Jaspan Schlesinger LLP Wins Multi-Million Dollar Verdict After Trial
Date: May 23rd, 2018

New York, New York – Jaspan Schlesinger LLP has obtained a verdict after trial of $3.4 million plus prejudgment interest at a rate of twelve percent per year for approximately ten years.
In Matter of Koeppel, Jaspan Schlesinger LLP represented the petitioners, two law firms, in a suit against their former client for breach of contract. The parties had entered into an agreement whereby the client was to pay the firms a percentage of any recovery exceeding $43 million in a protracted intra-family estate litigation. When the underlying estate litigation was settled a decade ago, the client refused to pay the firms.
The firms commenced a lawsuit in the New York County Surrogate’s Court in 2008. Partner Jessica M. Baquet acted as lead counsel at trial, which spanned ten days during 2016 and 2017. The issues tried included matters of contract interpretation and the valuation of certain assets that the firms recovered on their client’s behalf. The Court heard testimony from, among others, four attorneys, a real estate valuation expert, and an accounting expert.
On April 13, 2018, Surrogate Rita Mella rendered a decision finding that the gross value of the assets the firms recovered in the underlying settlement surpassed the $43 million “trigger amount” by more than $30 million. She awarded the firms damages that exceed $6 million inclusive of interest.
Regarding the outcome, Ms. Baquet stated: “We are pleased that the firms will finally be compensated for the hard work they performed and the substantial results they achieved.”
Ms. Baquet is a Partner in Jaspan Schlesinger LLP’s Litigation and Trusts and Estates Practice Groups. She frequently represents clients in contested Surrogate’s Court proceedings involving issues of both estate and commercial law.
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