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Firm Sues Lloyds, Claims it was Stiffed on Stanford's Defense Bill

November 17, 2010 | Posted in : Coverage of Fees, Defense Fees / Costs, Expenses / Costs, Fee Dispute, Fee Dispute Litigation / ADR, Fee Entitlement / Recoverability, Legal Bills / Legal Costs, Unpaid Fees

A recent ABA Journal story, “Law Firm Sues Akin Gump and Lloyd’s, Says It Was Stiffed on Stanford’s $435K Defense Bill” reports that the Sydow Firm, one of R.Allen Stanford’s defense firms, filed suit in state district court in Texas on Friday seeking $437,151 in unpaid legal fees and expenses.  The Sydow Firm alleges Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, one of the insurance companies hold directors’ and officers’ policies covering Stanford Financial Group executives, and the firm representing the insurance company, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, “agreed in writing” to pay the Sydow Firm for its work representing Stanford, former SFG chairman.

“The Sydow Firm has performed extensive legal services of behalf of R. Allen Stanford…for which it is entitled to be compensated,” the Houston firm alleges in The Sydow Firm v. Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s of London.  The Sydow Firm alleges it has been paid about $76,000 for its work, but its invoices for another $437,151 haven’t been paid.  The Sydow Firm is one of the firms defending Stanford in a civil suit pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank Ltd. 

The Sydow Firm alleges it presented its claim to Akin Gump on June 18, but the defendants “did not tender the amount owed within 30 days after the claim was presented.”  That was months before U.S. District Nancy Atlas of Houston issued an order on October 13 that insurance companies holding director-and-officers policies for SFG are not required to pay for the defense of Stanford and others in a criminal case, United States v. Robert Allen Stanford or in the SEC suit.