A 40 percent contingent-fee agreement between Graubard Miller and real estate developer Sylvan Lawrence's 83-year-old widow was not unconscionable on its face, a New York appellate court ruled Tuesday, even though the agreement was executed in the final months of a decades-long estate litigation in which the firm had already received $18 million in hourly fees and three partners had requested and received $5 million in "gifts." A dissenting justice wrote that "no court can condone such an exorbitant fee."
Late 40 Percent Retainer Pact Survives Widow's Dismissal Bid
New York Law Journal
November 29, 2007