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The Sydow Firm, one of R. Allen Stanford’s defense firms, filed a petition in state district court in Harris County on Friday seeking $437,151 in unpaid legal fees and expenses. The Sydow Firm alleges Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, one of the insurance companies holding directors’ and officers’ policies covering Stanford Financial Group executives, and the firm representing the insurance company, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, “agreed in writing” to pay The Sydow Firm for its work representing Stanford, former SFG chairman. “The Sydow Firm has performed extensive legal services on behalf of R. Allen Stanford . . . for which it is entitled to be compensated,” the Houston firm alleges in The Sydow Firm v. Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s of London, et al. The Sydow Firm alleges it has been paid about $76,000 for its work, but its invoices for another $437,151 haven’t been paid. The Sydow Firm is one of the firms defending Stanford in a civil suit pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank Ltd., et al. The Sydow Firm alleges it presented its claim to Akin Gump on June 18, but the defendants “did not tender the amount owed within 30 days after the claim was presented.” That was months before U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas of Houston issued an order on Oct. 13 that insurance companies holding the directors-and-officers policies for SFG are not required to pay for the defense of Stanford and others in a criminal case, United States v. Robert Allen Stanford, et al., or in the SEC suit. Michael Sydow, of The Sydow Firm, did not immediately return two telephone messages left at his office. Neel Lane, a partner in Akin Gump in San Antonio who represents the underwriters in the coverage suit in Atlas’ court, declines comment. So does the firm, says communications manager Kristen White. Stanford is currently in federal custody awaiting trial on criminal charges in connection with an alleged conspiracy to defraud investors who bought about $7 billion in certificates of deposit sold through the Stanford International Bank Ltd. He has pleaded not guilty and goes to trial in January 2011.

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