Elon Musk's complaint against one of the most prominent NYC law firms to recover a significant portion of the ~$90 million fee they received for preventing Musk from abandoning his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
Here are some of the more choice highlights:
Six timekeepers including some partners billed a combined $2,200,893.75 with completely blank time entry descriptions
An associate billed approximately $ 935,000 across the two invoices with all of her time entry descriptions limited to either strategy or factual analysis without further elaboration
Significant work was charged by attorneys on unrelated matters for unrelated clients
A Closing Day Fee Letter noted that the $90 million total fee payment including an unspecified success fee was based solely on the firm’s past work since the inception of the engagement
Our favorite email response from one of Twitter's non-executive Board members when hearing of the fee for the first time:
O MY FREAKING GOD!
Information Governance Takeaways:
Document your fees and keep records of your work for clients
Keep records of your previous work (and why you are charging for it this time around)
Encourage timekeepers to adopt uniform billing formats and details that actually explain the work and provide a record of it
Keep clear records of cases where you are charging higher than "normal" fees for your work, and why you are doing that
Don't assume that a client will fail to check why you are not documenting or keeping records of your fees!