Suing for legal fees

In a suit, Williams & Connolly, a D.C. law firm, is seeking payment of more than $2 million in legal fees. The client and law firm apparently resolved their differences and created a payout plan, with the client pay 1/3 of the amount … and now refusing to pay the balance or 2/3 remaining amount.

What makes this case more interesting is that a resolution of the fee dispute was achieved. And later, the client refused to honor the settlement agreement. The client ostensibly believes it can harrass the law firm and then settle again for a lesser amount.

Questions for the law firm:

1.  Why did you allow fees to get so high in the first place? Collections should have been more aggressive.

2.  Did you have a budget for the litigation for the client that the client accepted … or was nothing said about the extent of the legal services to be delivered?

3.  Was the size of the legal fee a surprise to the client?

4.  Why didn’t you fire the client before $2 mil?

5.  Why didn’t you get security for payment of the settlement amount, such as a stipulated judgment in the event of a default or other guarantee such as a letter of credit?

Someone was asleep at the switch…both during intake and during the representation … and seemingly also at the negotiation for settlement of the fee dispute.

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