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Pharmaceutical gelcap-maker Procaps SA sued Carlton Fields Jorden Burt in Florida state court on Tuesday, alleging the law firm’s shoddy advice in a contentious antitrust lawsuit exposed Procaps to an $18.5 million legal fee award.

Colombia-based Procaps, represented by Miami-based legal malpractice specialist Warren Trazenfeld, alleges in Miami-Dade County’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit that Carlton Fields failed to fully inform the company about the risks of pursuing litigation against a former joint venture partner, Patheon Inc., under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. That law includes a provision that allowed Patheon and its lawyers at Cooley to seek their legal fees after securing a summary judgment that put an end to Procaps’ antitrust claims.

The malpractice suit, which seeks at least $15 million in damages, alleges that Carlton Fields gave inadequate advice to Procaps with respect to the Florida law. If the company realized it might end up on the hook for millions in legal fees under the state unfair trade practices law, Procaps would never have gone through with it, according to the complaint.

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Scott Flaherty

Scott Flaherty, based in New York, covers the business of law with a focus on legal ethics, lawyer misconduct, conflicts-of-interest and litigation involving law firms. He can be reached at [email protected] On Twitter: @sflaherty18

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