A former client and his company sued Andrews Kurth on Oct. 10, alleging the Houston-based firm engaged in legal malpractice and breached a fiduciary duty when representing the plaintiffs in a family business dispute.

Harris County resident Scott D. Martin and SKM Partnership Ltd., a partnership of Scott and his wife, Kim Martin, allege in their petition that Andrews Kurth advised Martin to sign a settlement agreement. The agreement was intended to end a family business dispute, but, instead, that dispute ended in years of litigation and an appeals court opinion that the agreement was not enforceable, the plaintiffs continue.

In Scott D. Martin, et al. v. Andrews Kurth, filed in the 234th District Court in Harris County, Martin and SKM seek unspecified actual damages, interest, costs and fee forfeiture from Andrews Kurth.

In response to the allegations, Bob Jewell, managing partner of Andrews Kurth, provided this written statement:

“Scott Martin’s claim has no merit. Andrews Kurth represented him in a professional and competent manner more than 5 years ago, and he received an unquestionably positive result in connection with that representation. Mr. Martin currently owes Andrews Kurth over $2 million, and when he signed the promissory note for amounts owed in 2010, he did not express (nor did he have) any complaints about the services we provided. Mr. Martin is a sophisticated businessman who was intricately involved — and provided a significant amount of direction — in every step of the negotiation and litigation. This lawsuit is merely an attempt to avoid paying for the exceptional work performed by Andrews Kurth attorneys on his behalf.”

In response, plaintiffs’ attorney David Ayers, a partner in Werner Ayers in Houston, says Andrews Kurth has billed Scott Martin for some fees and expenses he hasn’t paid, but Ayers is unsure of the amount.

“He had paid them a significant amount, millions, in fact. They do claim he still owes them,” Ayers says.

Ayers says Martin was an “involved client,” but he relied on his lawyers.

Brother v. Brother

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