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As they face suits from creditors and try to squelch rumors the firm will file for bankruptcy, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison’s former partners are counting on at least $13 million in fees from clients of the now-defunct firm — including a single, $10 million chunk expected in October from Tickets.com. In a February memo to Citibank, former Brobeck partner Stephen Snyder outlined fee revenue Brobeck anticipated receiving through Dec. 31. Snyder drew up the document in an unsuccessful effort to convince Citibank to back a reconstituted version of Brobeck consisting of six partners. Snyder confirmed the existence of the memo, but declined to comment on it. But former Brobeck partner Franklin “Brock” Gowdy, who previously represented Tickets.com, said he thought the firm’s fee agreement with Tickets.com was “still considered to be a contingent asset of Brobeck in liquidation.” Brobeck defended online ticket seller Tickets.com in a copyright infringement and unfair competition suit brought by competitor Ticketmaster Corp. Gowdy, who is now a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, said that about 18 months ago Brobeck agreed to continue representing Tickets.com under a contingency fee arrangement, and shortly after that, the court dismissed Ticketmaster’s suit as well as an antitrust counterclaim brought by Tickets.com. In addition to the $10 million, Snyder’s Feb. 10 memo to Citibank said the firm expected to receive $1.5 million from an unspecified copyright case in July. Among other fees, from May through December the firm was slated to receive $120,000 apiece from Homestore Inc., Bausch & Lomb Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. The memo to Citibank was Snyder’s last-ditch effort to keep some form of Brobeck alive. He had initially tried to get a larger group of partners to stick together. Three days after Brobeck announced it was disbanding he held a meeting with about 50 partners, telling them he believed Brobeck had solid assets and enough lawyers to convince Citibank to back a reconstituted firm. When partners opted instead to join another firm Snyder continued negotiating with Citibank to back a team of six partners. In addition to Snyder, the group included James Miller, Michael Molland, Diane Rice, Jeffrey Kaiser and Kelly Wooster. Under Snyder’s plan, the partners were to receive total compensation of $3 million, ranging from $620,000 for Snyder to $360,000 for Wooster. The memo also proposed that Citibank provide each partner with “an immediate $150,000 interest-free loan that is forgiven at completion of the commitment.” The new Brobeck was also to include five associates, three paralegals, two case assistants, five secretaries, two file clerks and an information technology staffer. While it’s unclear whether Citibank seriously considered the proposal, it was soon dropped. And Snyder and Miller, members of Brobeck’s liquidation committee, joined Morgan Lewis as of counsel. Snyder is now scrambling to bring in outstanding fee revenue to pay off Brobeck’s $56 million bank debt, as well as $15 million owed to commercial creditors and an unknown sum to its former landlords. Ex-employees have been speculating online that the firm would soon seek bankruptcy protection. But the lawyer for the firm’s liquidation committee says that’s not true. Kenneth Brown, a partner at Los Angeles-based Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones & Weintraub who represents the liquidation committee, called The Recorder to say the speculation was unfounded after learning a reporter was asking former Brobeck partners about the possibility of a bankruptcy filing. “At the present time there’s no intention of filing a bankruptcy,” Brown said, nor does the committee intend to file an assignment for the benefit of creditors — an alternative to bankruptcy. Brown said he had heard that the attorneys for Dickson, Carlson & Campillo had intended to force Brobeck into involuntary bankruptcy if Dickson Carlson won a large verdict in its suit against Brobeck and former Brobeck partner Debra Pole. But that plan became moot last week when a Los Angeles County jury awarded Dickson Carlson $153,000 in damages, $80,000 of which Brobeck is to pay. Brobeck, Brown said, “was never intending to file for bankruptcy.” Related item: Brobeck memo

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