Patton Boggs sues client for more than $3M in legal fees

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Apr 10, 2012

Patton Boggs LLP offices in Dallas

MARSHALL - In an attempt to recover millions in unpaid legal fees, the law firm Patton Boggs LLP filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Upaid Systems on March 26 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Patton Boggs is a limited liability partnership with its principal office located in Washington, D.C. The law firm also has several other offices, including an office in Dallas.

According to the lawsuit, Patton Boggs was hired in May 2007 to represented Upaid in its ongoing litigation, Upaid Systems Ltd. v. Satyam Computer Service Ltd. (Case No. 2:07-cv-00114).

The suit states that In the Engagement Agreement, Patton Boggs agreed to reduce its standard rate by 40 percent. The parties also agreed to a success fee of 4 percent of the gross of any damages awarded or settlement proceeds until September 2007 and a 15 percent success fee thereafter.

Patton Boggs pursued the Satyam litigation for several years, when Satyam, according to the suit, was placed under the control of the Indian government due to fraud and "massive cooking of the corporate books."

Upaid started falling behind in payments following the demise of Satyam.

The Satyam case settled shortly before trial in December 2009. Patton Boggs states that Upaid has received most of the settlement monies and thus their contingent fee portion should be paid.

In addition, since the settlement negotiations, Upaid has been delinquent in the payment of the agreed hourly rates and costs.

Patton Boggs states that Upaid currently owes a total of $3,152,534, exclusive of interest and any contingent fee due.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages owed under the terms of the Engagement Agreement, including unpaid monthly invoices and the full amount of the contingent fee of 15 percent of the gross monies received from the Satyam settlement, plus an award of interest and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by T. John Ward Jr., Bruce A. Smith, Claire Abernathy Henry and J. Wesley Hill of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00160

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