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Category: Fee Recommendation

Virtu Financial Fights for $3.2M Fee Award in Trade Secret Case

January 7, 2021

A recent Law 360 story by Adam Lidgett, “Virtu Fights for $3.2M Fee Award Against Ex-Worker” reports that a unit of high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial has shot back at a recommendation that it should only get about $401,500 in attorney fees and costs after scoring a win in a trade secret case against an ex-employee, arguing it should be able to collect millions of dollars.

KCG Holdings Inc., which prevailed in its trade secret misappropriation case in March against Rohit Khandekar, filed an opposition to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein's recommendation that it only get about $401,500 in fees and costs.  KCG said it should get more than $3.18 million in fees and costs — less than the nearly $3.6 million it initially asked for.  The firm said it wasn't challenging every reduction in the recommendation, but it did have issues.  While the magistrate judge said that "the relief KCG ultimately obtained was 'limited as compared to the relief sought,'" KCG said it actually was quite successful, for instance.

"This result was not the inevitable conclusion of a routine breach-of-contract lawsuit, as the report contends," KCG said.  "It was the exhausting finish to a hard-fought legal battle wherein Khandekar employed every litigation tool available to him."  Khandekar also hit back at the magistrate judge's recommendation, saying the court should cut the recommended amount down to something more "reasonable."  That $401,500 figure accounts for 80% of his entire wealth, and the court should reduce what is recommended so "Khandekar does not need to sell his home," he said.

In his early December report and recommendation, Judge Gorenstein said the rates KCG proposed were out of step with precedent requiring the court to consider rates in relation to attorneys of "average skill and ordinary competence."  Judge Gorenstein also found that the amount of hours KCG billed for was "vastly excessive," as was the number of attorneys on the case.

In opposing KCG's June motion for attorney fees, Khandekar had argued it should be rejected in its entirety for being "so outrageously excessive and unreasonable that it could not possibly have been made in good faith."  But Judge Gorenstein had rejected that argument, saying a case Khandekar relied on to support it involved a party that made repeated misrepresentations to the court.

The Nation’s Top Attorney Fee Experts of 2020

June 24, 2020

NALFA, a non-profit group, is building a worldwide network of attorney fee expertise. Our network includes members, faculty, and fellows with expertise on the reasonableness of attorney fees.  We help organize and recognize qualified attorney fee experts from across the U.S. and around the globe.  Our attorney fee experts also include court adjuncts such as bankruptcy fee examiners, special fee masters, and fee dispute neutrals.

Every year, we announce the nation's top attorney fee experts.  Attorney fee experts are retained by fee-seeking or fee-challenging parties in litigation to independently prove reasonable attorney fees and expenses in court or arbitration.  The following NALFA profile quotes are based on bio, CV, case summaries and case materials submitted to and verified by us.  Here are the nation's top attorney fee experts of 2020:

"The Nation's Top Attorney Fee Expert"
John D. O'Connor
O'Connor & Associates
San Francisco, CA
"Over 30 Years of Legal Fee Audit Expertise"
Andre E. Jardini
KPC Legal Audit Services, Inc.
Glendale, CA

"The Nation's Top Bankruptcy Fee Examiner"
Robert M. Fishman
Cozen O'Connor
Chicago, IL

"Widely Respected as an Attorney Fee Expert"
Elise S. Frejka
Frejka PLLC
New York, NY
"Experienced on Analyzing Fees, Billing Entries for Fee Awards"
Robert L. Kaufman
Woodruff Spradlin & Smart
Costa Mesa, CA

"Highly Skilled on a Range of Fee and Billing Issues"
Daniel M. White
White Amundson APC
San Diego, CA
"Extensive Expertise on Attorney Fee Matters in Common Fund Litigation"
Craig W. Smith
Robbins LLP
San Diego, CA
"Highly Experienced in Dealing with Fee Issues Arising in Complex Litigation"
Marc M. Seltzer
Susman Godfrey LLP
Los Angeles, CA

"Total Mastery in Resolving Complex Attorney Fee Disputes"
Peter K. Rosen
Los Angeles, CA
"Understands Fees, Funding, and Billing Issues in Cross Border Matters"
Glenn Newberry
Eversheds Sutherland
London, UK
"Solid Expertise with Fee and Billing Matters in Complex Litigation"
Bruce C. Fox
Obermayer Rebmann LLP
Pittsburgh, PA
"Excellent on Attorney Fee Issues in Florida"
Debra L. Feit
Stratford Law Group LLC
Fort Lauderdale, FL
"Nation's Top Scholar on Attorney Fees in Class Actions"
Brian T. Fitzpatrick
Vanderbilt Law School
Nashville, TN
"Great Leader in Analyzing Legal Bills for Insurers"
Richard Zujac
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Philadelphia, PA