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NEW YORK � A Manhattan appellate court has ruled that noted litigator Stanley Arkin is entitled to a “success fee” for his representation of former Citigroup investment management chief Thomas W. Jones. Fired in 2004 following a scandal in which Citigroup was banned from the Japanese private banking market, Jones hired Arkin and his firm Arkin Kaplan to pursue a suit against his former employer. The retainer agreement provided that Arkin’s hourly bills would be capped at $1 million and that he would receive success fees starting at 10 percent of any settlement amount between $1 million and $10 million. Moreover, the success fee was only to apply to amounts in entitlements Jones already held or were to vest before January 2006. Jones ultimately received a $5 million payment from Citigroup, which also pledged to invest $50 million in an investment fund to be managed by Jones. Arkin claimed the success fee on the $5 million, excluding the first $1 million and hourly bills of $333,788, should have been $366,621. But Jones disputed the fee, claiming the $5 million was not in excess of his entitlements, which he said included $13.9 million in compensation he would have received had he not been fired. A Manhattan trial court had previously denied Arkin’s motion for summary judgment but the Appellate Division, 1st Department on Thursday ruled in the lawyer’s favor, rejecting Jones’ argument. The unanimous panel said in Arkin Kaplan v. Jones 110412/05, that the agreement “plainly refers to entitlements that will actually ‘vest’ . . . not to entitlements that would have vested had Jones’ employment not been terminated.” Arkin’s lawyer, Joseph Matalon of Matalon & Shweky, on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the decision and said Arkin would continue to seek a success fee based on the $50 million investment in Jones’ investment fund. Jones is arguing that the investment was a decision Citigroup made independent of the settlement. Anthony Lin is a reporter with the New York Law Journal, a Recorder affiliate.

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