Professor Burt Neuborne finally received the $3.1 million he requested for achieving a $1.25 billion tax-free settlement of claims brought by Holocaust survivors against Swiss banks. The controversy isn’t over, however; Neuborne has made a standard request for interest (another $300,000), and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. [Law Blog; NY Sun; earlier on Overlawyered]
Professor Neuborne’s fee request is based on the hours actually spent on seven years of complex international litigation (29 formal proceedings and 16 successful Second Circuit appeals), and amounts to less than 1% of the amount recovered. There is no evidence that Professor Neuborne inflated his hours. If all contingent-fee requests were as reasonable as Professor Neuborne’s, reformers would have a lot less to complain about.