A New York judge this week confirmed a $13 million fee award for Quinn Emanuel's work in securing a $65 million settlement for (former) client ConnectU in its suit against Facebook. "Winklevoss twins lose again: QE payday cometh," tweeted John Quinn.
But who is writing that check? As part of the settlement agreement reached in February 2008, Facebook acquired all of ConnectU’s stock, and Facebook transferred cash and shares in the privately held company to ConnectU's founders.
As it turns out, the money was held in escrow.
Less clear is what might happen should lawyers at Howard, Rice succeed in voiding the settlement agreement. ConnectU's founders say the agreement was never finalized, and that Facebook misled them about the value of its shares.
We asked Quinn Emanuel's Peter Calamari if his firm would have to return the fees if the agreement is tossed out. He didn't want to talk about it. “We were very pleased with the decision,” is all he would say.
New York Judge Richard B. Lowe III, who confirmed the fee award, did take note of the Ninth Circuit proceedings. “Nothing in the petitioners’ papers provides a legal or factual basis for staying the award in anticipation of a future decision of the Ninth Circuit,” Lowe wrote. “The arbitrators have issued a final, noncontingent award and have rejected the argument that pendency of the Ninth Circuit appeal has bearing on the award or on Quinn Emanuel’s motion to confirm.”
He continued: “The respondents have waited over two years for its fee, and have had to oppose several attempts to delay the payment. To continue to stall payment of the award would be to frustrate the very purpose of and reason for arbitration.”
Or as Quinn tweeted: "The social network the sequel: QE to get paid."