There has been so much activity over the past two weeks as Andre Bouchard and Delaware’s once-vaunted Chancery Court parted ways and honestly, folks, not a moment too soon. While he acted as chief dictator, as I see it, he did everything in his power to divert money from TransPerfect over to his cronies at Skadden Arps in ways that were, in my view, good-old-fashioned highway robbery.
In my opinion, these bills were so padded and so unreasonable, that despite the not-so-secret special relationship Skadden seemed to enjoy with Bouchard as his former employer, he still had to dock them over 15%, or $625,000, to keep up legitimate appearances, right?! Folks, trying to steal that amount is a felony in most states, except perhaps in Bouchard’s Delaware. “The Delaware Way” is alive and well in the first state. Isn’t attempted over-billing just plain fraud?
Remember the unprecedented Delaware Bar Association presentation that publicly attacked Philip Shawe and protected Bouchard and Skadden Arps? We, from Delaware, who have watched this protection operation continue over the years, shake our heads. I now call for a Bar Association investigation of Skadden’s billing practices in its entirety involving TransPerfect and Bouchard’s continuous connection. Bet it will never happen!
Please keep the feedback coming, folks. It is always welcome.
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network
Skadden Docked Over $625,000 in Unreasonable Fees Based on TransPerfect Objections
In Last Official Act as Chancellor, Andre Bouchard Reduces Custodian Bills to TransPerfect by Over 15%
NEW YORK & WILMINGTON, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Today, TransPerfect announced that it has achieved a 15% reduction in outstanding fees sought by Robert Pincus, the ex-Skadden partner who occupied TransPerfect as custodian for more than three years. TransPerfect believes the decision validates claims that Skadden, acting as a State Actor, had engaged in unethical billing practices and fee gouging.
Skadden, Chancellor Bouchard’s previous employer, came under national criticism during its three-year occupation of the translation industry’s largest and most successful company. Practices included multi-million dollar invoices labeled with only “legal services,” containing no specificity or support for the alleged work. Upon being ordered to disclose the nature of these fees, it was determined that Skadden overbilled TransPerfect by more than 15%.
“It’s unfortunate that Chancellor Bouchard had to wade through eight years of darkness, until his last day in public office, to finally see the light. I cannot help but wonder if it was the watchful eye of the Federal Courts that kept Bouchard in check,” stated Phil Shawe, President and CEO of TransPerfect. During the company’s eight-year battle in the Chancery Court, Bouchard and the Delaware Courts forced TransPerfect owners to spend approximately $244 million in legal and custodian fees so that one partner could be bought out for $285 million in after-tax value. This amount was less than many voluntary offers to settle the dispute dating as far back as 2016.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Kearney recently ruled that Chancellor Bouchard had “ordered TransPerfect to pay approximately $44.5 million in undocumented fees and costs.” TransPerfect continues to explore its legal recourse based on this finding and others.
In closing, TransPerfect’s corporate counsel, Martin Russo of Russo PLLC said, “Notwithstanding the unnatural relationship between the Chancellor and his former employer and his clear bias, Skadden’s fees were reduced by more than 15%. That indicates to me that TransPerfect is entitled to a minimum of $2.25 million in further reductions on Skadden’s still-undisclosed bills of more than $14 million, rubber stamped by Bouchard and not reviewed by any party or even the judge.”