Two law firms that took in partners following Howrey’s 2011 collapse have agreed to make payments to the bankrupt firm’s estate based on the legal theory that dissolving law firms have a stake in work brought by their former lawyers to new professional homes.
Holland & Knight and Fenwick & West have both reached deals with Howrey trustee Allan Diamond, according to a Friday court filing asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali in San Francisco to approve the settlements. The agreements with the two firms are among the first to emerge from talks between Diamond and more than 70 firms that brought on former Howrey partners.
Under its agreement with Diamond, Holland & Knight will pay the Howrey estate $26,197, a sum equal to 11 percent of a $238,156 fee it has earned so far for its work on a contingency case it inherited from the now-defunct firm. Holland & Knight has also agreed to pay the Howrey estate the same percentage of any portion of $62,000 in fees related to the same matter that are still outstanding. Holland & Knight has further agreed to drop a $42,584 claim against the Howrey estate in connection to the same engagement.
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