.

William Halldin, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, said in a phone interview today that the firm "agreed to a resolution to avoid the cost and distraction of what would likely be continued, lengthy litigation."

The case is Chambers v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 10-cv-07109, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).