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Attorneys Seek $19M in Fees After Mortgage Service Trial Win

August 24, 2023 | Posted in : Expenses / Costs, Fee Award Factors, Fee Entitlement / Recoverability, Fee Request, Hourly Rates, Hours Billled, Trial / Jury / Verdict

A recent Law 360 story by Faith Williams, “Attys Seek $19M in Fees After Win in Mortgage Servicer’s Suit”, reports that a legal team led by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP asked a New Jersey federal judge to award $19 million in fees and expenses after it secured a jury win for a Virginia mortgage sub-servicer that accused another servicer of taking $23 million of its funds.

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP served as lead counsel for LoanCare, and Friedman Kaplan Seiler Adelman & Robbins LLP served as its local counsel.  According to the memorandum, the attorneys put in several years of work that culminated in a 10-day trial, accumulating more than $19 million in fees and expenses.  Under LoanCare and Freedom Mortgage's sub-servicing agreement, Freedom agreed to indemnify any and all losses, according to the memo.  "LoanCare's fees and expenses are reasonable considering the favorable results its attorneys obtained and the complexity of the subject matter of this litigation," LoanCare said.

The Boies Schiller team includes nine attorneys on the trial team and 21 other attorneys charging an average hourly rate ranging from $243 to $858, the mortgage servicer said.  Some attorneys worked almost 4,000 hours on the case, according to the memorandum.  The Friedman Kaplan team involved five attorneys who worked a combined 1,000 hours on the case, charging an hourly rate ranging from $241 an hour to $867, the memo said.

Additionally, the expert fees and document management and review amounted to almost $3.5 million and about $4 million, respectively, LoanCare told the court.  LoanCare argued that the attorneys' rates reflect the complexity of the case, which involved the "highly technical" mortgage servicing industry.  Discovery involved more than 10 million pages of documents, according to the memorandum, and an "aggressive" deposition schedule.  The trial lasted 10 days and involved 24 witnesses and more than 200 trial exhibits, weighing in favor of finding LoanCare's fees reasonable, the servicer argued.