The question of whether Graubard Miller deserved a $42 million contingency fee from a settlement it obtained just five months after its client agreed to switch from paying hourly rates is now in the hands of a referee in New York.

In closing arguments Wednesday in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, Mark Zauderer, an attorney for the law firm, contended that Graubard Miller deserved the full 40 percent contingency fee on the $104.8 million settlement for Alice Lawrence, the widow of a New York real estate magnate.

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