In my view folks, even putting aside the illegal lobbying and lying to Federal Investigators, which earned them a $5 million fine from the DOJ, the Skadden Arps law firm could be a virtual criminal organization.
Don’t take my word for it, look at their actions when pressed to show the detail behind approximately $15 million in court-ordered billings for the “Custodian” services by the Chancellor’s friend and former business partner, Robert Pincus.
How the hell can a Delaware Judge issue a Court order allowing an appointed, former business partner to continue to bill for services rendered without documentation or itemization two years after the case is over? It seems to me that this looks like suspicious activity? At a minimum, the appearance of impropriety? At worst, possible corruption?
I say to BOUCHARD-Let the public see the damn bills! If PINCUS has indeed done the work you say he has done, then there is no need for the cover-up to continue. Is that really asking too much?
According to the Law360 story below, his letter to the court claimed that TransPerfect is not allowed to “nitpick” at Pincus’ fees for his work as a custodian for the company. Nitpick?! How about showing the bills? No one is nitpicking here.
Mark my words, I view Bouchard as part of the “Good Old Boys” network, and I think he will somehow — in some seemingly, shady-legalese-nonsense way — save Skadden Arps and Pincus from being charged with massive billing fraud.
My prediction is that Bouchard will help Skadden continue to hide its bills and still order them to be paid. When it happens, please have your elected officials on speed-dial to protest what I believe is grotesque corruption. Folks $250 million went missing-poof!-from TransPerfect in crazy fees — and no one is fessing up as to where it went.
When you order at a restaurant, they don’t just give you a blank tab saying you owe $50 — they break down the bill! If you were ordered by a court to pay bills, going on 2 years after the case was closed, wouldn’t you think you have the right to see what you are actually paying for?!
Please let me know what you think. As always your comments are welcome and appreciated.
Please see the story below.
By Emma Cueto
Law360 (September 23, 2019, 8:41 PM EDT) — A former Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP attorney accused of overbilling document management company TransPerfect Global Inc. told a Nevada state court on Monday that the company’s discovery request for billing records violated a fee petition process imposed by a Delaware court.
The letter to the court, which came shortly after TransPerfect filed an amended complaint that added new allegations of misconduct by former Skadden partner Robert B. Pincus, claimed that under a fee approval process established by a Delaware court, is not allowed to “nitpick” at Pincus’ fees for his work as a custodian of TransPerfect.
The letter also claimed that during a recent meeting, TransPerfect was unable to provide a basis for its request to know key billing details such as the number of partners and associates working with Pincus on the matter.
“Counsel for [Pincus] asked if counsel for TransPerfect … would be willing to share any case law that they have that they believe indicates that the court-ordered fee approval process (in place for many years) is unconstitutional or indicates that they are entitled to detailed billing records,” the letter said. “They declined to share this information … stating that the legal authority would be set forth in future briefing.”
Just days earlier on Friday, TransPerfect filed an amended complaint against Pincus, adding a claim that he breached an agreement with the company by billing at a professional rate for certain services and by filing fee requests under seal without providing an invoice to TransPerfect.
The company first filed suit against Pincus in August, alleging that he was billing for up to $65,204 without giving the company proper notice or itemizing the work he purportedly has performed.
Pincus was appointed custodian of TransPerfect after its two co-founders — Phillip R. Shawe and Elizabeth Elting — had a falling out and could not agree on how to proceed with various company matters, according to court documents.
The Delaware Supreme Court in May 2018 affirmed the lower court’s February 2018 ruling that allowed Shawe to buy Elting’s 50% stake in the company. The lower court had also determined that Pincus’ impartiality wasn’t compromised by the threats of litigation made against him by Elting or by Shawe’s alleged interference in the sale process.
TransPerfect is currently questioning several of the bills Pincus has submitted this year. In May, Delaware Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard authorized that $60,105 be withdrawn from an escrow fund in the underlying case. In June, Pincus received approval from the court for $58,768 and in July for $90,089, according to the complaint.
Pincus fired back with a request for sanctions later in August, saying that Shawe, who controls the company, was violating a Delaware court order by bringing the suit in Nevada. Shawe, Pincus claimed, has exhibited a “pernicious pattern” of violating court orders in the past and that he will continue his “pattern of abuse” without sanctions.
Martin Russo, an attorney for TransPerfect, told Law360 in an email that the agreement between Pincus and the company allowed for a court to hash out disputes, and that the time had come to do so.
“Real companies do not pay phantom bills,” Russo said. “Mr. Pincus’ failure to abide by the contract is notable because he and his lawyers drafted the terms, and Mr. Pincus pushed the agreement through the TransPerfect board when he was making decisions for the company.”
Shawe also said in a statement that Pincus could not continue to claim the bills needed to stay secret in order to protect a sale process that ended two years prior.
Pincus did not respond Monday to a request for comment.
Pincus is represented by Jennifer C. Voss and Elisa M.C. Klein of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
TransPerfect is represented by Martin Russo of Kruzhkov Russo PLLC.
The case is In re: TransPerfect Global Inc., case number 9700, in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
–Additional reporting by Reenat Sinay and Kevin Penton. Editing by Jay Jackson Jr.