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MICROSOFT MONEY COMES ONLINE Townsend and Townsend and Crew announced Wednesday that its long-awaited $1.1 billion antitrust settlement with Microsoft Corp. is available for distribution. Beginning in August, vouchers worth hundreds of millions of dollars will be sent to California businesses and consumers who had been overcharged for software. The settlement gives recipients the option to donate two-thirds of their benefits to California’s public schools. Townsend itself expects to recover more than $30 million, much of which will go to attorneys and staff in the form of year-end bonuses, according to Chairman James Gilliland Jr. “We’re going to share the recovery with everyone in every office of the firm,” Gilliland said. Townsend will also contribute $250,000 to legal aid organizations, lawyers said. The firm incurred costs topping $20 million, including $5 million in out-of-pocket expenses and $15 million in attorney time, according to Gilliland. The settlement comes on the heels of another case that drew to a close last month in which Townsend represented Bay Area government entities against Microsoft, settling for $70 million. Vying for a cut of the $1.1 billion settlement are two former Townsend equity partners, Duane Mathiowetz and K.T. ‘Sunny’ Cherian, who left the firm three years ago for Howrey. Mathiowetz and Cherian sued Townsend for breach of contract, each seeking at least $700,000 in damages. The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, was slated to go to trial in August but has been delayed until March 2007, according to Gilliland. “We’re happy that it’s been delayed,” Gilliland said of the suit. “We have better things to spend our time on.”

Petra Pasternak

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