In response to a complaint accusing him of ethics breaches for pocketing a $50,000 fee that his partners claim was partly theirs, David Gross says his action was consistent with firm practices.

Gross, who was pushed out of Budd Larner in 2002 after 43 years, says he knew of no policy at the Short Hills, N.J., firm that prevented him from accepting a gift or bonus from a grateful client for settling a serious matter quickly and successfully.

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