A bill for fees of $50 million

Kazuo Okada

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Kazuo Okada

US law firm Bartlit Beck will receive US$50 million after suing its client, a Japanese billionaire.

The Chicago-based firm had advised the billionaire Kazuo Okada in a legal fight against Wynn Resorts, a giant in the casino industry.

This group had forced a subsidiary of Okada to sell its shares at a reduced price, following an internal anti-corruption investigation, indicates Reuters.

Okada won that court battle, pocketing US$2.6 billion. But he refused to pay the $50 million conditional fee provided for in the law firm’s engagement contract.

If the firm obtained satisfaction, it is because Okada withdrew from the arbitration procedure which had been implemented to resolve this disagreement. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the arbitration judge’s decision, explaining that Okada’s withdrawal did not allow him to claim that he was unjustly deprived of the opportunity to win.

Kazuo Okada claimed that he was unable to defend himself until the end of the arbitration process due to a medical emergency, which prevented him from traveling.

Meanwhile, the fees of US$50 million have accrued interest, bringing the amount payable to US$63 million. And the Bartlit Beck firm does not intend to give up its bill, since it intends to sue Okada until the fees are fully recovered.

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